Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
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.
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:
Current Biology, Volume 28, Issue 9, 2018, pages 1428-1432, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.03.035, Leanne Proops, Kate Grounds, Amy Victoria Smith, Karen McComb
Proc. R. Soc. B 284: 20162738, 2017, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2738, M. Joly, J. Micheletta, A. De Marco, J.A. Langermans, E.H.M. Sterck, B.M. Waller
Psychological Science, Volume: 29 issue: 4, pages 594-603, DOI: 10.1177/0956797617740685, Kim A. Bard, William D. Hopkins
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019, 201820653; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820653116, Juliane Kaminski, Bridget M. Waller, Rui Diogo, Adam Hartstone-Rose, Anne M. Burrows
Scientific Reports, 2019, 9:4961, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39932-6, Derry Taylor, Daniela Hartmann, Guillaume Dezecache, Siew Te Wong & Marina Davila-Ross
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?
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.