Projects per year
My research interests are concentrated around the following general themes:
Behavioural development and health
Prenatal development of human fetal behaviour: The use of fetal behaviour as a diagnostic tool to detect handicap; quantitative analysis of the development of behaviour and behavioural states in the human fetus; learning and sensory development in the human fetus and its relation to the developing CNS; assessing neural effects of environmental teratogens, including drugs of abuse, in utero; maternal effects on the developing fetus; fetal behaviour in fetuses with neural abnormalities.
Comparative behavioural development: comparison of embryonic and neonatal neurobehavioural development in amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals to explore common and unique aspects of early development; fetal development in the dog and fading puppy syndrome as a model for SIDS in human infants; fetal and neonatal development in the sheep and its relation to neonatal mortalilty and vigour.
Kin recognition: the development and mechanisms of kin recognition; the influence of kinship on the social behaviour of animals; developmental mechanisms of kin recognition. Olfaction: olfactory detection in dogs; primate olfaction; comparative olfactory acuity. Animal Welfare: study of behaviour in zoo animals, in particular behaviour in endangered species undergoing breeding programmes for species survival; enrichment programmes for 'captive' animals; welfare in captive reptiles; welfare in rescue shelter animals.
Psychosocial outcome of facial disfigurement
The effect of cleft lip and palate on health, psychological and social well-being; features of dentition and mandible growth and their role in determining attractiveness; psychological impact of orthodontic surgery; factors determining patient willingness to undergo orthodontic surgery.
I currently teach:
PSY1006 Everday Psychology - Criminal Profiling, Touch, Threat assessment, School shootings
PSY2062 - Interviewing
PSY3080 - Psychology of Serial Killers
I teach Governance, Ethics at Postgraduate level.
I undertook a BSc(Hons) in Psychology at the University of Exeter and then moved to the psychology department in Durham to complete a PhD on "Kin Recognition in the Rat" supervised by Prof MJ Morgan. I then came to Queen’s Belfast and was appointed as Professor in 1993. I am a chartered psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In 2007 I was awarded The Thomas R. Verny Award for Outstanding Contributions to Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health by the American Association of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology & Health.
R1716PSY: Cognitive inhibition during threat in PTSD: Effects of dissociation and anxiety <PSYCHOLOGY/MEDICINE>
01/08/2005 → …
R1157PSY: Lateralised behaviour as a predictor of welfare risk in the domestic dog, Canis familiaris
01/08/2013 → 31/08/2017
Lack of association between paw preference and behaviour problems in the domestic dog, Canis familiarisWells, D. L., Hepper, P. G., Milligan, A. D. S. & Barnard, S., 12 Oct 2018, In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)149 Downloads (Pure)
Wells, D. L. & Hepper, P. G., 23 Oct 2018, In: Symmetry. 10, 11, 15 p., 538.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile5 Citations (Scopus)178 Downloads (Pure)
Wells, D. L. & Hepper, P. G., Jan 2018, In: Animal Behaviour. 135, p. 37-43 7 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile7 Citations (Scopus)271 Downloads (Pure)
Wells, D., Milligan, A., Arnott, G. & Hepper, P., 27 Apr 2018, In: Scientific Reports.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile13 Citations (Scopus)193 Downloads (Pure)
Wells, D. L., Hepper, P. G., Milligan, A. D. S. & Barnard, S., Apr 2018, In: Behavioural Processes. 149, p. 1-7
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Citations (Scopus)227 Downloads (Pure)
The Thomas R. Verny Award for Outstanding Contributions to Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health
Hepper, Peter (Recipient), 2007
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)
Peter Hepper (Invited speaker)12 Jul 2016 → 16 Jul 2016