Call for participation / Aims / Organisers / Details / Outputs


Workshop at ACI2021, hosted online by Indiana University Bloomsbury
Monday 8th November 2021, 9:00-17:00 EST

Call for participation

Offering environmental enrichment to zoo-housed animals is now standard practice in many zoos, as it is known to enhance welfare by facilitating the expression of natural behaviour. However, in regard to the provision of enrichment and consequent evaluation of its efficacy, some animals seem better served than others. This workshop focuses on reptiles and will explore what kinds of enrichment are appropriate for meeting key behavioural goals. Bringing together knowledge and skills from the animal expert, computer science and interaction design communities, we hope to co-create some novel experiences for these animals, using technology as an enabler.

We invite participants from a wide range of backgrounds, including but not limited to animal welfare, herpetology, game design, computer science, engineering, education, HCI and ACI, animal behaviour and environmental enrichment. This is an opportunity for those with an interest in designing experiences for captive reptiles to share ideas and explore the potential of using technology to enhance reptilian environmental enrichment opportunities. The workshop will facilitate collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice, offering everyone an exciting opportunity for creative development.

During the workshop, we will discuss enrichment goals provided by domain experts and explore ideas in small teams. As the day progresses, people are encouraged to move between teams and focus on one species for a focused concept development session. Ideas will be presented and shared with the wider community.

If you are interested in joining us, please register via EventBrite ReptileJam, and we 'll be in touch with more information about the event! Any questions, please email Fiona French or Leah Williams.




Fiona French  is a Senior Lecturer in Computing at London Metropolitan University. Fiona is course leader for BSc Games Programming; she teaches game design and development and AI. She has co-organised several game jams, as well as ideation workshops and ZooJams at previous ACI conferences.

Fiona’s recent research with animals has involved designing and developing playful interactive systems for elephants, in order to provide cognitive and sensory stimulation.


Leah Williams  is Lead Conservation Scientist at Chester Zoo. Leah has a background in animal behavior and welfare research in zoo animals with a particular focus on birds and lower vertebrates.

Leah’s research has focused on evaluating environmental enrichment, the impact of sound on zoo animal welfare, evaluating enclosure design and reproductive and social behavior across a number of species.


Jon Coe has fifty-six 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.


Lewis Single: A Michigan native, Lewis has worked across the country as an AZA herpetologist. After the completion of his Bachelor’s in Zoology, Lewis interned with the Detroit Zoo, worked seasonally with the Brookfield Zoo, and then full time with Zoo Tampa in Florida. After 8 years as a keeper, Lewis transitioned back to the Midwest moving into management with the Indianapolis Zoo. Lewis currently serves as Deserts Area Manager.

Outside of work Lewis enjoys cooking, carpentry, and being a goofy husband & father (1.5-year-old boy & 3.5-year-old girl).


Eduardo J. Fernandez is currently a Senior Lecturer of Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology (minors in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior) from Indiana University and his M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. 

Much of his past and current work involves the behavioral training and welfare of zoo, aquarium, and companion animals. His past positions include a Visiting Professorship in the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology, an Affiliate Assistant Professorship in the Psychology Department at the University of Washington, a Research Fellowship with Woodland Park Zoo, and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Christopher Flynn Martin is a Research Scientist at The Indianapolis Zoo. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Primatology from Kyoto University, and a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania. He is an adjunct professor at Indiana University and the founder of Zenrichment, a company that designs and builds computer touch-panel devices and software for animal cognitive research and enrichment in zoos.

Dr. Martin’s research interests include great ape social cognition, communication, imitation, and strategic reasoning. At Indianapolis Zoo he conducts daily touch-panel research with the orangutans at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, which is equipped with a shared touch-panel system that accommodates visitor/orangutan interaction over shared touch-panel software, creating an immersive educational opportunity for the public and advancing the Center’s goal of orangutan conservation.