I'm a Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour and Welfare interested in animal social cognition, communication and behaviour. I investigate the extent to which social species possess complex cognitive and communicative skills. I’m also interested in animal welfare and human-animal interactions.


I am currently Associate Head for Research and Innovation in the Psychology Department, having joined Portsmouth in 2016. Prior to this, I held postdoc positions at Sussex University and The University of Tokyo. I completed my PhD in Psychology at Sussex University, have an MSc (dist.) in Animal Behaviour from Exeter University and a BSc (1st) in Experimental Psychology from Sussex. I also spent several years working in an acquired brain injury unit and a community mental health project before returning to academia to pursue my interests in animal behaviour.

Research interests

I'm a member of the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology and my current research projects include:

Comparative Social Cognition. Studying the function and evolution of social abilities in rats and domestic species, with a focus on comparative equid cognition (horses, donkeys and mules).

Evolutionary Thanatology. Examining death-related behaviours across animal species, with an emphasis on understanding the proximate mechanisms and evolutionary origins of these behaviours. 

One Welfare: Using a one welfare approach that acknowledges the interconnectedness of human wellbeing, animal welfare and environmental health to improve the lives of working animals and those that depend on them.

Human-Animal Interactions: Investigating cross-species communication, human attitudes to animals, and the role animals play in human wellbeing.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on our undergraduate BSc Psychology and Forensic Psychology courses. I coordinate the Level 4 module Perspectives in Psychology and am a tutor for Level 4 & 5 students. I also supervise PhD students, Masters students and undergraduate project students.