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Personal profile

Research interests

My main research interests are in the areas of primate behaviour, conservation and welfare. I have a particular interest in primate communication; my work in this field extends from doctoral studies on behavioural deception and macaque vocalizations, to more recent research on language evolution. I collaborate frequently across disciplinary boundaries, on projects that combine approaches from biological anthropology with those from psychology, social anthropology and quantitative linguistics.

Grants awarded

Santander (£480) 2016 "Identifying universal principles of natural systems" (Principal Investigator)

Leverhulme Trust (£285,389) 2013 "Emotional awareness as a basis for social success in a non-human: the domestic horse" (Co-investigator. Principal investigator - Prof Karen McComb, Sussex University)

NC3Rs (£74,433) 2013 "Attention bias: a novel method to assess psychological wellbeing in group-housed non-human primates" (Co-investigator. Principal investigator - Dr Emily Bethell, Liverpool John Moores University)

Leakey Foundation ($10,380) 2008 "Hedonic benefits of grooming in Barbary macaques" (Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator - Dr Julia Lehmann, University of Roehampton)

Darwin Initiative Scoping Award (£2,972) 2006 "Post release monitoring of orangutans in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah" (Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator - Dr Caroline Ross, University of Roehampton)

Wenner Gren Foundation ($9,730) 2005 "Mother-offspring communication in rhesus macaques: the role of bystanders" (Principal Investigator)


My undergraduate and masters teaching is in the areas of zoology and primatology. 

PhD Students

Marianne Mason (2019-) - "Goats' perception of humans"

Zina Morbach (2015-2019) - "Resilience in wild Barbary macaques"

Former PhD Students

James Higham (awarded 2006) - "The reproductive ecology of female olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) at Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Nigeria"

Chris Sandbrook (awarded 2007) - "Who are the true ecotourists? Evaluating the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda."

Emily Bethell (awarded 2010) - "Cognitive bias in rhesus macaques"

Lauren Brent (awarded 2010) - "Stress, reproduction and social behaviour in non-human primates"

Nienke Alberts (awarded 2012) - "Fission-fusion sociality in olive baboons"

David Inglis (awarded 2014) - "Communication and social behaviour of olive baboons"

Charlotte Carne (awarded 2014) - "Modelling approaches to primate conservation"

Laetitia Marechal (awarded 2015) - "An interdisciplinary anthropological study of primate tourism"



Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or