I am always interested in hearing from highly motivated potential PhD or Postdoc candidates. Please email me an outline (max. 400 words) of your main research interests and a short CV. 


Main research areas:

  • Animal Behaviour and Cognition

  • Animal Welfare

  • Vocal Communication

  • Public Attitudes to Animal Welfare 


Our research focuses on understanding how evolution, ecology and domestication have shaped the social behaviour, cognition and vocal communication. The current main model species for our research are goats, dogs, cattle, buffalo, kangaroos and chickens. We produce knowledge that is relevant to animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, as well as animal husbandry and welfare. We also study how public attitudes to animal welfare and sentience are formed.


Our goat research includes: cognitive bias, emotions, long-term recognition, personality, physical cognition, positive animal welfare, social cognition, social learning and social networks.

Current PhD


Marianne Mason (University of Roehampton, 2019 - present, co-supervised by Prof. Stuart Semple)

Goat perceptions of humans

Former Postdocs


Dr. Michael Mcloughlin (Queen Mary University of London; 2017-2019)
A self-contained wearable Internet-of-Things System for Precision Livestock Agriculture (Funded by Innovate UK/BBSRC),
with Dr. Becky Stewart, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London.

Dr. Katherine Herborn (Newcastle University, UK; 2015-2018)

Poultry Livestock Sensory System (PouLSS), (Funded by Innovate UK/BBSRC). Principal Investigator: Dr. Lucy Asher, Newcastle University.

Dr. Christian Nawroth (2015-2017)

Impact of Animal Socio-cognitive Skills on Human-animal
Interactions: Goats and Human Handlers

Dr. Elodie Briefer
Vocal communication, cognition and welfare in goats (Capra hircus)
See - Goat kids can develop accents

Dr. Ben Pitcher
Vocal mediation of intrasexual competition in fallow deer (Dama dama)

Former PhDs


Dr. Caroline Spence (Queen Mary University of London)

Understanding Public Attitudes to Animal Sentience and Welfare

Dr. Luigi Baciadonna (Queen Mary University of London)

Assessing emotions to improve animal welfare: the use of a multimodal approach

Dr. Elisabetta Vannoni (University of Zurich)
Natural and sexual selection at work: the structure and function of fallow deer (Dama dama) vocalisations

Dr. Monica Padilla de la Torre (University of Nottingham)
Vocal communication and temperament in cattle (Bos taurus)

ASAB, British Deer Society, ESRC, Farm Sanctuary, Fondation Fyssen, German Research Foundation, Innovate UK/BBSRC, Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, Swiss National Science Foundation.

There are always potential research projects in my group. See a possible source of postdoc funding below. If interested, feel free to contact me. 

EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Funding