Leanne Proops
  • King Henry I Street, King Henry Building

    PO1 2DY Portsmouth

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


I'm a Reader (Associate Professor) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare interested in animal social cognition, communication and behaviour. I investigate the extent to which social species possess complex cognitive and communicative skills. I’m also interested in animal welfare and human-animal interactions.

Research Interests

I'm a member of the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology and my current research projects include:

Production and perception of emotional signals in animals. Understanding the behavioural and physiological indices of emotional states in animals and the extent to which species are sensitive to the emotional signals of others.

Comparative Social Cognition. Studying the function and evolution of social abilities in rats and domestic species, with a focus on comparative equid cognition (horses, donkeys and mules).

One Welfare: Using a one welfare approach that acknowledges the interconnectedness of human wellbeing, animal welfare and environmental health to improve the lives of working animals and those that depend on them.

Human-animal interactions: Investigating cross-species communication, recognition of agency and aliveness, and the role animals and nature play in human wellbeing.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on our undergraduate BSc Psychology and Forensic Psychology courses. I coordinate the Level 4 module Perspectives in Psychology and am a tutor for Level 4 & 5 students. I also supervise PhD students, Masters students and undergraduate project students. 


I am currently Associate Head for Research and Innovation in the Psychology Department, having joined Portsmouth in 2016. Prior to this, I held postdoc positions at Sussex University and The University of Tokyo. I completed my PhD in Psychology at Sussex University, have an MSc (dist.) in Animal Behaviour from Exeter University and a BSc (1st) in Experimental Psychology from Sussex. I also spent several years working in an acquired brain injury unit and a community mental health project before returning to academia to pursue my interests in animal behaviour.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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