Gordon M. Burghardt

Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Phone: 865-974-3300
E-mail: gburghar@utk.edu

Departmental Website


Gordon M. Burghardt works in several areas of psychology and biology. His main interests are the development and evolution of behavior. He is an expert on the ethology of reptiles and bears, play behavior, ritual and religion, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare.

Topics of expertise: Animal behavior, reptiles, play, animal ethics, comparative psychology, evolution and religion, ethology, early experience

Recent media mentions

There is growing evidence that shows it is not just kittens and baby chimps that play but also birds, reptiles, fish, and even invertebrates, including spiders and wasps. Discover, June 2017

Should we fear snakes? Can we be too scared of snakes? News Sentinel/USA Today, Phil Kronk, June 23

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