• 499 Citations
  • 11 h-Index
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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

Education/Academic qualification

MSc, Manchester Metropolitan University

30 Sep 201131 Aug 2013

MSc, Lancaster University

1 Sep 199531 Jul 1996

MA, University of Dundee

1 Oct 19911 Jun 1995

External positions

External PhD Supervisor, Nottingham Trent University

1 Sep 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
  • SF Animal culture
  • African Lions
  • Social Predators
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict /Coexistence
  • Reintroduction
  • Social networks
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • QH301 Biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • L Education (General)
  • Literacy
  • Conservation Education
  • Developing Countries
  • Rural Communities

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jackie Abell is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Lions Medicine & Life Sciences
Panthera leo Agriculture & Biology
Social Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences
England Medicine & Life Sciences
Interviews Medicine & Life Sciences
national identity Social Sciences
social networks Agriculture & Biology
Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1997 2018

Open Access
Panthera leo
social network
5 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

An assessment of African lion Panthera leo sociality via social network analysis: prerelease monitoring for an ex situ reintroduction program

Dunston, E., Abell, J., Doyle, R., Kirk, J., Hilley, V. B., Forsyth, A. & Jenkins, E., Jun 2017, In : Current Zoology. 63, 3, p. 301-311 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
social networks
Panthera leo
social benefit
grooming (animal behavior)

Does captivity influence territorial and hunting behaviour? Assessment for an ex-situ reintroduction program of African lions (Panthera leo)

Dunston, E., Abell, J., Doyle, R., Duffy, D., Poynter, C., Kirk, J., Hilley, V., Forsyth, A., Jenkins, E., Mcallister, D. & Freire, R., Oct 2017, In : Mammal Review. 47, 4, p. 254-260 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Panthera leo

Investigating the impacts of captive origin, time and vegetation on the daily activity of African lion prides

Dunston, E., Abell, J., Doyle, R., Kirk, J., Hilley, V. B., Forsyth, A., McAllister, D. & Freire, R., May 2017, In : Journal of Ethology. 35, 2, p. 187–195 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Panthera leo
vegetation types
27 Downloads (Pure)

Patch - Occupancy Survey of Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Surrounding Livingstone, Zambia

Youldon, D. A., Abell, J., Briffitt, J. S., Chama, L., Channings, M. D., Kilundo, A., Larsen, C. K., Sakala, D. & Schulte, B. A., 30 Jan 2017, In : Koedoe. 59, 1, 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Loxodonta africana
national parks

Activities 2013 2018

Conserving Lions: Threats, Solutions & Social Networks

Jackie Abell (Speaker)
16 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

African Lions, Threats, Conflict & Communities

Jackie Abell (Invited speaker)
5 Apr 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Invited Talk: African Lions & Social Networks

Jackie Abell (Invited speaker)
28 Mar 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Talk: African Lions & Social Network Theory

Jackie Abell (Invited speaker)
18 Mar 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Press / Media

Lateral Magazine: The Pride of Africa

Jackie Abell


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in Zimbabwe

Jackie Abell & James Bennett


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Can captive-bred lions contribute to saving the African lion?

Jackie Abell


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Inside Track: taking steps towards a future for the African lion

Jackie Abell


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Can captive-bred lions contribute to saving this vulnerable species?

Jackie Abell


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment