Animal behaviour

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


Search publications written by members of this group.

Search for a research paper

27 papers found

  • Journal article

    A domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) model of triarchic psychopathy factors: Development and initial validation of the CAT-Tri+ questionnaire

    Evans R, Lyons M and Brewer G and Bethell E

    Publish date:01/12/2021

  • Journal article

    Noninvasive Technologies for Primate Conservation in the 21st Century

    Piel AK, Crunchant A, Knot IE, Chalmers C, Fergus P and Mulero Pazmany MC and Wich SA

    Publish date:22/10/2021

  • Journal article

    The costs of urban living: human-wildlife interactions increase parasite risk and self-directed behaviour in urban vervet monkeys

    Thatcher H and Downs C and Koyama N

    Publish date:12/10/2021

  • Journal article

    Intergroup lethal gang attacks in wild crested macaques, Macaca nigra

    Martínez-Íñigo L, Engelhardt A, Agil M and Pilot M and Majolo B

    Publish date:01/10/2021

  • Journal article

    Orangutan information broadcast via consonant-like and vowel-like calls breaches mathematical models of linguistic evolution

    Lameira AR, Alexandre A, Gamba M, Nowak MG and Vicente R and Wich S

    Publish date:29/09/2021

  • Journal article

    Modelling Animal Biodiversity Using Acoustic Monitoring and Deep Learning

    Chalmers C, Fergus P and Wich S and Longmore SN

    Publish date:18/07/2021


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