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Bridget Waller

Professor of Psychology

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Psychology

Role

Bridget Waller is Professor of Evolution and Social Behaviour in the Department of Psychology. The overarching focus of her work is the evolution of social communication, particularly nonverbal behaviour and facial movement. She has specific expertise in human and non-human primate facial expression, and uses species-specific modifications of FACS (Facial Action Coding System) to make anatomically based, systematic comparisons between species. Currently, she is working on her European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (FACEDIFF - Individual differences in facial expressivity: Social function, facial anatomy and evolutionary origins). She has also recieved funding from the Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, British Psychological Society, Leakey Foundation, DFG and Waltham Foundation.

Career overview

Bridget Waller was Professor of Evolutionary Psychology and Director of the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Portsmouth prior to joining NTU. She worked on Leverhulme Trust Research Project (to Professor Kim Bard) for her PhD on chimpanzee and human facial communication. She completed her Masters in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool with Professor Robin Dunbar and was a Research Assistant in Cognitive Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University. She studied Zoology as an undergraduate at Royal Holloway University of London.

Research areas

Evolution and human communication: Functional, evolutionary based approaches to human facial expression and nonverbal behaviour as an adaptation to social living.

Comparative facial expression: Morphological and functional comparisons between humans and other primates species using modifications of the human Facial Action Coding System (FACS), such as chimpanzees, macaques, orangutans and hylobatids.

Domestication and communication: Anatomically based analyses of domestic animal facial movements (e.g. using DogFACS and CatFACS).

