Department of Psychology

Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology


Study with us           Publications           Facilities           Media           Funding


The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology is a multidisciplinary team of psychologists (developmental, cognitive, social and biological) and behavioural biologists who explore the origins of mind and behaviour through the consideration of evolutionary processes and the comparison of humans with other animals.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Research Areas

Human Evolutionary Psychology

Human Evolutionary Psychology

Topics: Facial attractiveness; flirting; disgust sensitivity; olfaction; human facial expression; hormones and behaviour; personality; emotion; cooperation; human development

People: Ed Morrison, Diana Fleischman, Lorenzo Stafford, Bridget Waller, Paul Morris, Roger MooreErik Gustafsson, Juliane Kaminski

Primate Social Cognition

Primate Social Cognition

Topics: Communication; facial expression; FACS; acoustics; friendship; comparative developmental psychology; theory of mind; emotion; laughter; cooperation; reputation formation; competition; social learning; personality and learning; joint attention

People: Kim BardMarina Davila-RossJuliane KaminskiBridget Waller, Jerome Micheletta, Erik Gustafsson

Primate Social Cognition - Apes

Human-animal interaction, Conservation and Welfare

Topics: Conservation and rehabilitation of orangutans and sun bears in Borneo, elephant conservation, companion and working equid welfare; indices of positive emotion; stereotypies and maladaptive behaviour, public engagement in science, enrichment, education programs in Indonesia, animal advocacy and animal rights; animal–assisted therapy

People: Marina Davila-Ross, Leanne Proops, Matt Parker, Bridget Waller, Jerome Micheletta, Diana Fleischman

Domestication and Cognition

Domestication and Cognition

Topics: Influence of domestication on cognition; animal-human communication; theory of mind in dogs; horse social cognition and behaviour; facial expressions; secondary emotions; emotion expression and perception, cooperation; reputation formation; inequity aversion; multisensory perception; physiological indices of emotion; friendship

People: Juliane KaminskiPaul MorrisBridget WallerLeanne Proops, Matt ParkerMarina Davila-Ross

Comparative and evolutionary psychology members

Study with us

The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology is a large and vibrant research group that provides a great environment for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Undergraduate students can gain experience of animal behaviour research through final year dissertations and research internships and we also offer our students summer fieldwork courses to study primates and sun bears in Borneo and Zambia. See our undergraduate course pages for more information.

We have an MRes programme allowing students to work in our research facilities and gain research training to prepare for doctoral study or a career in a related animal field. See our Mres Science course pages for more information.

As part of the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership, students can apply for fully funded PhD studentships at the Centre. This Doctoral programme provides expert training and opportunities to connect with like-minded students alongside conducting your own research. We also regularly advertise fully funded University bursaries, please check here for current opportunities.


University Research Themes

We are committed to conducting research that addresses fundamental and strategically important questions linked to the University of Portsmouth Research Themes. Our work in behavioural ecology, animal welfare and environmental conservation addresses key issues surrounding Sustainability and the Environment. Our research into the fundamental principles underlying human and animal communication and emotion, determinants of psychological disorders and applied studies of relevant therapeutic interventions, aims to promote Health and Wellbeing across species. Research into the building blocks of social interaction, group processes and the evolution of human and animal societies provides insights into contemporary culture and the changes and challenges faced by global Democratic Citizenship

Non-academic research partners