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Honorary Lecturer, University of Exeter

Philippa Brakes is a behavioural ecologist and marine mammal biologist. Her research on social learning and culture in cetaceans and other non-humans aims to unravel how these processes influence conservation and welfare outcomes for wildlife. She has worked with a wide range of vertebrate species and is interested in how perceptions of wildlife vary across human cultures, as well as how adaptive and maladaptive information is transmitted within and between human and non-human cultures. She is a Research Fellow with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Exeter, and a member of the IOC-UNESCO Project on Advancing Strategic Ocean Communication Messages and Messengers Chapter Group. Since 2014, she has been spearheading the work on animal culture and conservation through the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, where she is the Chair of the Expert Group on Animal Culture and Social Complexity, a network of more than 80 experts in this field.

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology,
MSc Biological Research Methods
PhD Behavioural Ecology and Conservation


  • –present
    Honorary Lecturer, University of Exeter