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Dr Andrew Smith

Associate Professor
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Animal and environmental biology
Research Supervision:

Andrew’s main areas of expertise are behavioural ecology and primate colour vision. His work looks at how animals, from aardvarks to goldfish, interact with each other and their environment.

[email protected]


Andrew has worked with a wide range of species including macaques in Indonesia, tamarins and river dolphins in Peru, marmosets in Brazil, endangered deer in the Chilean Andes, loggerhead turtles in Greece, and a range of rainforest species in the Philippines.

While much of Andrew's research has involved primates, their behaviour, ecology, and colour vision (some of which has featured on QI ), his current research interests also include the reproductive endocrinology and activity patterns of aardvarks, resource partitioning and associated behavioural strategies employed by coral reef fish, and the welfare of aquarium fish and domestic poultry.

Research interests
Colour vision
  • Ecological influences of perceptual capabilities
  • Evolution and advantages of trichromacy
  • Maintenance of colour vision polymorphism in New World monkeys.
  • Primate habitat use and resource requirements, distribution and populations
  • Management and welfare of zoo and domestic animals
  • Specialisation and niche partitioning; mixed-species associations
  • Spatio-ecology; inter-individual distances and group leadership
  • Influence of predation pressure
  • Mineral requirements; exudates; temporal patterns of feeding

Andrew is a member of our Behavioural Ecology Research Group

Areas of research supervision
  • Mixed species associations: birds and lemurs
  • Functional utility of primate colour vision
  • Behavioural ecology of the mara (Dolichotis patagonum)
  • Investigating the effects of climate and group size on the time budgets of yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
  • Demographic and ecological effects on space use in yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) at Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
  • Studies of tropical vertebrates: ecology, behaviour and morphology
  • A population and habitat survey of the Buton macaque (Macaca ochreata brunnescens) comparing abundance in protected and unprotected areas on Buton Island, South East Sulawesi
  • Activity budgets of the Buton Macaque (Macaca ochreata brunnescens), an endemic primate of Buton, Southeast Sulawesi.

BSc (Hons) Zoology, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour

  • University Teaching Fellowship, Anglia Ruskin University
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching (HE) Anglia Ruskin University
  • PhD, Primate Ecology, University of Reading
  • BSc (Hons), Psychology & Zoology, University of Reading
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Primate Society of Great Britain (Conservation Working Party)
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Journal reviewer for African Journal of Ecology; American Journal of Primatology; International Journal of Primatology; Anthrozoös; Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology; Folia Primatologica; Journal of Tropical Ecology; Journal of Zoology; and Primates 
Selected recent publications

Eppley, T. M., … Smith, A. C., … et al, 2022. Factors influencing terrestriality in primates of the Americas and Madagascar. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 119(42). doi: 10.1073/pnas.2121105119

Poirier, A. C., Waterhouse, J. S., Dunn, J. C., Smith, A. C., 2021. Temporal stability of animal scent samples. SN Applied Sciences, 3, pp. 456. doi: 10.1007/s42452-021-04455-1

Poirier, A. C., Waterhouse, J. S., Dunn, J. C., Smith, A. C., 2021. Scent-Marks Signal Species, Sex, and Reproductive Status in Tamarins (Saguinus spp., Neotropical Primates). Chemical Senses, 46, pp. 1-12. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjab008

Poirier, A. C., Waterhouse, J. S., Watsa, M., Erkenswick, G. A., Moreira, L. A. A., Tang, J., Dunn, J. C., Melin, A. D., Smith, A. C., 2021. On the trail of primate scent signals: a field analysis of callitrichid scent-gland secretions by portable gas chromatography ̶ mass spectrometry. American Journal of Primatology, 83(3). doi: 10.1002/ajp.23236

Heymann, E. W., Culot, L., Knogge, C., Smith, A. C., Tirado Herrera, E. R., Stojan-Dolar, M., Lledo Ferrer, Y., Kubisch, P., Kupsch, D., Slana, D., Koopmann, M. L., Ziegenhagen, B., Bialozyt, R., Mengel, C., Hambuckers, J., Heer, K., 2019. Small Neotropical primates promote the natural regeneration of anthropogenically disturbed areas. Scientific Reports, 9, 10356. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46683-x

Andrews, A., Smith, A. C., Rees, A. F., Margaritoulis, D., 2016. The Effect of Invertebrate Infestation and Its Correlation with Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Nest Success in Laganas Bay, Zakynthos, Greece. Marine Turtle Newsletter, 151, pp. 9-15.

Smith, J. M., Smith, A. C., 2013. An investigation of ecological correlates with hand and foot morphology in callitrichid primates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 152, pp. 447-456. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22378

Smith, A. C., Surridge, A. K., Prescott, M. J., Osorio, D., Mundy, N. I., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., 2012. The effect of colour vision status on insect prey capture efficiency by captive and wild tamarins (Saguinus spp.). Animal Behaviour, 83, pp. 479-486. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.11.023

Smith, A. C., Gray, H., 2011. Goldfish in a tank: the effect of substrate on foraging behaviour in aquarium fish. Animal Welfare, 20, pp. 311-319.

Smith, A. C., 2010. Exudativory in primates: interspecific patterns. In: Burrows, A., Nash, L. (Eds.), 2010. The Evolution of Exudativory in Primates (Cham: Springer), pp. 45-88.

Smith, A. C., 2010. Influences on gum feeding in primates. In: Burrows, A., Nash, L. (Eds.), 2010. The Evolution of Exudativory in Primates (Cham: Springer), pp 109-122.

Smith, A. C., Knogge, C., Huck, M., Löttker, P., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., Heymann, E. W., 2007. Long term patterns of sleeping site use in wild saddleback (Saguinus fuscicollis) and mustached tamarins (S. mystax). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 134, pp. 340-353. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20676

Osorio, D., Smith, A. C., Vorobyev, M., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., 2004. Detection of fruit and the selection of primate visual pigments for color vision. American Naturalist,164, pp. 696-708.

Smith, A. C., Kelez, S., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., 2004. Factors affecting vigilance within wild mixed-species troops of saddleback (Saguinus fuscicollis) and moustached tamarins (S. mystax). Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology, 56, pp. 18-25.

Smith, A. C., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., Surridge, A., Mundy, N., Osorio, D., 2003. The effect of colour vision status on the detection and selection of fruits by tamarins (Saguinus spp.). Journal of Experimental Biology, 206, pp. 3159-3165.