Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Animal-Computer Interaction incl. Interspecies Information Systems Engineering, Internet of Pets, Computational Animal Behaviour Analysis

Personal profile

Research interests

My main research interest is understanding how people build and use technology in unexpected ways, and how this impacts the lives and livelihoods of its users. I focus in particular on "interspecies information systems"—the emergent systems that arise when technology for animals informs humans of how to act towards animals, whether that be in the context of farming, working animals like guide dogs, companion animals like pets, or even wildlife.


Dirk is a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Northumbria University. His research intersects the human side of requirements engineering, cyberpsychology, and animal-computer interaction, focusing on understanding how people build and use technology in unexpected ways, and how this impacts the lives and livelihoods of its users (aka social implications of technology).

He is co-founder of the Tech4Animals Lab (, an international multi-disciplinary research team developing and studying technology for animal science, welfare, well-being and the human-animal relationship. He is a steering member of the International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction, co-chaired the 2019 edition of the conference in Haifa, will serve as general chair for the 2022 edition right here in Newcastle upon Tyne, and serves on the organization committee of the International Summer School on Animal-Centered Computing.

Dirk has published over 60 peer-reviewed works including conference proceedings, journal articles, and book chapters, frequently collaborating with international and industrial partners. His work has been covered in press in multiple languages, informed policy briefings distributed among governmental and public bodies on e.g., pet data protection, and led to expert commentary in popular media.

But most importantly: he is always excited at the prospect of working with new students who share (some) research interests, and more than happy to introduce them to his network of collaborators. So if some of the above interests you, and you want to work on projects or your thesis, get in touch!

Education/Academic qualification

Information Systems, PhD, Personal semantics of meta-concepts in conceptual modeling languages, Radboud University Nijmegen

Award Date: 13 Feb 2015

Information Science, MSc, A method for durability analysis of development systems in computing science, Radboud University Nijmegen

Award Date: 9 Jul 2010

Bioinformatics, BSc, HAN University of Applied Sciences

Award Date: 6 Jul 2007


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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