For use on the Macaque Project web page ONLY

University of Portsmouth Macaque Project

Find out more about the exciting work taking place within our Macaque research group

Within the Macaque Project, we are interested in macaque social behaviour and cognition, welfare and conservation. We use different methods (e.g. observations and controlled studies) to gain a better understanding of how macaques interact with each other and their environment. We have established a set of unique facilities for cognitive and behavioural research with captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the Monkey Haven (Isle of Wight), Barbary macaques (M, sylvanus) at Trentham Monkey Forest and with wild crested macaques (M. nigra) and wild Moor macaques (M. maura) in Sulawesi, Indonesia. 


Research objectives

Cognition and Social Behaviour

Our primary area of interest is the evolution and function of communicative signals and cognitive skills in primates. Thanks to our links with the Monkey Haven and other European zoological institutions, we have a unique opportunity to study a number of macaque species, including highly understudied species.

Animal welfare

Alongside our work on macaques’ behaviour, cognition and communication, we are strongly interested in applying the principles that explain variation in individuals’ socio-cognitive abilities into welfare consequences.

Conservation and Education

Macaque species around the world face significant threats from habitat loss, climate change and growing human population. We are committed to help protect the local macaque populations and their habitats, and we are involved in educational programmes that aim to foster sustainable coexistence among macaques and people.

Public engagement with science

We want to foster understanding and interest about the research we do, and are equally interested in how people perceive our work. Thus, all the research conducted at the Monkey Haven and the Trentham Monkey Forest is on direct public view.

Field Sites

Our work is conducted at different sites, including the long term field site projects:

Macaca nigra Project

Macaca maura Project

Interested in working with us?

We are keen to hear from highly motivated potential MRes, PhD or postdoctoral candidates interested in working with us. We also consider students interested in gaining experience in research. If interested, please contact one of the staff members (see below) for further details.


Meet the team

Marine Michell Joly Portrait

Dr Marine Joly

Associate Professor in Cognitive Ethology

Department of Psychology

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Jerome Francois Micheletta Portrait

Dr Jerome Micheletta

Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour

Department of Psychology

PhD Supervisor

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Dr Teresa Romero

Senior Lecturer

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Research assistants

Our team is supported by postgraduate students and research assistants:

  • Luke Collins - PhD student
  • Claire Perez - PhD student
  • Vasco Martin - Research Assistant


  • Dr Peter Clarke
  • Dr Louise Loyant
  • Dr Jamie Whitehouse



Our research is supported by several funders, including the British Academy/Leverhulme, Leverhulme Trust, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (EU-FP7), British Psychological Society.

Explore our research

Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology

In the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology, we're exploring evolutionary processes and comparing humans with other animals, to study the origins of behaviour.

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Centre for interaction, development and diversity

In the Centre for Interaction, Development and Diversity, we study psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge.

Children enjoying the pool with family at Ravelin Sport Centre.
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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