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Dr Patrizia Paci

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Professional biography

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Animal-Computer Interaction at The Open University's Computing and Communications School, UK. I first trained as an animal physiologist and ecologist before gaining a Ph.D. in Interaction Design. My research interest is in analysing the behaviour of animals who interact with human-made technologies. I specialised in measuring the behavioural effects of biotelemetry systems on animals to understand individuals' experience with body-attached devices. My research aims at designing technologies and settings for animals that systematically accord with their needs and characteristics, therefore improving their welfare. 

Research interests

My research interests are driven by the goal of improving animals' affective welfare through the design of animal-centred technologies, settings, and environments that enable less intrusive human interventions in animals' lives. My past and current research include ethological observations and measuring of cats' reactions to animal-borne biotelemetry; 
wearer-centred design in wildlife biotelemetry; 
physical prototyping of animal-centred devices for cats and working dogs; 
analysis of animals' interaction with animal-centred interfaces; 
Mobility Assistance Dogs smart-working environments design;
investigation of privacy behaviours in non-human animals; 
cognitive and digital enrichment for zoo animals.

Teaching interests

Associate Lecturer in S111 - Questions in Science: Level 1, 60-credit module. Introductory science encompassing biology, chemistry, physics, earth and environmental sciences, astronomy and planetary science.

Module Assistant in Evolutionary Ecology: Preparing and revising teaching and practical material addressing various aspects of the physiology, behaviour, ecology and evolution of organisms within the overarching theme Adaptation and Natural Selection.

Post-graduate Forum Advisor: Taking part in the school's PhD student forum, facilitating the development of participants' research skills and critical thinking.

PhD Third-Party Monitor: Providing pastoral support for students outside of the supervisory environment; identify and resolve potential student/supervisor conflicts; identifying research process problems (staff time, equipment, etc.)

Library Supporter: Supporting a visually impaired researcher with reading and summarizing literature in Human-Computer Interaction, museum-experience design, and participatory and emancipatory research. Experience in systematic literature review (Project ARCHES).

Supervision of visiting students: High school and master students.

Impact and engagement

Dog-Smart Homes project - Coordinating research, collecting evidence, and organising public events for the Open University Impact Case Study REF2021


Understanding the Interaction Between Animals and Wearables: The Wearer Experience of Cats (2020-07)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine
In : DIS'20: Designing Interactive Systems 2020 (6-10 Jul 2020, Eindhoven, The Netherlands) (pp. 1701-1712)

Wearer-Centered Design for Animal Biotelemetry: Implementation and Wearability Test of a Prototype (2019-09-09)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine A.
In : ISWC2019: International Symposium on Wearable Computing (11-13 Sep 2019, London, UK) (pp. 177-185)

Designing for wearability: an animal-centred framework (2019)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine
In : 6th International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (12-14 Nov 2019, Haifa, Israel)

The Role of Ethological Observation for Measuring Animal Reactions to Biotelemetry Devices (2017)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine
In : Proc. Fourth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction, ACI2017 (21-23 Nov 2017, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)

Designing for Wearability in Animal Biotelemetry (2016-11-17)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine A.
In : ACI'16 (16-17 Nov 2016, Milton Keynes)

Towards a Wearer-Centred Framework for Animal Biotelemetry (2016)
Paci, Patrizia; Mancini, Clara and Price, Blaine A.
In : Proceedings of Measuring Behaviour 2016 (25-27 May 2016, Dublin)

A Wearer-Centred Framework to Design for Wearability in Animal Biotelemetry (2019-10-28)
Paci, Patrizia
PhD thesis The Open University