Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Human wildlife conflict, environmental sustainability, animal behaviour, identity and social belonging

    Willing to speak to media

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1997 …2023

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile



    Jackie obtained her first degree in Psychology from the University of Dundee. Her undergraduate dissertation was an exploration of SIT/SCT principles of identity, as applied to Scottish and English identity. This was later published in BJSP. She then went on to complete an MSc in Critical Social Psychology at Lancaster University. This expanded her knowledge of identity approaches within social psychology. She became particularly interested in discursive psychology during this time and upon completion of her MSc, she went to study for a PhD at Loughborough University, supervised by Professor Michael Billig. His book, Arguing and Thinking, had a profound influence upon the way that she hought about her chosen discipline. She completed her dissertation on identity and the BSE crisis in cattle, and from there was offered her first job as a Research Associate on a Leverhulme funded project about the impact of Scottish devolution upon notions of British, Scottish and English identity. Working with Professor Susan Condor and Professor David McCrone (Edinburgh University), this was a 5-year longitudinal project to monitor change in the population with respect to devolution. From here she was awarded her first lectureship at Lancaster University, in social psychology. She continued to research and publish work on identity.

    More recently, she has become interested in conservation and lion reintroduction, and how social psychological models and concepts could be applied to this field. To improve my biological knowledge, she completed an MSc in Animal Behaviour, and took up a role with the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust as Director of Research. She has since published papers on conservation, reintroduction programmes, and identity. She is the lead author of the David Myers ‘Social Psychology’ textbook (European edition) which is now in its 2nd edition. In 2013 Jackie was approved as a member of the IUCN, SSC Conservation Planning and Specialist Group, who are a select group of experts responsible for conservation strategies throughout the world.  In 2016 she was nominated and elected onto the African Lion Working Group, representing the social sciences within the field of lion conservation.  She aims to continue championing the role of social sciences in conservation work, boradening the discipline to address this real-world problem, and apply theory and method to the study of human-animal relations and interactions.


    Research Interests

    Identity ; Conservation ; Social Psychology ; African Communities; Lion Reintroduction

    Vision Statement


    My research is based upon social psychological understandings of identity and how they guide behaviour. This has been studied in relation to national identity in the context of monarchy and national football. More recently I have applied social psychology theory and methods to wildlife (lion) conservation.   This research extends to the following inter-linked areas:

    1) the design, implementation and assessment of an ex situ lion reintroduction model

    2) in situ monitoring of existing wild lions - assessment of current populations, threats, human-wildlife conflict mitigation

    3) protection and monitoring of biodiversity (including elephants, hyenas, deforestation/reforestation)

    4) social development & education - designing and implementing interventions to derive incentives and benefits for local African communities and are affected by lions,  to protect and conserve lions.  These extend across the fields of literacy, conservation education and vocational skill training.

    I have also applied the first social network analysis to the study of social cohesion within lion prides - vital to the management and understanding of pride behaviour.  My aim is to extend social psychological explanations for human behaviour to their relations with other species. By doing so, social psychology can contribute to global issues pertaining to environmental and conservation behavioural change.

    Spotlight on Dr. Jackie Abell


    I am currently the Module Lead for 7061EXQ MSc Project. I am also the CAWR Staff Liaison Officer

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 15 - Life on Land

    Education/Academic qualification

    MSc, Animal Behaviour, Manchester Metropolitan University

    30 Sept 201131 Aug 2013

    Award Date: 1 Nov 2013

    Psychology, Doctorate, Politics & the Rhetoric of Identities: An Analysis of the BSE Debate, Loughborough University

    31 Oct 200031 Jan 2001

    Award Date: 1 Feb 2000

    MSc, Critical Social Psychology, Lancaster University

    1 Sept 199531 Jul 1996

    Award Date: 1 Sept 1996

    MA, Psychology, University of Dundee

    1 Oct 19911 Jun 1995

    Award Date: 3 Jul 1995

    External positions

    External PhD Supervisor, Nottingham Trent University

    1 Sept 2018 → …

    Director of Research, African Lion & Environmental Research Trust

    31 Jul 201330 Jun 2018


    • BF Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Research Methods
    • Social Inclusion/Exclusion
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Behaviour and Attitude Change
    • human wildlife conflict
    • SF Animal culture
    • African Lions
    • Social Predators
    • Human-Wildlife Conflict /Coexistence
    • Reintroduction
    • Social networks
    • rewilding
    • H Social Sciences (General)
    • social psychology
    • Language
    • Communication
    • Research Methods
    • QH301 Biology
    • Conservation Biology
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Zoology
    • Animal Behaviour
    • L Education (General)
    • Literacy
    • Conservation Education
    • Developing Countries
    • Rural Communities
    • Problem-based learning
    • Pedagogy


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