Publications

Research articles

  • Waller, B. M., Julle-Daniere, E., & Micheletta, J. (2020). Measuring the evolution of facial ‘expression’ using multi-species FACS. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 113, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.02.031
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  • Clark, P. R., Waller, B. M., Burrows, A. M., Julle‐danière, E., Agil, M., Engelhardt, A., & Micheletta, J. (2020). Morphological variants of silent bared‐teeth displays have different social interaction outcomes in crested macaques (Macaca nigra). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, [e24129]. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24129
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  • Julle-Danière, E., Whitehouse, J., Mielke, A., Vrij, A., Gustafsson, E., Micheletta, J., & Waller, B. M. (2020). Are there non-verbal signals of guilt? PLoS One, 15(4), [e0231756]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231756
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  • Kaminski, J., Waller, B. M., Diogo, R., Hartstone-Rose, A., & Burrows, A. M. (2019). Evolution of facial muscle anatomy in dogs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820653116
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  • Waller, B. M., Kaminski, J., & Setchell, J. M. (2018). Primate Society of Great Britain Spring Meeting 2018: Cognition and communication. Evolutionary Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21595
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  • Joly, M., Micheletta, J., de Marco, A., Langermans, J., Sterck, L. & Waller B.M. (2017). Comparing physical and social cognitive skills in macaque species with different degrees of social tolerance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1862). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2738
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  • Whitehouse, J., Micheletta, J. & Waller, B.M. (2017). Stress behaviours buffer macaques from aggression. Scientific Reports, 7, [110083]. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10754-8
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  • Kaminski, J., Hynds, J., Morris, P. & Waller B.M. (2017) Human attention affects facial expression in domestic dogs. Scientific Reports7, [12914]. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12781-x
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  • Wilke, C., Kavanagh, E., Donnellan, E., Waller, B. M., Machanda, Z. P., & Slocombe, K. E. (2017). Production of and responses to unimodal and multimodal signals in wild chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthiiAnimal Behaviour, 123, 305-316. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.10.024
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  • Caeiro, C. C., Burrows, A. M., & Waller, B. M. (2017). Development and application of CatFACS: are human cat adopters influenced by cat facial expressions? Applied Animal Behaviour Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.01.005
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  • Wallace, E. K., Altschul, D., Körfer, K., Benti, B., Kaeser, A., Lambeth, S., Waller, B. M. & Slocombe, K. E. (2017). Is music enriching for group-housed captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)? PLoS One, 12(3), [e0172672]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172672
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  • Waller, B. M., Whitehouse, J., & Micheletta, J. (2017). Rethinking primate facial expression: a predictive framework. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
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  • Whitehouse, J., Micheletta, J., Kaminski, J., & Waller, B. M. (2016). Macaques attend to scratching in others. Animal Behaviour,122, 169-175.
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  • Townsend, S.W., Koski, S.E., Byrne, R.W., Slocombe, K.E., Bickel, B., Boeckle, M., Braga Goncalves, I., Burkart, J.M., Flower, T., Gaunet, F., Glock, H.J., Gruber, T., Jansen, D.A.W.A.M., Liebal, K., Linke, A., Miklósi, Á., Moore, R., Van Schaik, C.P., Stoll, S., Vail, A., Waller, B. M. et al. Exorcising Grice's ghost: an empirical approach to studying intentional communication in animals. Biological Reviews.
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  • Burrows, A. M., Waller, B. M., & Micheletta, J. (2016). Mimetic muscles in a despotic macaque (Macaca mulatta) differ from those in a closely related tolerant macaque (M. nigra). The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 299, 1317-1324.
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  • Waller, B. M., Whitehouse, J., & Micheletta, J. (2016). Macaques can predict social outcomes from facial expressions. Animal Cognition., 19(5), 1031-1036.
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  • Burrows, A. M., Li, L., Waller, B. M., & Micheletta, J. (2016). Social variables exert selective pressures in the evolution and form of primate mimetic musculature. Journal of Anatomy, 228, 595-607.
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  • Scheider, L., Waller, B. M., Oña, L., Burrows, A. M., Liebal, K., & Zimmermann, E. (Ed.) (2016). Social Use of Facial Expressions in Hylobatids. PLoS One, 11(3), e0151733.
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  • Julle-Danière, É., Micheletta, J., Whitehouse, J., Joly, M., Gass, C., Burrows, A. M., & Waller, B. M. (2015). MaqFACS (Macaque Facial Action Coding System) can be used to document facial movements in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). PeerJ, 3, e1248.
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  • Chiverton, J. P., Micheletta, J. F., & Waller, B. M. (2015). Detecting and tracking bottoms and faces of the crested black macaque in the wild. In X. Xie, M. Jones, & G. Tam (Eds.), Proceedings of the Machine Vision of Animals and their Behaviour Workshop
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  • Wathan, J., Burrows, A. M., Waller, B. M., & Mccomb, K. (2015). EquiFACS: the equine facial action coding system. PLoS One, 10(9), [e0131738].
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  • Micheletta, J., Whitehouse, J., Parr, L. A., Marshman, P., Engelhardt, A., & Waller, B. M. (2015). Familiar and unfamiliar face recognition in crested macaques (Macaca nigra). Royal Society Open Science, 2(5), 150109.
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  • Micheletta, J., Whitehouse, J., Parr, L. A., & Waller, B. M. (2015). Facial expression recognition in crested macaques (Macaca nigra). Animal Cognition, 18(4), 985-990.
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  • Waller, B. M., Caeiro C.C., Davila-Ross M. (2015). Orangutans modify facial displays depending on recipient attention. PeerJ3:e827
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  • Whitehouse J., Waller, B. M., Chanvin M., Wallace E.K., Schel A.M., Peirce K., Mitchell H., Macri A., Slocombe, K.E. (2014) Evaluation of Public Engagement Activities to Promote Science in a Zoo Environment. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113395.
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  • Waller B. M., Misch A., Whitehouse J., Herrmann E. (2014) Children, but not chimpanzees, have facial correlates of determination. Biology Letters, 10 (3): 20130974-20130974
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  • Scheider L., Liebal K., Ona L., Burrows A., Waller, B. M. (2014) A comparison of facial expression properties in five hylobatid species. American Journal of Primatology, 76(7), 618-628.
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  • Waller B. M., Peirce K., Caeiro C. C., Scheider L., Burrows A. M., McCune S., Kaminski J. (2013) Paedomorphic facial expressions give dogs a selective advantage. PLoS One 8 (12)
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  • Whitehouse J., Micheletta J., Powell L.E., Bordier C., Waller, B. M. (2013) The impact of cognitive testing on the welfare of group housed primates. PLoS One 8 (11)
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  • Waller, B. M., Warmelink, L., Liebal, K.A., Micheletta, J. and Slocombe, K.E. (2013). Pseudoreplication: A widespread problem in primate communication research. Animal Behaviour, 86(2), 483-488.
