Skip to content

About Dr Lindsay Murray

My academic journey was not a traditional one. My parents were working-class Glaswegians and neither of my elder brothers had gone on to any further or higher education. I didn’t find my schools in south London inspiring and often look back to think how very differently things could have turned out. My ambition grew and grew as I first wanted to get my NNEB qualification working with children as a Nursery Nurse, but then, working half-time in practical placements including schools, nurseries and hospitals, I realised that I could aim higher and become a teacher myself.  Thus, I went to college and got my A levels and only there did I start to realise that my lifelong obsession with animals might actually be something I could focus on for a career. 

Loving Psychology, I got into Lancaster University and graduated with First Class Honours; however, I had made up my mind very early on that I would not be moving on to a teaching qualification after this. Never short of enthusiasm or determination, my animal passion had been further fuelled and I decided that it was to be a PhD for me!  I wrote off tonnes of enthusiastic letters to primatologists and won a Studentship from the Science and Engineering Research Council.  I was fortunate to be offered places at Oxford, Cambridge and UCL and chose Cambridge where I had the best time and graduated with my PhD in Biological Anthropology in 1995.

Cambridge is also where I met my husband and we have raised three mini primates here in Chester, where we relocated to be near the chimpanzees at the zoo – that’s a good reason to move, right?


Lindsay’s current teaching focuses on Animal Psychology in the specialist third year elective module PS6022, and in three first year modules: PS4010 Core Topics in Psychology, PS4018 Secrets of the Brain, and PS4021 Topics in Applied Psychology. She also teaches individual differences at undergraduate and postgraduate level and supervises dissertations at undergraduate, Masters, MRes and PhD levels.


Lindsay's research interests lie primarily in the discipline of animal psychology, with a special focus on primatology, particularly in the areas of personality, laterality, self-awareness and social behaviour in great apes. At the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) she has studied the UK's largest group of chimpanzees since 1992 and is continuing a longitudinal exploration of personality traits and their ability to predict behaviour. She supervises PhD students investigating both human and nonhuman psychology.  For example, using social network analysis to understand links between personality and laterality of hand preference in chimpanzees, utilising proximity indices and personality ratings to monitor changes in elephants’ behaviour in response to the deaths of herd members, and investigating the role of personality and attachment in mediating the relationship between having a sibling with developmental disabilities and anxiety and depression. She also researches comparative mirror self-recognition in gorillas and spider monkeys. As well as contributing articles and reviews to the popular press, Lindsay has been an invited speaker, contributor and organiser at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Published Work

Murray, L., Anderson, J. & Gallup, G. (2022). Mirror self-recognition in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A review of mark test replications and variants.  Animal Cognition.

Diaz, S. G., Murray, L., Roberts, S. & Rodway, P. (2021). Between-task consistency, temporal stability and the role of posture in simple reach and fishing hand preference in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Special Issue: Animal Lateralization, 242, 105417.

Diaz, S. G., Murray, L. & Rodway, P. (2021). Limb preference and personality in donkeys (Equus asinus).  Laterality, Special Issue: Laterality in Animals, 26, 186-200.  DOI: 10.1080/1357650X.2021.1882480

Rutherford L. & Murray, L.E. (2021). Personality and behavioral changes in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) following the death of herd members. Integrative Zoology 00, 1–19.

Diaz, S. G., Murray, L., Roberts, S.  & Rodway, P. (2020). Social Network Analysis of a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) group in captivity following the integration of a new adult member.  International Journal of Primatology., 41, 683-700.

Murray, L., Schaffner, C., Aureli, F. & Amici, F. (2020). There is no other monkey in the mirror for Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Journal of Comparative Psychology.

Murray, L. (2020) Video-mediated behaviour in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A stage in the development of self-recognition in a juvenile male? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 134(3), 293- 302.

Murray, L. & O’Neill, L. (2019). Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the relationship between having a sibling with developmental disabilities and anxiety and depression symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 243, 232-240. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2018.09.042.

Roberts, A., Murray, L. & Roberts, S. (2019). Complex sociality of wild chimpanzees can emerge from laterality of manual gestures. Human Nature, 30, 299-325.

