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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 Tea Room, on the Second Floor of the main Zoology building, is open 24/7 and provides an excellent opportunity to meet other colleagues and research groups in a pleasant and friendly environment. 

Happy Hour

Happy Hour was established in 1994 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. 

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.

2017 winners - Jacek Zalewski and Dan GreenProfessors' 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.

The 2016 winners were Paula McPhee, PA to the Head of Department, and Tim Weil, University Lecturer.

2016 Christmas Party
2016 Christmas Party

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.  

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. 



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.  This year we narrowly missed out on promotion to division 1.  We are currently playing in the cup competitions where we beat new boys Cambridge University Press 4-1 and then on Sunday lost very narrowly to a powerful and youthful Hughes Hall side 4-3.

The standard varies but is currently rather good and rising.


Annual trip to Lakenheath Fen

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 bird watching, with world-leading experts, and for a much-needed break from revision for Part II's!