Marie-Claire Pagano

My background is in behavioural ecology. I studied zoology at the University of Birmingham, UK and completed an MRes in Biological Anthropology at Durham University, UK. I enjoy observing animals and exploring how and why they behave in certain ways and am currently on a doctoral training programme focusing on studying behaviour with informatics. I am studying expressions of emotions in dogs using deep and machine learning techniques.

Domestic dogs are an interesting species to study. They have multiple social partners, us and other dogs as well as other domesticated animals. They are social animals and have been our companions for thousands of years. They also have a range of different morphologies thanks to our selective breeding. These aspects spark questions about how they communicate with and understand humans and other dogs. I am exploring how and whether we can automatically detect emotions in dogs by tracking specific facial features and anatomy using marker based and marker-less tracking methods.

Tracking facial expressions using Deeplabcut

We are currently recruiting dogs and their humans to help us explore how dogs express emotions with their faces. To explore this, we require your help to run a few experiments at home with your dog and capture videos of their facial expressions. Please use the link below or contact me to find out more and sign up.

Link for emotion study

Email me on M.Pagano2 at

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