O’Neill, L. & Murray, L. (2016a). Anxiety and depression symptomatology in adult siblings of individuals with different developmental disability diagnoses: Is there a problem? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 51-52, 116-125. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.12.017

O’Neill, L. & Murray, L. (2016b). Perceived parenting styles fail to mediate between anxiety and attachment styles in adult siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 46(9), 3144-3154. DOI:10.1007/s10803-016-2859-5

Murray, L. E. (2011). Predicting primate behaviour from personality ratings. In A. Weiss, J. King & L. Murray (Eds.), Personality and Temperament in Nonhuman Primates (pp. 129-167). New York: Springer.

Weiss, A., King, J., & Murray, L. (2011, Eds.). Personality and Temperament in Nonhuman Primates. New York: Springer.

Royle, S. & Murray, L.E. (2010). The stability of personality in captive chimpanzees (Pantroglodytes). Zoo Research News, 11 (3), 11-12.

Boulton, M., Chau, C., Whitehand, C., Amataya, K. & Murray, L. (2009). Concurrent and short-term longitudinal associations between peer victimization and school and recess liking during middle childhood. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 207-22.

Boulton, M., Trueman, M. & Murray, L. (2008). Associations between peer victimization, fear of future victimization and disrupted concentration on class work among junior school pupils. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 473-489.

James, R., & Murray, L. (2006). Food and grooming exchanges in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and the five-factor model of personality. Zoo Research News, 7, 6.

Simpson, C., & Murray, L. (2006). Measuring personality in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) via a new Short Orangutan Personality Inventory (SOPI). Zoo Research News, 7, 7-8.

Murray, L. E. (2005). Primate personality: Use of rating scales to assess individual differences in gorillas (G. g. gorilla) and pygmy chimpanzees (Pan paniscus). Primate Eye, 8, 612.

Murray, L. E. (2005). Video-mediated behaviour in gorillas: Evidence of self-recognition in a juvenile male? Primate Eye, 8, 621.

Murray, L. E. (2005). Personality types in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Another ‘Big 5'. American Journal of Primatology, 66, 53-54.

Murray, L. E., Weiss, A., & Gosling, S. D. (2005). Primate personality: Past present and progress? American Journal of Primatology, 66, 123.

Murray, L. E. (2005). Predicting behaviour from personality trait ratings in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology, 66, 125.

Murray, L. E. (2002). Individual differences in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) personality and their implications for the evolution of mind. In: C. Harcourt & B. Sherwood (Eds.). New perspectives in primate evolution & behaviour. Westbury Publishing. pp. 201 232.

Murray, L. E. (1999). Comparative personality assessment: Measurement of individual differences in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 7(2), 133.

Murray, L. E. (1998). The effects of group structure and rearing strategy on personality in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Chester London and Twycross Zoos. International Zoo Yearbook, 36, 97-108.

Murray, L. E. (1997). Heritability of personality: Familial similarities among chimpanzees. Primate Eye, 62, 11.

Murray, L. E. (1997). Book review of McGrew W.C. Marchant L.F. & Nishida T. (Eds). Great ape societies. Cambridge University Press. BBC Wildlife, 15(2), 74-75.

Murray, L. E. (1997). Book review of ‘Poor model man: Experimenting on chimpanzees.' Proceedings of the first PACE (People Against Chimpanzee Experiments) Conference on the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research.  Primate Eye, 62, 30-34.

Murray, L. E. (1996). Personality and individual differences in captive African apes. Primate Eye, 59, 40-41.

Murray, L. (1995). Personality and individual differences in captive African apes. PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge.

Law, L. E., & Lock, A. J. (1994). Do gorillas recognize themselves on television? In: S.T. Parker R.W. Mitchell & M.L. Boccia (Eds). Self-awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives. pp.308-312. Cambridge University Press.


Lindsay followed a BSc (First Class Hons) in Psychology at Lancaster University with a PhD in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and specializes in primatology and personality. In addition to being a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, she has several roles in the Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB), being Editor of Primate Eye, Education Officer and Council Member, and she is also on the Education Committee of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).