If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research Interests

My research considers the evolution of social skills and intelligence in mammals, particularly elephants. Over time, this has grown into a wider interest in the conservation and management of savannah elephant populations, so try to use my knowledge of animal behaviour and cognition to contribute to and enable sustainable, fair and effective conservation practices. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I'm the coordinator for The Science of Psychology module, the first module of the online MSc Psychology (conversion) degree. I also supervise undergraduate research project degrees, and lecture on the first year (L4) Perspectives in Psychology and Animal Behaviour modules. 


I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in 2022. I hold a BA in Experimental Psychology and MSc in Human Biology from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Behavioural Ecology from the University of St Andrews. I also completed my first post-doc research period at St Andrews, on Leverhulme Trust funded project exploring social cognition in savannah elephants, working in collaboration with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants. After that, I spent eight years working as a consultant for various conservation projects in southern Africa, before returning to academic research with a Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship, held at the University of Sussex. I then worked as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University prior to joining Portsmouth.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Chimpanzee travel and feeding, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 23 May 2005

MSc, Human Biology, Institute of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford

1 Oct 20001 Oct 2001

Award Date: 30 Oct 2001

BA (Hons), Experimental Psychology, Oriel College, University of Oxford

4 Oct 199715 Jun 2000

Award Date: 1 Jul 2000

External positions

Member, Elephant Sub Group of the Expert Working Group on Culture and Social Complexity, UNEP Convention on Migratory Species

2017 → …

Member, Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa

1 Jul 2013 → …


Dive into the research topics where Lucy Bates is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or