Chris Pawson

Dr Chris Pawson


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Personal profile


Chris is a psychologist specialising in applying our understanding of behaviour to promote psychological wellbeing, and positive human-animal interactions. His research interests include animal cognition and welfare, and the psychological health of animal care professionals.

Current teaching

Chris leads the MRes Anthrozoology programme, and teaches psychology and anthrozoology on the BSc Human-Animal Interaction degree programme. Chris supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students on their individual research projects as well providing lectures / seminars in several different modules. Chris also supervises PhD / MPhil students.

Doctoral supervisions and completions

Current Doctoral Students

Ms Georgia Oaten - " Exploring the interplay between zoo visitor and animal wellbeing in Sulawesi crested black macaque (Macaca  nigra) (Current - self funded; in collaboration with Prof Vicky Melfi and Dr Wanda McCormick)

Mr Joe Goodenough – Mental Health and Wellbeing in Dairy Farmers: Risk Factors, Challenges and Opportunities. (Current – Partially funded by NFU Mutual; in collaboration with Prof Matt Bell, Dr Ben Brilot, Dr Miles Thompson, Phil Watson)

Ms Rebecca Whitefield - Communities, conservation and commodities: Investigating wildlife value orientations (WVOs) of ground-level stakeholders sharing resources in a safari tourism hotspot. (Current - self funded; in collaboration with Prof Vicky Melfi and Dr Lucy Bearman-Brown)

Ms Joana Czycholi - The making and breaking of the human animal bond – A qualitative exploration of the relationship with, and grieving process for, companion animals (Current – self funded)

Mr. Kris Deering - What is safety in the personal lives of patients outside of healthcare? Expanding the concept of safety within risk management on a psychiatric ward, to enhance patients’ quality of life. (Current – self funded)

Ms. Amelia Ince - Stories of world pain: a narrative analysis of Bristolians’ constructions and productions of Weltschmerz (Current – self funded)

PGRs Supervised to Completion

Dr Peter Aspinall - ‘You’re there to support someone regardless’: A thematic analysis of staff experiences of working in homeless hostels (2022)

Dr. Christopher Woodgate - What contains the containers? An organisational thematic analysis within an NHS Trust investigating what supports staff in their work with people attracting a borderline diagnosis (2021)

Dr. Tamany Baker - Cats, elephants, alligators and the fantasy of the Sopranos: A qualitative study of the experiences of commissioners and managers delivering IAPT services using the Any Qualified Provider policy (2020)

Dr. Katherine Thomas – “Re-authoring ourselves? Post-therapy recovery narratives of heterosexual women who have survived intimate partner violence” (2019)

Dr. Harriet Smith – “What makes a difference in family therapy? Exploring the links between theory and practice using qualitative interviews and interpersonal process recall” (2016)

Dr. Yvanna Cooposamy - “A Foucauldian-Informed Analysis of the ways in which families in London construct their understanding of the August 2011 riots” (2014)

Dr Danielle Gaynor – “Reputation Management and the 'Observer Effect' in Persons with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome“ (2013)

Doctoral/Postgraduate Examination

  • 2022 - Warren David Horrod-Wilson (MRes) Parent-offspring Interactions in the Black-Legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla): A Sequential Analysis
  • 2022 – Amanda Mead (MRes) Surviving Alpha: Using sequential analysis to examine the behaviours of Black-legged Kittiwake chicks during sibling pecking attacks
  • 2020 – Sabrina Schalz (MRes) The Acoustic Discrimination and Recognition of Individual Heterospecifics by Humans:Proximate and Ultimate Causes
  • 2022 – Alice Horton (Prof. Doc.) Gaining Prescription Rights: A Qualitative Survey Mapping the Views of UK Counselling and Clinical Psychologists.
  • 2021 – Ali Chivers (Prof. Doc.) An IPA study exploring client experience of living with complex mental health needs in a residential care home: some voices are harder to hear
  • 2020 – Helen Maton (Prof Doc) A Qualitative Exploration Of How Young Women Seeking Support For Mental Health Issues Engage With Social Media
  • 2019 – Charlotte McEvoy (Prof Doc) Rarely discussed but always present’: Exploring therapists’ accounts of social class in therapy
  • 2018 – Jana Outerbridge (Prof Doc) The Lived Experience of Adult Adoptees of Closed Childhood Adoptions
  • 2017 – Kate Fenton (Prof Doc) The Role of Empowerment in Recovery from the Experience of Severe Psychological Distress

Previous positions

  • Associate Head of Department, Psychology, University of the West of England (2014 - 2022) 
  • Principal Lecturer / Leader in Learning and Teaching, University of East London (2010 - 2014) 


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