My research has focused on non-human primates in three inter-related scientific areas: behaviour and ecology, colour vision and welfare. Where appropriate, I advocate a combined approach of field research in natural habitats, together with hypotheses testing under controlled conditions in captivity. The colour vision research advances our understanding of the evolution and functional utility of colour vision, by relating genotype with phenotype (BBSRC funded). I also conduct a range of research on the Refinement R of the three R's (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement - the basic principles underlying humane experimental technique). This work has direct practical and practicable application in enhancing animal welfare (funded by BBSRC EU, PHHSC (3Rs liaison group) and NC3Rs).
I have collaborators in the UK at the Universities of St. Andrews, Cambridge, Sussex and Anglia Ruskin, and work closely with the National Centre for 3Rs Research. I have Italian, Dutch and German collaborators, in addition to those in North and South America where my field research has been conducted (Bolivia, Peru and Brazil). I have close collaborative links with the RZSS Edinburgh Zoo as well as Blair Drummond Safari Park. In a collaboration with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Burning Gold Productions, and Stirling University, I was involved in the production of the documentary Chimpcam (aired January 2010).