Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Staff Profile

Professor Melissa Bateson

Professor of Ethology

Background

Introduction

I am an ethologist, with a strong track record of theoretically motivated empirical research in the biology of behaviour. My research is focused on understanding how stressful lifetime experience alters behaviour, cognition and biomarkers of health and wellbeing in a range of species including starlings, rhesus macaques and humans. I am specifically interested in understanding the effects of food insecurity experienced both in early life and adulthood. I am interested in applying my findings to bring about improvements in animal welfare and human health and wellbeing. I am committed to improving openness and transparency in behavioural science.

Roles and Responsibilities

Director the university Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Workstream lead in underpinning science for the Newcastle Centre for Healthier Lives

Qualifications

1993 DPhil in Animal Behaviour (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford)

1990: MA in Zoology with Biological Anthropology (University of Oxford, first class honours)

Previous Positions

2009-2012 Reader in Ethology (Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University)

2007- 2009 University lecturer (Department of Psychology, Newcastle University)

1998-2007 Royal Society University Research Fellow (Newcastle University)

1995-1998 Wellcome Advanced Training Fellow (University of Oxford/ Duke University)

1993-1995 Postdoctoral RA, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Memberships

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
International Society for Comparative Cognition
Universities' Federation for Animal Welfare

Areas of expertise

Measuring the behaviour of human and non-human animals; telomere dynamics and other biomarkers of stress exposure; understanding the biological and psychological impacts of food insecurity; applications to antisocial behaviour, overeating and obesity and animal welfare.

Google Scholar: Click here.

Research

Introduction

I am an ethologist, with a strong track record of theoretically motivated empirical research in the biology of behaviour. My research is focused on understanding how stressful lifetime experience alters behaviour, cognition and biomarkers of health and wellbeing in a range of species including starlings, rhesus macaques and humans. I am specifically interested in understanding the effects of food insecurity experienced both in early life and adulthood. I am interested in applying my findings to bring about improvements in animal welfare and human health and wellbeing. I am committed to improving openness and transparency in behavioural science.

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

  • PSY2019 Research Assistance (supervisor)
  • PSY3097/3096 Psychology empirical project supervisor
  • PSY3049 Evolution of Brain and Behaviour (contributing lecturer)

Postgraduate Teaching (MRes)

  • MMB8003: The Biological Study of Behaviour (module leader and primary lecturer)
  • MMB8045: Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare (contributing lecturer)
  • Research project supervisor.

Publications