Animals are emotional and empathic beings which show their feelings according to a leading American scholar from the University of Colorado, in Australia for a series of public lectures.
Emeritus Professor Marc Bekoff will explain how recent research shows that animals have emotions.
Professor Bekoff is a keynote speaker for the 'Minding Animals' conference to be held in Newcastle in 2009, and is in Australia for a series of pre-conference lectures.
During the lectures, Professor Bekoff will consider whether animals experience a sense of awe, wonder and mystery.
"Animal emotions aren't all that mysterious. Just look at them, listen to them, and see what happens when they interact with friends and foes - look at their face, tail, body, gait and eyes," he said.
"What we see on the outside tells us a lot about what is happening inside animals' heads and hearts."
Professor Bekoff will deliver public lectures in Adelaide on 4 March, Sydney on 5 March and Newcastle at 6pm on 6 March at the University of Newcastle's McMullin Lecture Theatre, Newcastle campus at Callaghan.
The 'Minding Animals' conference is being hosted in Newcastle between 13 and 19 July, 2009, by the University of Newcastle and the Animals and Society (Australia) Study Group. The conference will involve scientists, animal scholars and animal activists to discuss matters relating to animal advocacy, environmentalism and the relationship between humans and animals.www.mindinganimals.com
Professor Marc Bekoff will be available for media interviews in Adelaide on 3 and 4 March, and in Newcastle on 6 and 7 March. Interviews can be arranged through the following contacts:
For the Adelaide lectures, please contact Dr Margi Prideaux from the International Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
For the Sydney and Newcastle lectures, and information regarding the 2009 Minding Animals Conference, please contact Dr Rod Bennison.