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Moon Jam 2023
Moon Jam 2023
enhancing welfare for nocturnal species

Workshop at ACI2023,  in person at North Carolina State University, USA.
4 December 2023

The Moon Jam is now over, so please explore the links to find out more about the briefs we addressed and the concepts devised by participants.

Call for participation

The Moon Jam is an exploratory design workshop that considers how we might enhance the welfare of nocturnal species, with the support of technology. Animals that are active in the dark can sometimes be overlooked by humans, simply because we do not perceive them or we are not being active ourselves. During the event, participants will collaborate to address a series of workshop-themed briefs provided by animal experts from zoos and conservation organisations, with the aim of designing technology-enhanced solutions to the challenges expressed. We will simultaneously be considering ways of using technology to share insights about nocturnal species with interested humans, such as zoo visitors, researchers and animal stewards.

This is an opportunity for those with an interest in designing for unseen animals - to offer them enriching experiences in managed environments and to support them to thrive in the wild. We will simultaneously be considering playful ways of using technology to share insights about nocturnal species with interested humans, such as zoo visitors, researchers and animal stewards. The workshop will facilitate collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice, offering everyone an exciting opportunity for creative development.

We welcome participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including but not limited to animal welfare and care, game design, computer science, engineering, landscaping, education, HCI and ACI, animal behaviour and cognition, environmental enrichment, urban planning and architecture.

If you have any questions, please email Fiona French and Tiff Leek.



Fiona French  is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing & Digital Media at London Metropolitan University. She's course leader for BSc Games Programming, teaching game and toy design and development, and AI. Fiona has helped facilitate several game jams, as well as ideation workshops and zoo jams at previous ACI conferences. She has a PhD in Computing from The Open University.

Fiona’s recent research includes designing and developing playful interactive systems for elephants, in order to provide cognitive and sensory stimulation. Her terrier prefers foxes, cats and bouncy balls as sources of entertainment.


Tiff Leek is a creative technologist, artist, and Research Software Engineer at the Open University, also working towards a PhD in ACI, with a focus on enhancing agency in captive animals, leveraging interests in art, design and electronics. After getting distracted from Zoology and the desire to be the next David Attenborough, she pivoted to computing and has >20 years experience in software engineering and product development.

Tiff has a passion for crossing boundaries, for bringing art to STEM and STEM to art, and for technology/exercise crossovers. She has built interactive gaming installations for hackercamps, sold original ink drawings, postcards, laser cut lamps, quilts for care leavers, tactile murals about microbes and all manner of odd things.


Jon Coe has fifty-eight years of experience in design, creating enriching and sustainable habitats for people, plants, and animals. He has published over seventy papers and book chapters on zoo planning and design while developing two hundred ten projects for ninety-four zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, theme parks, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in thirteen nations on six continents.

More recently Jon has collaborated with ACI specialists to suggest ways animals can participate in co-design and exercise greater choice and control over their own lives.


Robert Kelly is a lecturer and course co-ordinator in Animal Management at the Isle of Wight College and visiting lecturer in the BSc Animal Science and Conservation programme at the University of Winchester. Alongside this, he is a current PhD student at the University of Exeter, conducting research into zoo animal welfare from a behavioural and ecological perspective. In doing so, he will use a range of mixed methods and evidence-based approaches to ascertain which wild behaviours should be promoted in captive environments.

Robert has around 10 years of experience in the zoo industry, having worked with a wide range of taxa, from armadillos to crocodiles. He is passionate in the use of environmental enrichment to help promote species-specific natural behaviours.


Paige Bwye is a PhD candidate at the University of Central Queensland; her research aims to evaluate the health status of koalas across Central Queensland through non-invasive methods that use faecal testing to determine diseases, stress values and intestinal microbiome diversity. 

Before the Australian sun, Paige spent ten years working in the dark at Bristol Zoos' nocturnal house. She supervised the care of a broad range of nocturnal Primates, Carnivora, Rodentia, Chiroptera, Dasyuromorphia and Diprotodontia. Interested in methods to improve their captive welfare, this began her journey into research and education conducting an MRes in Primatology and Conservation and hosting a BIAZA Nocturnal Mammal Workshop. In 2022 Paige received the BIAZA 'rising star' award for her impact on animal welfare, research and education of nocturnal mammals.

Moon Jam 2023 flower lights