Browse/search for people

Dr Stephanie King

Dr Stephanie King

Dr Stephanie King
PhD, MRes, BSc

Senior Lecturer

Area of research

Animal communication and cognition

Office 2B04
Bristol Life Sciences Building,
24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 39 41191


I'm a behavioural biologist with a primary focus on animal communication systems and how these systems have evolved to help mediate complex social behaviours.

To date, much of my research has focused on the temporal and social aspects of vocal interactions in bottlenose dolphins, and their use of individually distinctive signature whistles. I have over a decade's worth of experience studying marine mammal acoustic communication, as well as extensive experience in assessing the consequences of anthropogenic noise disturbance on marine mammal populations.

My current research interests lie with exploring the role vocal communication plays in mediating complex social behaviours, such as cooperation, in animal systems. I continue to use bottlenose dolphins as a model system, with the aim of understanding how dynamic social environments may influence and shape the communicative strategies that animals employ when making decisions of when and with whom to cooperate.

I am a PI of the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Alliance alongside Prof Richard Connor, Prof Michael Krützen and Dr Simon Allen.
Please visit our website to find out more about the research currently underway in Shark Bay.



I completed my PhD at the University of St Andrews on dolphin communication in 2012, and then worked as a Principal Scientist at an environmental consultancy, wholly owned by the University of St Andrews, on projects assessing the impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals. In 2014 I returned to full time research with a post-doc at the Dolphin Research Center (USA), and in 2015 was awarded a five-year Swiss grant (Branco Weiss Fellowship) to investigate the role vocal communication plays in mediating complex social behaviours. I joined the University of Western Australia as a Research Fellow (2015) before taking up a lectureship at the University of Bristol 2019. Current projects include a long-term study of the male alliances found in the Shark Bay dolphin population, providing a unique opportunity to understand how vocal communication strategies may have evolved to facilitate male cooperation.


L2 Animal Behaviour residential field course to Lundy Island

L3 Communication and Cognition in Animal Societies

L3 practical projects and literature reviews


  • acoustic communication
  • vocal learning
  • animal cognition
  • cooperation
  • marine mammals
  • social networks
  • animal culture
  • playback experiments



School of Biological Sciences

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr King currently teaches 2 courses:

Edit this profile If you are Dr Stephanie King, you can edit this page. Login required.

PDF versionDownload PDF