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Eithne Kavanagh

Research Fellow


Staff Group(s)


Eithne Kavanagh is a research fellow working on Prof. Bridget Waller's ERC-funded project (FACEDIFF). Her previous work focused on dominance behaviour and communication in nonhuman primates. Currently she is leading the human component of the FACEDIFF project, which aims to understand individual differences in facial expression in human and nonhuman primates, and how they relate to social networks

Eithne is a member of the Evolution and Social Interaction Research Group.

Research areas

Evolution of communication and social behaviour in humans and nonhuman primates, dominance and power dynamics.

Her PhD work examined the relationship between dominance style and communication in primates, with a particular focus on chimpanzees and bonobos. This was based on observational behavioural data and incorporated phylogenetic analysis.

Her current work examines human facial behaviour in naturalistic social interaction, with the aim of understanding the evolutionary origins of individual differences in facial behaviour.


Waller, B. M., Kavanagh, E., Micheletta, J., Clark, P. R., & Whitehouse, J. (2022). The face is central to primate multicomponent signals. International Journal of Primatology, 1-17.

Kavanagh, E., Street, S. E., Angwela, F. O., Bergman, T. J., Blaszczyk, M. B., Bolt, L. M., ... & Slocombe, K. (2021). Dominance style is a key predictor of vocal use and evolution across nonhuman primates. Royal Society open science8(7), 210873.

Morales Picard, A., Mundry, R., ...Kavanagh, E., ... & Slocombe, K., (2020). Why preen others? Predictors of allopreening in parrots and corvids and comparisons to grooming in great apes. Ethology, 126(2), 207-228.

Pereira, A. S., Kavanagh, E., Hobaiter, C., Slocombe, K. E., & Lameira, A. R. (2020). Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution. Biology Letters, 16(5), 20200232.

Rosa, M., Kavanagh, E., Kounov, P., Jarosz, S., Waldzus, S., Collins, E. C., & Giessner, S. (2017). Change commitment in low‐status merger partners: The role of information processing, relative ingroup prototypicality, and merger patterns. British Journal of Social Psychology, 56(3), 618-630.

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 schweinfurthii. Animal Behaviour, 123, 305-316.

See all of Eithne Kavanagh's publications...

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