Dr Julia P Myatt PhD

Dr Julia P Myatt

School of Biosciences
Lecturer in Behavioural Ecology and Morphology
First Year Teaching Coordinator
PASS Academic Lead

Contact details

+ 44 (0)121 414 5598
School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Julia Myatt is a lecturer in Behavioural Ecology and Morphology and teaches on a range of modules, including field courses, across all Undergraduate years.

Julia is also the First Year Teaching Coordinator (Tutor) and overseas all academic matters (inlcuding PASS) during the first year.

Her research interests have focused on the morphology-behaviour-habitat interface in non-human Great Apes (as part of the LEBL group in Biosciences) and the collective behavior of group-living animals, including free-ranging sheep and African wild dogs (with the Royal Veterinary College, University of London). She also works on the dynamics of hunting in various African carnivores and the locomotor abilities of dogs to out-manoeuvre their prey.

Julia is an experienced field biologist, working in the forests of Sumatra, Indonesia , the Okavango Delta, Botswana and the wilds of Norfolk!


BSc (hons)


Oct 2012-Sept 2012: Postdoctoral Researcher (Cooperate aerodynamics and radio-based dynamic localization) at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London with Prof Alan Wilson (RVC) and Prof Steve Hailes (UCL), funded by EPSRC.

Oct 2006-Oct 2010: PhD student at the University of Birmingham supervised by Dr Susannah Thorpe (Applying an ecomorphological framework to the study of orangutan positional behavior and the morphological variation within the non-human great apes), funded by BBSRC.

August 2005-August 2006: Research Technician at Lancaster University in the Insect Ecology group with Prof Ken Wilson.

Sept 2001-July 2005: BSc (hons) Applied Biology, University of Bath. Including 12 month-position at Syngenta working in the Entomology team.


Dr Julia Myatt is the module organizer of the third year module ‘Living in Groups: Collective Behaviour in Animals’. She also teaches aspects of animal biology and human evolution in various modules across the years.

Julia also acts as tutor across all 3 years and supervises a number of project students.


Dr Julia Myatt’s research has focused on understanding the relationship between the morphology of primates and the behaviours they perform in the complex forest environment (morphlogy-behaviour-habitat interface). She has a strong interest in all aspects of animal locomotion and behaviour, from the level of the muscle fibre through to the movement patterns and social interactions of whole groups. She is particularly interested in the relationship with the natural environment and how this shapes the evolution of the systems observed.

Other activities

Dr Julia Myatt is a keen outreach officer, working as a STEM ambassador for the last two years in Hertfordshire and now here in Birmingham. She has been involved with numerous school sessions, both in the lab and the classroom and enjoys bringing the excitement of animal biology to a wider audience.


Bailey, I.E., Myatt, J.P. and Wilson, A.M. (2013). Group hunting within the carnivora: physiological, cogntivie and environmental influences on strategy and cooperation. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 67: 1-17.

Usherwood, J.R., Channon, A.J., Myatt, J.P., Rankin, J.W. and Hubel, T.Y. (2012). The human foot and heel-sole-toe walking strategy: a mechanism enabling an inverted pendular gait with low isometric force?. J. Roy. Soc. Interface.

van Casteren, A; Sellers, W.I., Thorpe, S.K.S., Coward, S., Crompton, R.H., Myatt, J.P. and Ennos, A.R. (2012). Nest-building orangutans demonstrate engineering know-how to produce safe, comfortable beds. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.

Myatt, J.P., Crompton, R.H. and Payne-Davis et al. (2012). Functional adaptation in the forelimb muscles of non-human great apes. J Anat.

King A.J., Cheng, L., Starke, S.D. and Myatt, J.P. (2011). Is the true 'wisdom of the crowd' to copy successful individuals?. Biol Lett.

Myatt J.P. and Thorpe, S.K.S. (2011). Postural strategies employed by orangutans (Pongo abelii) during feeding in the terminal branch niche.Am J Phys Anthropol. 146: 73-82

Myatt J.P., Crompton, R.H. and Thorpe, S.K.S (2011). Hindlimb muscle architecture in non-human great apes and a comparison of methods for analysing inter-species variation.J Anat. 219: 150-166

Myatt J.P., Crompton, R.H. and Thorpe, S.K.S (2011). A new method for recording complex positional behaviours and habitat interactions in primates.Folia Primatol. 83: 13-24

Myatt J.P., Schilling, N. and Thorpe, S.K.S. (2011). Distribution patterns of fibre types in the tricep surae muscle group of chimpanzees and orangutans.J Anat. 218: 402-412

Portugal, S.J., Thorpe, S.K.S., Green, J.A., Myatt, J.P. and Butler, P.J. (2009). Testing the use/disuse hypothesis: pectoral leg muscle changes in captive barnacle geese Branta leucopsis during wing moult.J Exp Biol. 212: 2401-2410.

Cotter, S.C., Myatt, J.P., Benskin, C.M.H. and Wilson, K. (2008). Selection for cuticular melanism reveals immune function and life-history trade-offs inSpodoptera littoralis.J Evol Biol. 21: 1744-1754.