Social behaviour, ecology and conservation

Investigating behavioural interactions, underlying cognitive mechanisms and ecological pressures within an evolutionary context

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


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

We use observational, experimental, field, laboratory and modelling approaches in our research. We are engaged in several international collaborative projects on topics ranging from the regulation of social relationships to more recent developments in evolutionary psychology, cognitive evolution and captive welfare.

Current collaborations

  • Caribbean Primate Research Center
  • DPZ German Primate Center
  • MRC Center for Macaques
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Durham University
  • University of Venda
  • Lajuma Research Centre
  • University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

  • Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
  • Orangutan Information Centre
  • University of Kent
  • Bournemouth University
  • University of Leipzig
  • Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris
  • Portsmouth University
  • Bogor Agricultural University
  • Universitas Sam Ratulangi
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia


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6 papers found

  • Journal article

    A practical approach with drones, smartphones, and tracking tags for potential real-time animal tracking

    Mesquita GP, Mulero-Pázmány M and Wich SA and Rodríguez-Teijeiro JD

    Publish date:18/04/2022

  • Journal article

    Pasture access and eye temperature in dairy cows.

    Crump A, Jenkins K, Bethell EJ and Ferris CP and Arnott G

    Publish date:13/04/2022

  • Journal article

    Response: Where Might We Find Ecologically Intact Communities?

    Plumptre AJ, Baisero D, Benítez-López A, Faurby S, Gallego-Zamorano J, Kühl HS, Luna-Aranguré C, Vázquez-Domínguez E, Voigt M and Wich S and Wint GRW

    Publish date:05/04/2022

  • Journal article

    Sociality predicts orangutan vocal phenotype

    Lameira AR, Santamaría-Bonfil G, Galeone4, D, Gamba M, Hardus ME, Knott CD, Morrogh-Bernard H, Nowak MG and Campbell-Smith G and Wich S

    Publish date:21/03/2022

  • Journal article

    Behavioural responses to spatial variation in perceived predation risk and resource availability in an arboreal primate

    Parker E and Hill R and Koyama NF

    Publish date:08/02/2022

  • Journal article

    Detecting spider monkeys from the sky using a high-definition RGB camera: a rapid-assessment survey method?

    Spaan D, Di Fiore A, Rangel-Rivera CE, Hutschenreiter A and Wich SA and Aureli F

    Publish date:06/01/2022

Showing 6 papers


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