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

24 papers found

  • Journal article

    Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) Mapping with Details: Smallholder versus Industrial Plantations and their Extent in Riau, Sumatra

    Descals A, Szantoi Z, Meijaard E, Sutikno H and Rindanata G and Wich S

    Publish date:05/11/2019 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Pasture Access Affects Behavioral Indicators of Wellbeing in Dairy Cows

    Crump A and Bethell E and Arnott G

    Publish date:01/11/2019 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Macaques can contribute to greener practices in oil palm plantations when used as biological pest control

    Holzner A, Ruppert N, Swat F, Schmidt M, Weiß BM, Villa G, Mansor A, Mohd Sah SA, Engelhardt A and Kühl H and Widdig A

    Publish date:21/10/2019 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Requirements and Limitations of Thermal Drones for Effective Search and Rescue in Marine and Coastal Areas

    Burke C, McWhirter P, Veitch-Michaelis J, McAree O, Pointon H and Wich S and Longmore S

    Publish date:14/10/2019 00:00:00

  • Internet publication

    The Macaque Stimulus Set

    Witham C and Bethell E

    Publish date:07/10/2019 00:00:00

  • Journal article

    Positive and negative interactions with humans concurrently affect vervet monkey, Chlorocebus pygerythrus, ranging behavior

    Thatcher H and Downs C and Koyama N

    Publish date:09/08/2019 00:00:00


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