- Supervisor: Dr Alan McElligott
- Application Deadline: Applications accepted all year round
- Funding: China Scholarship Council, Science without Borders
Apply OnlineContact Dr Alan McElligott.
Apply online via the Queen Mary online applications portal:
PhD Psychology - Semester 1 start (between Sept - Dec) PhD Psychology - Semester 2 start (between Jan - Apr) PhD Psychology - Semester 3 start (between May - Aug)
BackgroundMy research group is focussed on developing goats as model species for comparative cognition studies. In doing so, we hope to further an appreciation of the need for excellent animal welfare practices in this, and other livestock species.
Traditionally, animal welfare research focussed on identifying and preventing poor welfare. However, preventing poor welfare is not the same as providing animals with opportunities to experience positive welfare. Therefore gaining a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of goats and other livestock is critical for progress.
I have potential comparative cognition and behaviour PhD research projects, using goats as the model species. The topics are open to discussion, but may include: emotions, social networks, long-term memory and recognition, social learning, individual temperament, physical and social cognition, and vocal communication.
TrainingThe projects will potentially combine behavioural observations, cognition experiments, as well as playback experiments and bioacoustics. All data collection will be carried at an animal sanctuary, using a large number of habituated animals. The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, as well as working as part of a team. It is extremely important that the successful candidate can maintain our excellent working relationship with the host animal sanctuary.
You will receive appropriate training for your research, e.g. bioacoustics and other technology for studying behaviour and physiological responses (e.g. heart rates). For the vocal communication research, it is very important that you have an interest in, or experience of, bioacoustics technology. Additional training in project management will be provided.