• Room 02.511 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Animal welfare, animal behaviour, laterality, pet-human bond, dogs, cat, zoo animals

1992 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


I graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1992 with a first class Honours degree in Psychology.  I went on to pursue a PhD in QUB on the welfare of kennelled dogs, graduating with my Doctorate in 1996.  After several years of post-doc research, I was appointed to a lectureship in Animal Welfare in 1999.  I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004 and to Reader in 2013.

Research Interests

My research concentrates on animal behaviour and welfare, with a particular focus on the domestic dog.  Much of my work has been concerned with exploring the welfare of animals housed in captivity (e.g. zoos, rescue kennels) and finding ways of improving psychological well-being through the implementation of novel and scientifically tested enrichment strategies. Other research areas include pets and human health, behaviour problems in companion animals and, more recently, laterality in animals.


I teach at Level 1 (Introductory Psychology) and Level 3 (Animal Behaviour) on the UG curriculum.  I supervise Level 1 and Level 2 project groups and final year thesis students.  I currently have one PhD student, studying laterality in cats.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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