photo of David Leavens

Dr David Leavens

Post:Reader in Comparative Psychology (Psychology)
Location:PEVENSEY 2 4B03

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 678526
International:+44 1273 678526

Research expertise:
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Sussex University: Psychology Home Page

I dropped out of school without qualifications, aged 16 years, in 1977, and pursued a variety of occupations, with experience in the restaurant service trade, the U.S. military, the biomedical and electronic manufacturing fields, and some short stints as a motorcyle courier and delivery van driver, before starting full-time university study in 1987. After earning my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in anthropology, I switched to psychology, in 1994, for my PhD, to learn how to apply experimental methods to the study of animal communication, which remains my primary research interest.

I started at the University of Sussex in January, 2000.

   1978-1979     Infantry Training, United States Marine Corps, San Diego, CA, USA
   1979-1979     Avionics Technician Course, USMC, Millington Naval Air Base, TN, USA
   1987-1990     BSc Anthropology (with honors, Phi Beta Kappa), University of California at Riverside, USA
   1990-1993     MA Anthropology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA
   1994-2001     PhD Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Non-academic Posts Held:
   1978-1984      Sergeant, Air Traffic Control Technician, United States Marine Corps, USA
   1984-1987      Production Supervisor, Applied Cardiac Systems, Lake Forest, CA, USA
   1988-1988      Emergency Services Dispatcher, Santa Ana, CA, USA
   1989-1991      Archaeological Field Technician, various private and public firms, CA, USA
   1991-1991      Consultant, Quality Control, Commercial and Industrial Design, Irvine, CA, USA

Academic Posts Held:
   1991-1994      Morris Doctoral Fellow, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA
   1994-1999      Research Assistant, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
   1998-1999      Part-time Lecturer, University of Georgia
   2000-2002      Junior Lecturer, University of Sussex
   2002-2005      Lecturer, University of Sussex
   2005-2019      Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex
   2019-Present  Reader in Comparative Psychology


Editorial Board: Interdisciplinary Evolution Research, Springer-Nature, 2019-
Editorial Board: Animal Cognition, 2014-
Visiting and Exchange Student Academic Advisor (Psychology), 2013-
Equality and Diversity Committee Member (Admissions & Recruitment), 2015-
Exam Board (Psychology), 2018-
Colloquium Series, 2008-2012 
Undergraduate Honours Project Convenor (Psychology), 2001-2005
Undergraduate Admissions (Psychology), 2001-2004