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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