I am a member of the Scottish Primate Research Group, and am involved in a number of collaborations with colleagues at Edinburgh, Stirling, and Kyoto Universities. My main research focus is on the associations of social behaviour, personality, well-being and emotional perception. This involves collection and analysis of both behavioural data and keeper-rated questionnaires. This work builds on that of my supervisor Dr Alex Weiss and his colleagues.
My main research projects and collaborations include:
- Personality, facial metrics and facial perception in capuchins Sapajus apella.
- Personality, wellbeing and genetic polymorphism in squirrel monkeys Saimiri sciureus and S. boliviensis.
- Pet personality and attitudes of owners towards pets.
- Emotional perception in chimpanzees.
- Chimpanzee personality traits as predictors of social and stereotypic behaviour .
We are also collecting data on personality, facial morphology and neutering for a new study in domestic cats. You can take part in this study here:
Wilson, V. A. D., Lefevre, C. E., Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S. F., Paukner, A., & Bates, T. C. (2014). Personality and facial morphology: Links to assertiveness and neuroticism in capuchins (Sapajus [Cebus] apella). Personality and Individual Differences, 58, 89-94.
Lefevre, C.E., Wilson, V. A. D., Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S., Paukner, A. & Bates, T. C. (2014). Facial width-to-height ratio predicts dominance in the primate face. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e93369. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093369
Wilson, V. A. D. & Weiss, A. (2015). Social relationships in nonhuman primates: potential models of pervasive disorders. In (P. Roubertoux, Ed.) Organism models of autism spectrum disorders, Neuromethods 100: 283-302.
Morton, F. B., Brosnan, S. F., Prétôt, L.,* Buchanan-Smith, H. M., O’Sullivan, E.,* Stocker, M.,* & Wilson, V. A. D. (2016). Using photographs to study animal social cognition and behaviour: Do capuchins’ responses to photos reflect reality? Behavioural Processes 124, 38-46.
Le Roux, A., Beehner, J. C. & Bergman, T. J. (2011). Female Philopatry and Dominance Patterns in Wild Geladas. American Journal of Primatology 73, 422–430
Le Roux, A. & Bergman, T. J. (2012). Indirect rival assessment in a social primate, Theropithecus gelada. Animal Behaviour 82, 249-255.
Banes, G. L. (2012). The Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Life. London: Kingfisher.
Presentations and Conference Attendance
The Living Links Public Engagement Talk (2015): Squirrel monkey personality and genetic polymorphism.
Wildlife Research Centre, Kyoto University (2015): Squirrel monkey personality and genetic polymorphism.
Edinburgh Zoo Research Talks (2013): Can we measure personality in the capuchin face?
Wildlife Research Centre, Kyoto University (2013): Personality in Squirrel Monkeys.
Walks and Talks, Bristol University (2013): Personality, Social Interactions & Emotional Perception in Primates.
Behaviour and Evolution Research Group, Stirling University (2012): Status Signals in the Primate Face.
BIAZA Conference (2015): Emotional Perception in Chimpanzees.
Implications of Research on the Neuroscience of Affect, Attachment and Social Cognition (2015): Assessing Emotional Perception in Chimpanzees [Poster presentation].
Japanese Empathy Project Meeting (2015): Genetic polymorphism and personality in squirrel monkeys.
American Society of Primatology (2014): Does the face signal status? Captive capuchins' responses to wide versus narrow faces.
European Conference of Behavioural Biology (2014): Personality assessment in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus and Saimiri boliviensis).
Scottish Conference of Animal Behaviour (2014): Personality and facial morphology in capuchins, Sapajus apella [Poster presentation].
Scottish Primate Research Group Annual Meeting (2014): Can we measure personality in the capuchin face?
International Conference on Individual Differences (2013): Personality and facial morphology in capuchins, Sapajus apella [Poster presentation].
Scottish Primate Research Group Annual Meeting (2013): Personality in Squirrel Monkeys.
Scottish Conference of Animal Behaviour (2012): People, Pets and Personality.