Dr. Greg Keenan

I am a lecturer in Psychology and programme leader for the BSc Psychology of Human and Animal behaviour. I joined the University of Salford in 2019 having previously worked at the University of Liverpool for 3.5 years as a post-doctoral researcher and then lecturer. I hold a PhD in Biopsychology (ESRC funded) and an MSc in Psychological Research methods (graduated with distinction), with both being completed at the University of Bristol.

I am an active researcher and currently co-lead the Nutrition, Pharmacology and Development Unit

I am passionate about helping students to consider their futures during their time at University and am the Careers co-lead for the school of Psychology.

Research interests

My research is focused on the psychobiology of human and animal food choice and intake. Current interests are:

  • Understanding why food insecurity / poverty (not knowing if you will have enough food to eat at your next meal) is paradoxically associated with weight gain. One explanation is that when individuals encounter instability in their food supply, it becomes prudent to eat more food as a form of insurance against future uncertainty. This model of behaviour is adapted from research in animal models, and there is growing evidence that humans might be biologically driven to respond in a similar manner. A second possibility is that the stress associated with experiencing food insecurity might encourage individuals to engage in certain weight promoting eating behaviours.
  • How humans and animals learn about certain foods. Humans are born with few food preferences but can make very detailed decisions about meals (e.g. when looking at a restaurant menu), indicating that most of these preferences and knowledge about the foods must be learnt through experience. Understanding the mechanisms behind this learning may help explain why individuals choose to consume certain foods and certain quantities. Animal models play a key role in developing this understanding.
  • Seeking to understand how and why environmental cues promote increased intake. For example, larger portions, eating in the presence of others, or variety within meals (e.g. all you can eat buffets).

Research output

See a list of Greg’s recent publications on google scholar

Or on the University of Salford’s repository http://usir.salford.ac.uk/view/authors/68696.html