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Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS

Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, FRS

Emeritus Professor of Ethology


We are very sorry to announce the death of Pat Bateson on 1st August 2017.  A fuller tribute to his life's work will be posted in due course.

Research Interests

My main interest is in the development of behaviour, working on the processes that translate genetic and environmental influences into behavioural outcomes. Much of my research has been devoted to imprinting in birds, analysing its effects on young animals and its effect on mate choice in adults. I worked on the neural mechanisms involved in imprinting and also developed a neural net model to draw the behavioural and the physiological work together. I have been particularly interested in recent years in how developmental and behavioural processes impact on evolution. My central research interests have led me to analyse the development of play in cats and study the impact of play on creativity and innovation.  I have been deeply interested in the ethics of using animals in research and in the assessment of pain and suffering in animals. This led me to conduct a study of the welfare aspects of hunting red deer with hounds in the west of England, conduct an inquiry into dog-breeding and review the use of non-human primates in research.

Key Publications

  • Bateson, P. & Gluckman, P. (2011) Plasticity, Robustness, Development and Evolution.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bateson, P. & Martin, P. (2013) Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bateson, P. & Gluckman, P. (2012) Plasticity and robustness in development and evolution.International Journal of Epidemiology41, 219-233.
  • Bateson, P. (2012) Behavioural Biology: The past and a future. Ethology118: 216-221.
  • Bateson, P. (2012) The impact of the organism on its descendants. Genetics Research International, 2012, Article ID 640612.
  • Bateson, P.  (2011) Ethical debates about animal suffering and the use of animals in research.  Journal of Consciousness Studies18, 186-208.
  • Bateson, P. (2010).  Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding.  London: Dogs Trust.
  • Bateson, P. (2011) Review of Research using Non-Human Primates. London: Wellcome Trust.