Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Staff Profile

Dr Bess Price



I received my PhD in Psychology from the University of St. Andrews, where I explored the cultural learning mechanisms underlying tool use and problem-solving in chimpanzees, children, and ravens. Upon completion, I undertook a National Science Foundation funded post-doctoral position at Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with The George Washington University Ape Mind Initiative. There, I continued to explore my interest in cultural transmission and tool use, working with orangutans, gorillas, and children. As a lecturer at Newcastle University, I am further pursuing these themes, while also delving more deeply into the developmental and comparative study of social dynamics.



My research explores cultural transmission processes and the interplay between these processes and innovation, social dynamics, and tool use. Using an interdisciplinary approach, I explore related questions from a comparative and developmental perspective in humans, nonhuman primates, and corvids. I’m also interested in human-animal interaction and conservation education, including how public engagement with research in zoos can aid conservation efforts.

Previous PhD students

Dr. Liam Keeble

Dr. Victoria West

Dr. Jennifer Machin




I teach across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Psychology and the Biosciences Institute. I am the module leader for PSY2001: Developmental Psychology and PSY3044: Cultural and Technical Intelligence: Developmental and Comparative Perspectives. I also lecture on PSY1017: Foundations in Developmental Psychology and MMB8043: Comparative Cognition - Information Processing in Humans and Other Animals. I supervise undergraduate projects in the School of Psychology and MRes and PhD projects in the Biosciences Institute.

I also offer year-long professional placements for the School of Psychology in collaboration with local zoos and conservation centres. These placements can focus on applied animal behaviour, public engagement with science, and/or conservation education.