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  • Waller, B. M., Liebal, K., Burrows, A.M. & Slocombe, K.E. (2013). How can a multimodal approach to primate communication help us understand the evolution of communication? Evolutionary Psychology, 11(3), 538-549.
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  • Micheletta, J., Engelhardt, A., Matthews, L., Agil, M., & Waller, B. M. (2013). Multicomponent and multimodal lipsmacking in crested macaques (Macaca nigra). American Journal of Primatology, Special issue: Primate signals. 75(7), 763-773.
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  • Caeiro, C.C., Waller, B. M., Burrows, A.M., Zimmermann, E., Davila-Ross, M. (2013). OrangFACS: A muscle-based coding system for orangutan facial movements. International Journal of Primatology, 34(1), 115-129.
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  • Waller, B. M. & Micheletta, J. (2013). Facial expression in nonhuman animals. Emotion Review, 5(1), 54-59.
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  • Lancaster, G. L. J., Vrij, A., Hope, L., & Waller, B. M. (2013). Sorting the liars from the truth tellers: The benefits of asking unanticipated questions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27(1), 107-114.
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  • Micheletta, J., Waller, B. M., Panggur, M.R., Neumann, C., Dubosq, J., Agil, M. & Engelhardt, A. (2012). Social bonds affect anti-predator behaviour in a tolerant species of macaque, Macaca nigra. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1744), 4042-40
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  • Waller, B. M., Peirce, K., Mitchell, H. & Micheletta, J. (2012). Evidence of public engagement with science: Visitor learning at a zoo-based primate research centre. PloS ONE, 7(9), e44680.
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  • Waller, B. M., Kuchenbuch, P., Lembeck, M., Burrows, A.M. & Liebal, K. (2012). GibbonFACS: A muscle based coding system for the hylobatids. International Journal of Primatology, 33(4), 809-821.
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  • Micheletta, J. & Waller, B. M. (2012). Friendship affects gaze following in a tolerant species of macaque (Macaca nigra). Animal Behaviour, 83(2), 459-467.
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  • Waller, B. M. & Cherry, L. (2012) Facilitating play through communication: Significance of teeth exposure in the gorilla play face.American Journal of Primatology, 74, 157-164.
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  • Waller, B. M., Hope, L. Burrowes, N. & Morrison, E. (2011). Twelve (not so) angry men: Managing conversational group size increases decision-maker satisfaction. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 14(6), 835-843.
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  • Slocombe, K.E., Waller, B. M. & Liebal, K. (2011). The language void: The need for multimodality in primate communication research. Animal Behaviour, 81(5), 919-924.
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  • Burrows, A.M., Diogo, R., Waller, B. M., Bonar, C.J. & Liebal, K. (2011). Evolution of the muscles of facial expression in a monogamous ape: Evaluating the relative influences of ecological and phylogenetic factors in hylobatids. The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 294(4), 645-663.
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  • Parr, L.A., Waller, B. M., Burrows, A.M., Gothard, K.M. & Vick, S.J. (2010). MaqFACS: A muscle-based facial movement coding system for the macaque monkey. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 143, 625-630.
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  • Samson, A.V.M. & Waller, B. M. (2010).  Not growling but smiling: New interpretations of the bared-teeth motif in the precolumbian Caribbean. Current Anthropology, 51(3), 425-433.
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  • Burrows, A.M., Waller, B. M. & Parr, L.A. (2009).  Facial musculature in the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta): evolutionary and functional contexts with comparisons to chimpanzees and humans. Journal of Anatomy, 215, 320-334.
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  • Stewart, P.A. & Waller, B. M. & Schubert, J.N. (2009). Presidential speech making style: Emotional response to micro-expressions of facial affect. Motivation and Emotion, 33, 125-135.
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  • Rogers, C.R., Mooney, M.P., Smith, T.D., Weinberg, S.M., Waller, B. M. et al. (2009). Comparative microanatomy of the orbicularis oris muscle between chimpanzees and humans: evolutionary divergence of lip function. Journal of Anatomy, 214 (1), 36-44.
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  • Stafford, L.D, Salehi, S, Waller, B. M. (2009).  Odours cue memory for odour associated words. Chemosensory Perception, 2, 59-69.
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  • Waller, B. M., Cray, J.J. & Burrows, A.M. (2008).  Selection for universal facial emotion.  Emotion, 8(3), 435-439.
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  • Waller, B. M., Parr, L.A., Gothard, K.M., Burrows, A.M. and A.J. Fuglevand. (2008).  Mapping the contribution of single muscles to facial movements in the Rhesus Macaque.  Physiology & Behaviour, 95(1-2), 93-100.
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  • Parr, L.A., Waller, B. M. & Heintz, M. (2008).  Facial expression categorization by chimpanzees using standardized stimuli.  Emotion, 8(2), 216-231.
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  • Waller, B. M., Bard, K.A., Vick, S.J. & Smith Pasqualini, M.C.  (2007). Perceived differences between chimpanzee and human facial expressions are related to emotional interpretation. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 121(4), 398-404.
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  • Parr, L.A., Waller, B. M. & Vick, S.J. (2007).  New developments in understanding emotional facial signals in chimpanzees. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(3), 117-122.
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  • Vick, S.J., Waller, B. M., Parr, L.A., Smith Pasaqualini, M.C. & Bard, K.A. (2007). A cross-species comparison of facial morphology and movement in humans and chimpanzees using the facial action coding system (FACS). Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, 31, 1-20.
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  • Parr, L.A. & Waller, B. M. (2006).  Understanding chimpanzee facial expression: Insights into the evolution of communication. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 1, 221-228.
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  • Waller, B. M., Vick, S.J., Parr, L.A., Bard, K.A., Smith Pasqualini, M.C., Gothard, K. & Fuglevand, A. (2006). Intramuscular stimulation of facial muscles in humans and chimpanzees: Duchenne revisited. Emotion, 6(3), 367-382.
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  • Burrows, A.M., Waller, B. M. & Parr, L.A. & Bonar, C.J. (2006). Muscles of facial expression in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes):  Descriptive, comparative, and phylogenetic contexts. Journal of Anatomy, 208(2), 153-168.
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  • Parr, L.A., Waller, B. M. & Fugate, J. (2005). Emotional communication in primates: Implications for neurobiology. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15(6), 716-720.
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  • Waller, B. M. & Dunbar, R.I.M. (2005). Differential behavioural effects of silent bared teeth display and relaxed open mouth display in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Ethology, 111, 129-142.
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  • Bethell, E.J. & Waller, B. M. (2005). Altruism or cooperation in captive chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes?  Folia Primatologica, 76, 242-244.
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  • Brodie, E.E., Wyatt, R., & Waller, B. M. (2004) Drawing upon representations: An empirical study of artists depicting the human face. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 22(2), 171-180.
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  • Brodie, E.E., Whyte, A. & Waller, B. M. (2003). Increased motor control of a phantom leg in humans results from the visual feedback of a virtual leg.  Neuroscience Letters, 341, 167-169.

