Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Queen's University Belfast

I am a biologist interested in many aspects of animal behaviour and welfare. I have a research track record in animal contest behaviour, using predictions derived from game theory to better understand the information-gathering and decision-making processes underlying aggressive interactions.

I study a number of different animal species, including vertebrates and invertebrates. In addition to studying fundamental aspects of animal contest behaviour, I am also interested in addressing applied animal welfare problems associated with aggression. In this regard, I currently collaborate with researchers in Edinburgh on a project aimed at minimising aggression in pigs to improve welfare following regrouping. Another applied aspect that I am interested in is behavioural problems in dogs, including aggression.

I have published work across a number of animal behaviour and animal welfare topics. For animal behaviour, this includes; contest behaviour, sexual selection, animal personality, lateralization, cooperation, animal signals/displays, sex differences in behaviour, and behaviour related to conservation. For animal welfare this includes; dairy cow welfare, effects of early life stress (including prenatal), aggression in pigs, tail biting in pigs, effects of large litter size in pigs.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Queen's University Belfast