Professor Richard Holland


Contact info

Room: 531 Brambell


Phone: +44 (0)1248 382344

Web: Bangor Animal Navigation Group  Google Scholar Researchgate


My research and teaching interests fall broadly in the area of animal behaviour and sensory biology. I am the course co-ordinator for the Zoology with Animal Behaviour degree (C3D3) and teach on several animal behaviour focused modules, as well as ornithology. My research questions focus the cognitive processes and sensory mechanisms by which animals navigate and migrate. While my principle focus is at the level of the whole organism I also incorporate aspects of neurobiology, molecular biology, and physics to identify the  environmental cues, sensory pathways and mechanisms used by animals to decide how, when and where to move. My work also operates in a comparative framework as I compare and contrast across species, taxa, age class, spatial scale and sensory mechanisms to reveal how natural selection has acted to shape navigation behaviour in different animal groups. New avenues my lab is exploring include the impact of artificial light and electromagnetic noise on navigation and spatial cognition, and the impact of antimicrobial resistant bacteria on bird behaviour.


2021-2024, Director of Research, School of Natural Sciences

2020-current, Professor in Animal Behaviour

2017-2020, Senior Lecturer, Bangor University

2016-2017, Lecturer, Bangor University

2011-2016, Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast

2009-2010, Research scientist, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

2006-2008, Marie Curie Outgoing International fellow, Princeton University and University of Leeds

2002-2005, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Leeds

1999-2002, Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Nebraska

1994-1998, DPhil, Oxford University

1990-1993, BSc (Hons), University of Nottingham

Research Area


  1. 2022
  2. Route navigation in homing pigeons (Columba livia): the use of visual cues over a familiar area.

    Awdur: Stachowski, S., 30 Awst 2022

    Goruchwylydd: Holland, R. (Goruchwylydd) & Bishop, C. (Goruchwylydd)

    Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Graddau Meistr trwy Ymchwil

  3. Unravelling Map and Compass Cues in Bird Navigation

    Awdur: Griffiths, C., 20 Meh 2022

    Goruchwylydd: Holland, R. (Goruchwylydd)

    Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Doethur mewn Athroniaeth

  4. 2021
  5. The effect of observing trained conspecifics on the rate of spatial learning, navigation strategy and motivation in goldfish, Carassius auratus

    Awdur: Blane, J., 2021

    Goruchwylydd: Holland, R. (Goruchwylydd)

    Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Graddau Meistr trwy Ymchwil