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Picture: Tanya Lacey

Hey there! Welcome to my website. I’m a philosopher working on animal minds and animal ethics, currently an assistant professor at the Department of Logic, History, and Philosophy of Science of UNED. Feel free to nose around!

If you want to get in touch with me, you can send me an email to smonso [at] fsof [dot] uned [dot] es

You can also find me on Twitter, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, ORCIDAcademia, and PhilPeople.

All nonhuman animal pictures on this website are from Unsplash.

About me

I was born in Madrid in 1988. I hold a BA in Philosophy from Complutense University of Madrid, an MA in Global Ethics and Human Values from King’s College London, and a PhD in Philosophy from UNED, Spain. I have been a post-doc fellow at the University of Graz and at the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna and am now based at the Department of Logic, History, and Philosophy of Science of UNED.

I also run the Animal Cognition & Ethics mailing list.

Since you clicked your way into this site, you may be interested in some further random facts about me:

My pronouns are she/her.

My surname is pronounced “mons-OH”, never “MONS-oh”.

In my free time I enjoy acting, playing board games, binge-watching TV series, and reading novels with badass female characters.

If I could belong to a different species, I would choose to be a humpback whale.

This is me talking about tardigrades. Picture: Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0

Research

I’m interested in what animals are capable of feeling, thinking, and doing, and what this means for the sort of treatment that we owe them.

I have been a Lise Meitner fellow at the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna, leading a project entitled ‘Animals and the Concept of Death’ (2019-2021). The purpose was to examine how nonhuman animals experience and understand death. The main research focus was a conceptual analysis of what understanding death amounts to, as well as an investigation of its cognitive requirements and an assessment of the pertinent empirical evidence being gathered in the fields of ethology and comparative psychology. I have also collaborated with some members of the Comparative Cognition team at the Messerli, designing experiments to test the ideas developed in the course of the project. All of this research culminated in a book, published in Spanish with Plaza y Valdés.

In addition to this, I’m involved in an FWF-funded Stand-alone project entitled ‘Morality in Animals: What It Means and Why It Matters,’ which is led by Judith Benz-Schwarzburg and ongoing since 2018. In this project, we are investigating the different forms, both positive and negative, that the moral capacities of animals may take. We are also devising new ways in which scientists can study these capacities, as well as mapping out the ethical implications of animal morality.

You can check out what I’ve written until now by having a look at my publications. In addition, here’s a list of works of mine that are currently in preparation or under review:

Press coverage

Susana Monsó: «La mayoría de los animales que nos comemos siente y padece» — Interview for the Spanish magazine XLSemanal (25/09/2022)

La ballena que paseó a su bebé muerto por medio mundo — Mention in El Caballo de Nietzsche, the animal ethics blog of the Spanish newspaper elDiario.es (09/07/2022)

Directo 9 — Interview for the Spanish podcast Filosofía de Bolsillo (22/06/2022)

Lletraferida 30-05-2022 — Interview for the Spanish radio Matadepera Ràdio (30/05/2022)

¿Pueden ser morales el resto de animales? — Mention in the Spanish newspaper El País (28/05/2022)

“We are reflective animals – which comes with responsibility” — Interview for the Sentientism podcast (22/05/2022)

¿Entienden la muerte los animales? — Interview for the Spanish podcast El Dragón Invisible (15/05/2022)

Susana Monsó: «Nos da miedo aceptar que somos depredadores» — Interview for the Spanish magazine Zenda (10/05/2022)

Animal minds and animal morality — Interview (with Kristin Andrews) for the American podcast Many Minds (28/04/2022)

Musarañas — Interview for the Spanish podcast La Tecla Muerta (01/04/2022)

¿Tienen sentimientos las langostas, los cangrejos o los pulpos? — Interview for the Spanish newspaper El Correo (25/03/2022)

7 marzo 22 — Interview for the Mexican YouTube channel Cultivemos Bioética (07/03/2022)

Death is common in every species — Interview for the American podcast Tomorrow, Today (07/03/2022)

La thanatose, ou quand l’animal mime la mort pour tromper ses prédateurs — Mention in the French magazine Sciences et Avenir (19/02/2022)

Do animals understand what it means to die? — Interview for VICE magazine (02/02/2022)

Vegetarianismo: la dieta del futuro — Interview for the Spanish podcast Carne Cruda (24/01/2022)

Animals respond to death in many ways. Mourning might be one of them. — Interview for Discover Magazine (21/01/2022)

Entrevista a Susana Monsó: ¿Cómo se enfrentan los animales a la muerte? — Interview for the Spanish podcast Muy Interesante (04/01/2022)

Elephant fight club — Interview for the American podcast Water Cooler Talk (30/11/2021)

¿Entienden la muerte los animales? — Interview for the Spanish podcast Inaplicables (20/11/2021)

Holt volt, holt nem volt: a halál — Interview for the Hungarian magazine 168 Óra (31/10/2021)

‘Manche Tiere ahmen verwesende Leichen nach’ — Interview for the German newspaper Der Spiegel (30/10/2021)

Power and possums — Interview for the Australian national radio ABC (25/10/2021)

What can dogs, coyotes and opossums tell us about death? — Mention in the American blog Psychology Today (3/10/2021)

‘Playing possum’ shows animals know death — Mention in Nature’s newsletter Nature Briefing (21/09/2021)

Así pasan su duelo las madres primates cuando mueren sus bebés — Mention in the Spanish newspaper El Español (20/09/2021)

Cómo viven y entienden la muerte los animales — Interview for the Spanish radio Canal UNED (15/09/2021)

Experimentación con animales. El caso Vivotecnia y muchos más — Interview for the Spanish radio programme Carne Cruda (18/05/2021)

How does it feel to be a bee? The quest to understand animal sentience — Interview for Horizon, the EU magazine on research and innovation (16/02/2021)

Tánatos — Interview for the Spanish podcast Catástrofe Ultravioleta (01/12/2020)

No soy más listo porque no entreno — Interview for the Spanish magazine Muy Interesante (17/06/2020)

Animal ethics – mit Dr. Susana Monsó — Interview for the Austrian podcast Wuide Goas (05/05/2020)

Los animales también tienen conductas morales — Interview for the Mexican newspaper Diario de Yucatán (23/07/2019)

Herrera en COPE — Interview for the Spanish radio COPE (11/07/2019)

¿Tienen moral los animales? — Interview for the Spanish press agency EFE (picked up by the Spanish newspapers El Mundo and Público, among others) (02/07/2019)

CV

You can download my CV by clicking here.