School of Psychology

Image of Vivek Thuppil

Vivek Thuppil

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science



I graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior. In my doctoral research, I investigated antipredator behaviour in Asian elephants in the context of crop-raiding and human-elephant conflict. My research interests are in the field of evolutionary psychology, particularly as it relates to antipredator behaviour in Asian elephants and environmental perception in human beings. My research has applications for wildlife conservation and sustainability.

Teaching Summary

I teach classes in cognitive and evolutionary psychology. My core teaching interests are reflected in my third year module series:

Evolution of Human Behaviour - taught every Autumn semester

Students in this class learn about the evolutionary history of our species and gain insight into how this may play a role in shaping our preferences across various aspects of life today. The module encompasses two broad themes: 1) the theoretical aspects of the evolution and psychology of human perception and 2) the practical applications of understanding innate preferences of and constraints on human behaviour.

Environmental Awareness - taught every Spring semester

Students in this class learn about the impact of crowding on human health, the coping behaviours that have come about for urban living, the cut-off behaviours that serve to reduce physiological arousal and modulate behaviour in public settings, how public settings themselves influence individual behaviour patterns and our perception of those environments in turn, and how an evolutionary understanding of human behaviour can have implications for an ecologically sustainable future.

Recent Publications

Future Research

I am interested in studying the behaviour of motorists on Malaysian highways passing through forest areas inhabited by elephants. I would like to investigate the efficacy of using semantic priming to enable safer driving practices.

I am also interested in comparatively studying antipredator behaviour in mainland Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and Borneo elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis), which have each faced different selection regimes since the last ice age.

School of Psychology

University Park
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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