We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University



Miss Diane Austry

Personal web page

Research Postgraduate in the Department of Psychology

Contact Miss Diane Austry (email at


For the course of her PhD project, Diane investigates the origins of empathy in Primates under the supervision of Dr Zanna Clay at Durham University. To do so, she looks at how chimpanzees, bonobos and human children experience and respond to the emotions of others using the emerging method of infra-red thermography combined with behavioural observations and experiments.

Before starting her PhD, Diane worked on post-conflict affiliation and communication in bonobos with Dr Zanna Clay at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) in 2015. She then joined the University of Portsmouth to work on facial communication in great apes with Dr Marina Davila-Ross and Dr Guillaume Dezecache (based on her MSc Research) as well as on another project using infrared thermal imaging to measure emotional states in great apes and children with Dr M. Davila-Ross.

Diane is a National Geographic Explorer.

Research Interests

  • Evolution and development of emotions/empathy
  • Primate vocal and non-vocal communication

Research Groups

Department of Psychology

Department of Anthropology

Academic Responsabilities

Research Groups

Selected Grants

  • 2018: A behavioual and physiological investigation into the development of sympathetic concern in bonobos (Pan Paniscus) (£4565.52 from National Geographic Society)
  • 2018: Cross-species and cross-cultural investigation into the development of empathy in bonobos (Pan paniscus) and human children (£4315.18 from )

Contact Us

Ask us online