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.

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

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

22 papers found

  • Journal article

    Orangutan movement and population dynamics across human-modified landscapes: implications of policy and management

    Seaman DJI, Voigt M, Bocedi G, Travis JMJ, Palmer SCF, Ancrenaz M, Wich S, Meijaard E, Bernard H, Deere NJ and Humle T and Struebig MJ

    Publish date:26/06/2021

  • Journal article

    An evaluation of the factors affecting ‘poacher’ detection with drones and the efficacy of machine-learning for detection

    Doull KE, Chalmers C, Fergus P, Longmore S and Piel AK and Wich SA

    Publish date:13/06/2021

  • Journal article

    Predicting range shifts of African apes under global change scenarios

    Carvalho JS, Graham B, Bocksberger G, Maisels F, Williamson EA, Wich S, Sop T, Amarasekaran B, Barca B, Barrie A, Bergl RA, Boesch C, Boesch H, Brncic TM, Buys B, Chancellor R, Danquah E, Doumbé OA, Le-Duc SY, Galat-Luong A, Ganas J, Gatti S, Ghiurghi A, Goedmakers A, Granier N, Hakizimana D, Haurez B, Head J, Herbinger I, Hillers A, Jones S, Junker J, Maputla N, Manasseh EN, McCarthy MS, Molokwu-Odozi M, Morgan BJ, Nakashima Y, N’Goran PK, Nixon S, Nkembi L, Normand E, Nzooh LDZ, Olson SH, Payne L, Petre CA, Piel AK, Pintea L, Plumptre AJ, Rundus A, Serckx A, Stewart FA, Sunderland-Groves J, Tagg N, Todd A, Vosper A, Wenceslau JFC, Wessling EG and Willie J and Kühl HS

    Publish date:07/06/2021

  • Journal article

    Erratum: Ecological correlates of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) density in Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania (PLoS ONE (2021) 16:2 (e0246628) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246628)

    Chitayat AB, Wich SA, Lewis M and Stewart FA and Piel AK

    Publish date:01/06/2021

  • Journal article

    Conservation AI: Live Stream Analysis for the Detection of Endangered Species Using Convolutional Neural Networks and Drone Technology

    Chalmers C, Fergus P and Wich S and Montanez AC

    Publish date:26/05/2021

  • Journal article

    Non-invasive assessment of metabolic responses to food restriction using urinary triiodothyronine and cortisol measurement in macaques

    Sadoughi B, Girard-Buttoz C, Engelhardt A and Heistermann M and Ostner J

    Publish date:15/05/2021


Meet the researchers within this group:

  • ALL
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Loading staff profiles…