Ape in long grass

Exploring the Evolution of Animal Minds

Our animal psychology research in the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology (CCEP) is helping us better understand human evolution 

The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology (CCEP) is a multidisciplinary team of psychologists (developmental, cognitive, social and biological) and behavioural biologists.

Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology is the scientific study of the origins of mind and behaviour, and our work explores the evolutionary processes underpinning human behaviour and the comparison of humans with other animals. We have particular expertise in comparative social and spatial cognition, emotion, communication and facial expression.

Within the Centre (and in our Dog Cognition Centre) we are exploring the origins of mind and behaviour through the consideration of evolutionary processes and the comparison of humans with other animals. We're interested in how social structures are formed and how we can apply evolutionary thinking to understand today's problems.

And through a deeper understanding of the minds and behaviours of animals, we're exploring how humans have evolved – from how social structures are formed, to the ways in which evolutionary thinking can help solve the problems of today. Our research portal, Pure, has a full list of our staff and researchers working in this area.

You can also follow the Centre on Twitter @UoP_CCEP or email the Centre directly at ccep@port.ac.uk.

Research

Our research covers the following topics:

  • Human Evolutionary Psychology – including facial attractiveness; flirting; disgust sensitivity; olfaction; human facial expression; hormones and behaviour; personality; emotion; cooperation; human development
  • Primate Cognition – including communication; facial expression; FACS; acoustics; friendship; comparative developmental psychology; theory of mind; emotion; laughter; cooperation; reputation formation; competition; social learning; personality and learning; joint attention; decision-making; executive functioning; spatial cognition
  • Human-Animal Interaction, Conservation and Welfare – including conservation and rehabilitation of orangutans and sun bears in Borneo, elephant conservation, companion and working equid welfare; indices of positive emotion; stereotypies and maladaptive behaviour, public engagement in science, enrichment, education programs in Indonesia, animal advocacy and animal rights; animal–assisted therapy
  • Domestication and Cognition – including influence of domestication on cognition; animal-human communication; theory of mind in dogs; horse social cognition and behaviour; facial expressions; secondary emotions; emotion expression and perception, cooperation; reputation formation; inequity aversion; multi-sensory perception; physiological indices of emotion; friendship 

    Recent publication highlights include:

    Our members

    Juliane Kaminski Portrait

    Dr Juliane Kaminski

    Reader in Comparative Psychology

    Juliane.Kaminski@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Kim A Bard Portrait

    Professor Kim A. Bard

    Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology

    Kim.Bard@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Marina Davila Ross Portrait

    Dr Marina Davila Ross

    Reader in Comparative Psychology

    Marina.Davila-Ross@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Lena Grinsted Portrait

    Dr Lena Grinsted

    Senior Lecturer

    Lena.Grinsted@port.ac.uk

    School of Biological Sciences

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Esther Herrmann Portrait

    Dr Esther Herrmann

    Senior Lecturer

    Esther.Herrmann@port.ac.uk

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Marine Michell Joly Portrait

    Dr Marine Joly

    Senior Lecturer

    marine.joly@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Jerome Francois Micheletta Portrait

    Dr Jerome Micheletta

    Reader in Animal Behaviour

    Jerome.Micheletta@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Read more
    Sophie Jane Milward Portrait

    Dr Sophie Milward

    Senior Lecturer

    sophie.milward@port.ac.uk

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    User profile default icon

    Dr Paul Morris

    Principal Lecturer

    Paul.Morris@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    Read more
    Edward Ralph Morrison Portrait

    Mr Ed Morrison

    Senior Lecturer

    Ed.Morrison@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Leanne Clare Proops Portrait

    Dr Leanne Proops

    Associate Head (Research and Innovation)

    leanne.proops@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more
    Lorenzo Dante Stafford Portrait

    Dr Lorenzo Stafford

    Reader in Psychobiological Psychology

    Lorenzo.Stafford@port.ac.uk

    Department of Psychology

    Faculty of Science and Health

    PhD Supervisor

    Read more

    Current postdoctoral researchers: Alan Rincon

    Current postgraduate researchers: Olivia Barber, Violet Burek, James Clay, Madeleine Cleal, Peter Clark, Fabio Crepaldi, Melody Darblade, Barbara Fontana, Alexander Freemantle, Emily Haddy, Jennifer Leighton, Kate Lewis, Louise Loyant, Claire Perez, Florence Rocque, Jasmine Rollings, Laura Saunders, Derry Taylor

    Interested in postgraduate study in Psychology?

    Browse our postgraduate research projects at our Psychology research degrees page, visit the MRes Science and Health page, or search our Master's degrees in Psychology.

     



    Internships and volunteering opportunities at the CCEP

    We also offer internships and volunteering opportunities, please contact one of our member directly or the CCEP director, Juliane Kaminski.

    Partnerships and funding

    Our partnerships include:

    • Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight – in partnership with Monkey Haven, we conduct cognitive and behavioural studies with rescued primates
    • The Macaca Nigra Project in Indonesia – we're linked with this unique fieldsite to study the behaviour of wild crested macaques
    • The Donkey Sanctuary – we collaborate with the sanctuary on research into the behavioural and logistical support needed for global welfare projects
    • Zantiks Ltd – the only company that designs and builds customised behavioural testing environments for zebrafish, and our work is helping with their development

    Our recent funders include the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Leverhulme Trust, Marie Curie, the British Academy , The Leakey Foundation, The Waltham Foundation and the Royal Society. You can also see a full list of our recent funding awards at our research portal.

    Our facilities

    Dog Cognition Centre

    In the Dog Cognition Centre, we're exploring the behaviour and cognitive processes of man's best friend – and studying everything from human-dog communication, to facial expressions in dogs.

    Smiling labrador dog
    Find out more