School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Photo of Dr Matt Parker

Dr Matt Parker

  • Qualifications: BSc, MSc, PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, St Michael's Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 92 842850
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science
  • Faculty: Science


I am a behavioural neuroscientist with a particular interest in psychopathology in animals and humans. I studied psychology (BSc, MSc, PhD) at the University of Southampton, completing my PhD in 2008, where I characterised neurocognitive phenotypes associated with stereotypic behaviour in captive animals. I then moved to the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, where I worked as a Research Associate studying abnormal behaviour and physiology of animals in intensive farming systems, and then to Queen Mary University of London (Research Associate, then Lecturer), where I developed a neurocognitive test battery for zebrafish. I was appointed as lecturer (now senior lecturer) in Behavioural Pharmacology at the University of Portsmouth in 2015. 

Teaching Responsibilities

Year 1:

Biological Cell and Systems Chemistry U21872
Applied Systems Human Biology U21873
Experimental Physiology U23941

Year 2:

Altered Physiology U21861



I established, and act as Scientific Director for, the Zebrafish Research Facility at Portsmouth in 2017. In my lab, we adopt a ‘bench to bedside’ approach to study the basis of compulsive behaviour. In our basic research, we use zebrafish as a model species try to understand the biology of compulsive disorders. In particular, we want to understand more about the interaction between molecular (genetic/epigenetic) and environmental (eg, alcohol, stress) factors that cause compulsive behaviours, and the associated neural circuits, to manifest. Our approach is theoretically guided by the principle that understanding the biology of neuropsychiatric conditions will help develop more effective treatments for patients. This work involves significant amounts of method development, owing to the paucity of validated, reliable measure in zebrafish. We also carry out preclinical/translational research in humans, in particular looking at the interactions of impulsivity/compulsivity and stress on addiction and relapse. In our clinical research, we apply our findings in the laboratory to test important clinical questions relating to compulsive disorders, such as addiction and relapse (in humans) and stereotypic behaviours in domestic, farm and laboratory animals.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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