School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

People menu

Dr Alan McElligott


Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6682
Room Number: Room 2.38, Fogg Building

Undergraduate Teaching


Research Interests:

My research group focuses on understanding how evolution, ecology and domestication have shaped the social behaviour, cognition and vocal communication of large mammals, particularly ungulates. The current main model species for our research are goats, cattle and fallow deer. We produce knowledge that is relevant to animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, as well as animal husbandry and welfare. 

Current main research topics include:  

  • Cognitive bias 
  • Emotions 
  • Personality 
  • Physical cognition 
  • Positive animal welfare 
  • Recognition 
  • Social cognition 
  • Social learning 
  • Social networks 
  • Vocal communication 

Recent research project 

One recent research project has aimed to identify and understand the major factors determining human attitudes to animal sentience and welfare. To find out more about this project visit the animal sentience and welfare website

Research department

Recent research news


PhD Supervision

Current PhD opportunity

Social behaviour, cognition and communication in domestic goats

PhD supervision

Postdoctoral supervision:

Public Engagement


In this video Alan appears on the BBC show Countryfile discussing the cognitive ability of goats (from 2:17):

  • You can also watch this video on YouTube
  • Alan also appeared on the BBC show Countryfile to discuss the mating calls of deer. Watch this video on YouTube (from 0:45)

In this podcast Alan discusses his research on the social behaviour, cognition and vocal communication of goats:

Return to top