Dr Krista McLennan

BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, MRSB, SFHEA, PGCTHLE; Deputy Head of Department for Biological Sciences and Senior lecturer in Animal Behaviour

Facial signals in owls

This is a current PhD project of one of my students in collaboration with my colleague Matt Geary, University of Chester, and an external collaborator Carl Jones from Durrell Wildlife Conservation & Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Owls are incredibly expressive and have enhanced facial and body features that are used in a wide range of expressions, but a little understood with regards their origin or purpose. The project aims to quantify signalling features across owl species and investigate the behavioural expression of emotional states in these animals to form part of a welfare assessment tool.

The initial database of different facial features of over 200 owl species has been developed and is in the process of being analysed.