Lucy Bates

Dr Lucy Bates

PhD in Behavioural Ecology (University of St Andrews)MSc Human Biology (University of Oxford)MA Experimental Psychology (University of Oxford)


I’ve always been fascinated by animal behaviour, and always wondered why humans are different. I’ve spent much of my career studying the intelligence and social behaviour of large mammals - chimpanzees and elephants - in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, to try to help answer this question of what makes humans different. But this work inevitably led me towards conservation, and I now mostly spend my time thinking about how we can better promote balanced co-existence between humans and elephants.

As part of this, I continue with my research into elephant behaviour at the University of Sussex (and most recently as a faculty member at the University of Portsmouth), and I also volunteer for ESAG (the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa). Using evidence- based knowledge, ESAG aims to promote best practice in elephant management and conservation in South Africa and beyond.



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