Animal Cognition Research Group
Active in both the lab and in the field
Our research focuses on the interactions between animal (including human) cognition, ecology and social behaviour within an evolutionary framework.
We investigate both proximate and ultimate questions, in the lab and in the field, in order to understand the mechanisms, development, adaptive value and evolution of animal cognition.
Staff experimentally investigate personality and leadership in birds, cognitive bias in hamsters and rhesus macaques and the neural mechanisms of somatosensation, olfaction and emotional behaviour. We are active in the field and engage in international collaborative projects in Puerto Rico, South Africa, the U.S. and Australia studying rhesus macaques, baboons, samango monkeys and birds.
Case study highlight
Developing attention bias as a novel measure of welfare in captive macaques – Dr Emily Bethell
(Details to follow)
Current MPhil projects
- To mix or not to mix? Evaluating breeding performance in mixed species bird enclosures within European zoos – Yvette Foulds
- The effect of genotype on attention bias in rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, as a welfare indicator – Isabelle Szott
- What is Neutral?: Studying attention bias in Rhesus Macaques, Macaca mulatta, towards three different facial expressions – Harriet Thatcher
Recent PhD projects
- Social relationships and social skills of young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in captivity – Samina H. Farooqi, 2013
Opportunities for MPhil/PhD
If you’re interested in an MPhil or a PhD please contact the relevant member of staff below to discuss possible supervision and research direction.
If you are interested in our MSc programme, see the course fact file: Primate Behaviour and Conservation (MSc).
Meet the researchers within this group:
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Meet the PhD students within this research area.
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5 papers found
Adapting effects of emotional expression in anxiety: evidence for an enhanced Late Positive Potential
Richards A, Holmes A and Pell P and Bethell EJ
Optimism and pasture access in dairy cows
Studying Primates: How to Design, Conduct and Report Primatological Research
Developing and validating attention bias tools for assessing trait and state affect in animals: A worked example with Macaca mulatta
Howarth ERI, Kemp C, Thatcher HR, Szott ID, Farningham D, Witham CL, Holmes A and Semple S and Bethell EJ
Effects of Acute Tryptophan Depletion on Human Taste Perception
Smith SA, Trotter PD and McGlone FP and Walker SC