Ashley Ward

My Work


I’m Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Sydney, where my research focusses on the social behaviour of animals including krill, fish, birds and mammals. I don’t limit myself to this topic, however – I’m equally interested in learning, communication and decision-making in animals. See my contact information below and get in touch.


My first popular science book, The Social Lives of Animals (published previously as an audiobook under the title Animal Societies), was published in early 2022. I’ve since completed a follow-up on the topic of the senses due for release soon (see below), and since I hate having spare time, I’m now working on a third book.


I’m excited to announce that my new book on the senses will be available soon!

The book, entitled Sensational in the UK, will be released on January 5th

Meanwhile, in the US, it’ll be released as Where We Meet The World, and it’s out on March 28

Our senses are what make life worth living. They allow us to appreciate a sip of an ice cold drink, the sound of laughter, the touch of a lover. But only recently have incredible advances in sensory biology given us the ability to understand how and why our senses evolved as they did. In Where We Meet the World, biologist Ashley Ward takes readers on a breathtaking tour of how our senses function. Ward looks at not only the five major senses—vision, hearing,
taste, smell, and touch—but also a host of other senses such as balance and interoception, the sense of the body’s internal state. Drawing on new research, he explores how our senses interact with and regulate each other, and he uncovers what we can learn from how other animals—and even bacteria—encounter the world.

Full of warmth and humor, Where We Meet the World shows how new insights in biology transform our understanding of the relationship between ourselves and our environment, revealing the vibrancy—and strangeness—of both.

About Me

I’ve been fascinated with animals and their behaviour since I was a child, fossicking in streams, under logs or peering into rockpools. Eventually, I turned it into a career as a biologist and, most recently, as an author.

Using a scientific framework to answer the questions of how and why animals do what they do excites me as much as ever, even now, twenty years since starting my PhD


School of Life and Environmental Science

University of Sydney

Sydney, NSW


Get In Touch


+61 (0)2 9351 4778