Chris Pawson

Dr Chris Pawson


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Research activity per year

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.

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) 

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 Natalie Powdrill-Wells - Companion animal Welfare: Application of the Integrated Behaviour Model to Understand and Change Owner Behaviour. (Current - self funded; in collaboration with Dr Alison Wills and Dr Wanda McCormick)

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)


PGRs Supervised to Completion

Dr Amelia Ince - Stories of world pain: a narrative analysis of Bristolians’ constructions and productions of Weltschmerz (2023)

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

  • 2023 - Sabrina Schalz (PhD) Eavesdropping on Speech In Wild Carrion Crows
  • 2023 -Sara Souissi (Prof Doc) “None of us are islands”: A thematic analysis of navigating emotional engagement with climate change through social relationships.
  • 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


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