Books & Book Chapters

  • Waller, B. M. & J. Micheletta (2019). Communication. In The International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology, Wenda Trevathan (ed).  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
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  • Micheletta J. & B. M. Waller (2017). Facial Displays. In The International Encyclopedia of Primatology, Augustin Fuentes (ed). Wiley-Blackwell.
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  • Parr, L. A., Micheletta, J. F., & Waller, B. M. (2015). Nonverbal Communication in Primates: Observational and Experimental Approaches . In D. Matsumoto, H. C. Hwang, & M. G. Frank (Eds.), APA Handbook of nonverbal communication. (APA Handbooks in Psychology). American Psychological Association.
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  • Liebal, K., Waller, B. M., Burrows, A.M. & Slocombe, K.S. (2014). Primate CommunicationA Multimodal Approach. Cambridge University Press.
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  • Waller, B. M. & Smith Pasqualini, M.C. (2013). Analysing facial expression using Facial Action Coding Systems (FACS). In: C. Muller, E. Fricke, A. Cienki, D. McNeill (Eds.), Body-Language-Communication. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
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  • Parr, L.A. & Waller, B. M. (2011). The Evolution of Social Cognition. In J. Decety & J. Cacioppo, J. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
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  • Parr, L.A. & Waller, B. M. (2006). The Evolution of Human Emotion.  In T.M. Preuss & J.H. Kaas (Eds.), The Evolution of Nervous Systems.  London: Elsevier.

See all of Bridget Waller's publications...