Skip to main content


Dr Gareth Arnott's research focuses on three key areas;

Animal contest behaviour: Understanding the information-gathering and decision-making processes underlying aggressive interactions, working with a range of animal species including vertebrates and invertebrates. Additional behavioural topics being addressed include: animal cognition, personality, and lateralization.

Animal welfare: Minimising aggression in captive environments to improve welfare. E.g. using early life socialisation to reduce aggression during later life regrouping in pigs. Other welfare topics being addressed include: the importance of play behaviour, using novel techniques to better understand animal emotion, examining dairy cow welfare and the welfare of dogs in commercial breeding environments.

Animal welfare sensor development: Working with industry partners to develop a next generation farm animal welfare and performance sensor.      

Find out more


Animal Behaviour and Welfare


Open to PhD applications in the area of animal behaviour and welfare

Make a PhD Enquiry

Research Students

Jennifer Weller Andrew Crump Naomi Rutherford Victoria McEvoy Lucy Oldham
PhD title: The effects of early-life social environment on play behaviour, later-life aggression, and assessment ability in domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) PhD title: Exploring emotion-cognition interactions to assess and improve animal welfare                                       PhD title: The development of systems to improve the health and performance of dairy-origin beef youngstock            PhD title: Quantifying and evaluating factors influencing the socialisation period of puppies reared in commercial breeding environments   PhD title: The role of cognitive ability and affective state during aggressive encounters: implications for contest behaviour and animal welfare  
Years of study: 2016-2019 Years of study: 2017-2020 Years of study: 2016-2019

Years of study: 2018-2021


Years of study: 2018-2021  


Public Outreach

The Conversation

Understanding Animal Contest Behaviour

Read here

Dr Arnott Impact story - Penguins Contest Behaviour

The ISRA Blog

Applying Game Theory to the Study of Aggression

Read here

Dr Arnott - Applying Game Theory to the study of aggression

The Irish Times

Cow Welfare: What does the science say?

Read here

Dr Arnott Case Study - The Irish Times Cow Welfare


A comparison of confinement and grazing systems for dairy cows

Read here

Dr Arnott Research study - Confinement vs Grazing image

graduate school interior

Postgraduate Experience

The Graduate School

Our dedicated hub for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art facilities for study, and high-quality training and development programmes within a diverse interdisciplinary community.

The gateway to your postgraduate experience

Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

Start your application

Apply now