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Social Events

The Department is a friendly and welcoming place, with various opportunities throughout the year for people from different research groups to socialise.

Department staff organize charity events from time to time (Macmillan cake sales, Movember moustaches); if you would like to organize something please let the Departmental Administrator know in advance.


Tea Room

The communal Tea Room, on the Second Floor of the main Zoology building, promotes interaction within and between groups, and a range of refreshments are available to purchase, including hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Opening hours to purchase food/drinks are 10:00 - 11:15 and 14:45-16:00, and the room is otherwise available for use at all times.

Please complete an order form and return it to Caroline, if you would like to make use of the Tea Room Flask Service.


Happy Hour

Happy Hour was established in 1995 on a £100 donation from the Department to encourage greater interaction across research groups, subject disciplines and all members of the Department. It still plays a part in making the Department the sociable, harmonious and interactive place it is today.

Happy Hour takes place every Friday in the Tea Room, from 5:30-20:00, and it's the best way to start your weekend and relax after a hard week's work.

The current organisers are Benjamin Jarrett and Anthony Lamb.


Newcomers' Welcome Reception

In November each year the Head of Department invites new members of the Department and their partners to an early evening Welcome Reception.

All Department staff are invited as it also provides an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate individual and group achievements from the last year.

In 2015 the reception will be held on 12th November.  Venue to be confirmed, this event will start at 5.00pm.


Professors' Award for Outstanding Contribution 

This annual award, established in 2011 in honour of retiring Professors Michael Bate, Charlie Ellington and Barry Keverne, is awarded at the Newcomers' Reception to one or more members of the Department who have gone that extra mile in their study or work during the last year.

All members of the Department are eligible to be nominated - students, teaching and research staff, and support staff.

2014 winners 


2013 winners, Ian Goldstone and Matthew Lowe, with Head of Department Professor Michael Akam
2012 winner, Anastasia Nezhentseva



Christmas Party

The Department organises a Christmas Party every year, which is always very popular. First year PhD students organise this event, putting their own spin on theme and decorations!

The party takes place in mid-December in the Elementary Lab from 12.30pm. Tickets are around £5, and include a raffle entry, food and drink.

Retired staff are invited to attend as guests of the Department.

Christmas Party 2014


Christmas Party 2013

christmas party
Christmas Party 2012


Madingley Barbecue

The famous Madingley barbecue takes place in June or July each year at the Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour. Tickets are around £5 each (children under 12 free) and are available from Zoology Reception and Madingley Reception once the date has been announced. The ticket price includes all food, and Happy Hour drinks are available. 


Lakenheath Fen

In May each year all staff and students in the Department are invited to visit the RSPB Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve, for a morning of informative bird watching and much-needed break from revision for Part II's!






Our principal aim is to provide a fun outdoors social activity that's (usually) completely non-competitive, open to all, and works on a come-when-you-want, just-turn-up policy. No skill/kit required, team sizes are undefined, and you don't even need to be from Zoology/UoC, so bring your friends! The game is very easy to play, a great place to meet incredibly nice fun-loving people from the department and beyond, and is almost always ridiculously amusing.

We meet Wednesdays or Thursdays during the spring/summer at around 6.30pm on Jesus Green (look for posts or ball throwing) where we play other like-minded teams from around Cambridge. After the game (around 7.30pm) we go to the Maypole for a bit of chat and a post-game drink.

Look on the tea room poster board for fixtures.



An interdepartmental cricket league is run each year between May and August. These friendly games are played on week-nights between 5.30-8.30 on picturesque college run grounds around Cambridge. Games take a 20/20 format, and everyone has an opportunity to bat or bowl.

We have practice net sessions during April, and people that haven't played before are encouraged to come along. Thanks to generous support from the Department of Zoology, the team has some good quality cricketing equipment.



The Zoology Zebras football team plays 11-a-side games usually on Sundays at 2.00.

We play in the MCR league against other departments and colleges and last season we got promoted to the first division where we are currently 4th. After Christmas there is a cup competition based on the European cup system (we won the UEFA cup equivalent two seasons ago).

The standard varies but is currently rather good and rising.