Animals, Health and Society

Our Research

Animals are an intrinsic part of our multispecies society, we share our lives with them ever since our existence. One of the main roles of animals is the promotion of a better quality of life in humans, which occurs both directly, through human-animal interactions, and indirectly, through their work (e.g. detection dogs).

These areas are not just rapidly growing in science but are also highly demanded by members of the public. Therefore, new scientific investigations of high-quality standards and which respect the welfare of these animals are needed. Our research aims to understand the various ways animals can be beneficial (and harmful) to people, improve these mechanisms and bring those advantages into practical contexts to help improve modern society. 

Within the scope of human health, human wellbeing, and society's development, we investigate three main areas:

  • Animal ownership
  • Working animals
  • Animal-assisted interventions​

Prof Anna Wilkinson

  • Working animals
  • Specialist in animal cognition

Prof Daniel Mills

  • Animal ownership, working animals and animal-assisted interventions.​
  • Director of the Animal Behaviour Clinic and editor and author of several books, such as ‘Dog Bites’ and ‘BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine’​

Prof Kerstin Meints

  • Animal-assisted interventions​
  • One of the creators of the Blue Dog programme (international project on children’s dog bite prevention)

Prof Sandra McCune

  • Animal ownership and animal-assisted interventions
  • Visiting professor of Human-Animal Interaction at University of Lincoln

Dr Carl Soulsbury

  • Working animals
  • Behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology​

Dr Carla Eatherington

  • Working animals​
  • Postdoc investigating the influence of environmental distraction on trained performance with implications for working dogs​

Dr Niko Kargas

Dr Tom Pike

  • Working animals
  • Behavioural and sensory ecology​

Ana Maria Barcelos

  • Animal ownership and animal-assisted interventions​
  • PhD student investigating the impact of pet ownership on human mental health and wellbeing​

Greta Kerulo

  • Animal-assisted interventions​
  • PhD student investigating animal-assisted interventions and dog-human interactions​