My research is focused on the ecological approach to psychology. Within this theoretical framework I have a diverse range of interests including secondary emotions in animals and infants, animal personality, inter species communication and the embodiment of emotions and intentions. Taking as inspiration the work of John Dewey and James Gibson (amongst others), I think that emotions and intentions should be considered as being created in the transaction between an organism and its social and physical world, rather than as private, internal mental events. My research leads me to question ‘theory of mind’ approaches to understanding; I am also sceptical of the traditional scientific scepticism of animal consciousness.
I completed my PhD under the supervision of Professor Tony Gale at the University of Southampton. I then spent several years working for pharmaceutical companies on the development of anti-depressants and neuroleptics before returning to academia at Portsmouth.