Animal behaviour

Social behaviour, ecology and conservation

Investigating the interactions between social behaviour, ecology and cognition

Our key areas of interest are the evolution of animal societies and the interactions that occur within these societies and their link to emotion, cognition and communication. 


By studying these interactions, we can help certain species in terms of wildlife conservation and the improvement of animal welfare in captive settings. Although there is a focus on studies of primates (including humans), our research extends to other species including banded mongoose and birds.

We are using observational, experimental and modelling approaches in our research. We carry out several international collaborative projects on topics ranging from the regulation of social relationships to more recent developments in evolutionary psychology and cognitive evolution.

Impact case study: Community development and capacity building as key aspects of conservation strategy

Current collaborations

  • Caribbean Primate Research Center
  • University of Amsterdam
  • McGill University
  • St Andrews University
  • University of Exeter
  • Bielefeld University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Durham University
  • University of Venda
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
  • Orangutan Information Centre
  • University of Kent
  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Amsterdam


Search publications written by members of this group.

Search for a research paper

7 papers found

  • Journal article

    Grouping behavior of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis) living in forest with low fruit abundance

    Roth TS, Rianti P, Fredriksson GM and Wich S and Nowak MG

    Publish date:18/03/2020 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Palm fruit colours are linked with the broad-scale distribution and diversification of primate colour vision systems

    Onstein R, Vink D, Veen J, Barratt C, Flantua S and Wich S and Kissling D

    Publish date:28/02/2020 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Scent marking strategies of a solitary carnivore: boundary and road scent marking in the leopard

    Rafiq K, Jordan N, Meloro C, Wilson A, Hayward MW and Wich S and McNutt JW

    Publish date:18/02/2020 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    A catastrophic tropical drought kills hydraulically vulnerable tree species.

    Powers JS, Vargas-G G, Brodribb TJ, Schwartz NB, Perez-Aviles D, Smith-Martin CM, Becknell JM, Aureli F, Blanco R, Calderón-Morales E, Calvo-Alvarado JC, Calvo-Obando AJ, Chavarría MM, Carvajal-Vanegas D, Dionisio Jiménez-Rodríguez C, Murillo Chacon E, Schaffner CM, Werden LK and Xu X and Medvigy D

    Publish date:13/02/2020 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Envisioning a future for Bornean orangutans: Conservation impacts of action plan implementation and recommendations for improved population outcomes

    Sherman J, Ancrenaz M, Voigt M, Oram F, Santika T and Wich S and Meijaard E

    Publish date:01/02/2020 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Conservation and the social sciences: beyond critique and co-optation. A case study from orangutan conservation

    Chua, L and Wich S

    Publish date:20/01/2020 00:00:00


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