Professor Robert Young

Associate Dean International

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I have always been fascinated by the natural world and the need to conserve it for future generations.  Thus, I studied Biology BSc (Hons) at the University of Nottingham (graduated 1989), followed by a PhD at the University of Edinburgh (graduated 1993) in animal behaviour/animal welfare under the supervision of Prof. Alistair Lawrence.  I then embarked on a wildlife career working as Research Coordinator for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (Edinburgh Zoo), where I  was able to put into practice much of the theory I had gained during my university education.  In 2001, I moved to Brazil, as a Professor of Animal Behaviour, to further fulfill my  ambition to study wildlife. Here I developed a number of long term research projects on primate species (notably titi monkeys and marmosets), birds, carnivores and urban wildlife.  At the beginning of 2013 I moved to the University of Salford to take-up a Chair in Wildlife Conservation.


Much of my teaching career has involved teaching animal behaviour (pure and applied), evolution and research methods.  I believe that teaching should be fun and  eclectic and inspire the next generation to enter in a wildlife career.  In twenty years of teaching I have  supervised more than 130 students through their research projects (BSc, MSc and PhD level).  I am always open to new ideas for research projects, as this is where students really get an opportunity to fully express their academic abilities.

Research Interests

My research has always been focused on understanding animal behaviour and how it can be used to improve animal conservation and animal welfare.  Although, much of his research is applied some of it addresses fundamental questions about how animals communicate, for example.  In recent times my  captive research has focused on questions regarding “Fitness for the Ark”; that is, can captive (zoo) animals be used in reintroduction programmes and what training might they need to survive in the wild.  In the field I have studied g primates, maned wolves, fish and birds.  I am particularly interested in the human wildlife interface in how sound pollution from mining activities affects wildlife.  And in human-animal interactions in urban environments especially how such interactions can be managed.  My research approach is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary as I believe strongly that this is how we will be able to answer the ‘big questions’.  Thus, I collaborate widely with researchers that include engineers, geographers, mathematicians, psychologists and sport scientists.

Qualifications and Memberships

PhD in animal behaviour/welfare from the University of Edinburgh 1993.

BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Nottingham 1989.

Research Fellow of the Brazilian Government (CNPq - level 1) since 2007.

Minas Gerais (Brazil) state Research Fellow (“Pesquisador Mineiro”) since 2007.

Ad-hoc reviewer of research grants for the Brazilian, Austrian, South African and UK Government funding agencies.


Selected Publications

CASAR, C., BYRNE, R., HOPPITT, W., YOUNG, R.J., ZUBERBUHLER, K. 2012. The referential call system of wild black-fronted titi monkeys. Animal Behaviour 84, 405-411.

CASAR, C., BYRNE, R., YOUNG, R.J., ZUBERBUHLER, K. 2012. The alarm call system of wild black-fronted titi monkeys, Callicebus nigrifrons. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, 66, 653-667.

SANTOS, G.P., GALVÃO, C., YOUNG, R.J., 2012. The diet of wild black fronted titi monkeys, Callicebus nigrifrons during a bamboo masting year. Primates, 53, 265-272.

AZEVEDO, P.G., MELO, R.M.C., YOUNG, R.J. 2011. Feeding and social behaviour of the piabanha, Brycon devillei (Castelnau, 1855) (Characidae: Bryconinae) in the wild, with a note on following behaviour. Neotropical Ichthyology, 9, 807-814.

DUARTE, M.H.L., VECCI, M.A., HIRSCH, A., YOUNG, R.J. 2011. Noisy human neighbours affect where urban monkeys live. Biology Letters, 7, 840-842.

GOULART, V.D.L.R., TEIXEIRA, C.P., YOUNG, R.J. 2010. Analysis of callouts made in relation to wild urban marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) and their implications for urban species management. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 56, 641-649.

COELHO, C.M., DE MELO, L.F.B., SÁBATO, M.A.L., MAGNI, E.M.V., HIRSCH, A., YOUNG, R.J. 2008. Habitat use by wild maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) in a transition zone environment. Journal of Mammalogy, 89, 97-104.