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Professor Peter Rogers

Professor Peter Rogers

Professor Peter Rogers
B.Sc.(Sus.), M.Sc.(Sus.), Ph.D.(Leeds), C.Psychol., F.B.Ps.S., R.Nutr.

Professor of Biological Psychology

Area of research

Nutrition and Behaviour

Office 4D1
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8588
+44 (0) 117 928 8584


I study nutrition and behaviour, and a large part of this research is concerned with how physiological, learned and cognitive controls on appetite are integrated. The results are relevant to identifying the causes of obesity and disordered eating, and to understanding food choice, food craving and food ‘addiction.’ I also work on dietary effects on mood and cognition; which includes research on how food consumption affects alertness and attention, and studies of longer-term influences of diet on psychological health. Linking the above areas is a third area of interest – the psychopharmacology of caffeine. My research on this ubiquitously consumed substance began with questions about how preferences for caffeine-containing drinks develop, and then focussed on caffeine’s psychostimulant, anxiogenic and motor effects. Caffeine provides a good example of the distinction between dependence and addiction. When frequent caffeine consumers interrupt their habit for more than half a day they function below par (dependence), but this does not cause a strong compulsion to consume caffeine. Currently, most of my research is directed at understanding appetite and weight control. Within this area I am working on projects investigating the effects of glucoprivation, the effects of low-calorie sweeteners consumption, the determinants of food reward (including meal enjoyment and satisfaction), weight management in type 2 diabetes, and food disgust. A good deal of this work is driven by the principles of the ‘saucepan and bathtub’ model of appetite control (Rogers and Brunstrom, 2016), which I am also currently developing into a more comprehensive account of relevant findings from biology and psychology.


Recent and current grants

  • Various externally-funded PhD studentships. 2007-18
  • Understanding decisions about portion size: The key to acceptable foods that reduce energy intake? Funded by BBSRC DRINC. Co-I, PI is Professor Jeff Brunstrom. 2009-2012
  • Satiety effects of sugar-containing drinks. Funded by Sugar Nutrition UK. 2010-14
  • Caffeine, alertness and performance. Funded by GlaxoSmithKline. 2010-2013
  • Does flavour-nutrient inconsistency compromise energy regulation in humans? Funded by BBSRC. Co-Investigator, PI is Professor Jeff Brunstrom. 2012-15
  • Understanding eating topography: The key to acceptable energy intake in humans? Funded by BBSRC and Nestlé. Co-Investigator, PI is Professor Jeff Brunstrom. 2012-2015
  • Nudge-it. The Neurobiology of Decision Making in Eating - Innovative Tools. WP 'Deconstructing food choice: A role for sensory, nutrient and satiety reward.' Funded by EU FP7. Professor Jeff Brunstrom, Professor Peter Rogers and Dr Jon Brooks. 2014-2019
  • Nudge150: Combining small changes to foods to achieve a sustained decrease in energy intake. PI, Co-Investigators Professor Jeff Brunstrom and Professor Susan Jebb. Funded by BBSRC DRINC. 2015-2018  


After doing degrees in Biology (BSc) and Experimental Psychology (MSc) at the University of Sussex (1972-1976), I worked in teaching and research at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester (1976-1990). I completed a PhD on eating behaviour at the University of Leeds in 1983. Between 1990 and 1998 I was Head of Psychobiology in the Consumer Sciences Department, Institute of Food Research, Reading. During part of my last year with the Institute of Food Research I worked at CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia. I joined the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol as Senior Lecturer in 1999 and was promoted to Professor of Biological Psychology in 2003. I was Head of Department 2001-2004, and 2008-2012.  I am a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Registered Nutritionist.


  • Nutrition and Behaviour (PSYC 31032, year 3 option, Experimental Psychology)
  • Year 3 Experimental Psychology research projects.

PhD students supervised

  • Charlotte Buckley (2014-). Protein and appetite. Funded by ESRC SWDTC
  • Jennifer Ferrar (2014-). Thirst, fluid calories and energy intake.
  • Rebecca Johnson, MSc by Research (2014-). Motor effects of caffeine.
  • Nouf Gadah (2010-2013). Sugar and appetite. Funded by the King Abdullah Scholarship Program.
  • Sanaya Pardiwalla (2008-11). The psychoactive effects of chocolate and its constituents. Funded by Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards scheme.
  • Emma Keenan (2007-11). Sleep, mood and cognitive function. Funded by Industrial CASE award (BBSRC and GlaxoSmithKline).
  • Jessica Smith (2007-11). Effects of caffeine and theanine on anxiety and neurocognition. Funded by Unilever.
  • Michael Irvine (2007-10). Determinants of appetite and satiety for confectionery. Funded by Great Western Research (industrial partner is Cadbury plc).


  • Appetite
  • Dieting
  • Food preferences
  • Craving
  • Food 'addiction'
  • Reward
  • Pleasure
  • Mood
  • Caffeine Nicotine
  • Alcohol


I am a psychologist with an academic background in biological sciences. Broadly speaking, my current research is concerned with nutrition and behaviour, and involves fundamental and applied studies, and interdisciplinary collaboration. A major theme is motivation, learning and cognition in relation to the control appetite and the acquisition of food preferences. Further fundamental work has investigated dietary influences on cognitive performance and mood, and the psychopharmacology of caffeine. My research on caffeine, which began with questions about how preferences for caffeine-containing drinks develop, involves several original lines of work investigating the reinforcing, mood and psychomotor effects of this ubiquitously consumed substance. We are now applying similar methodologies in new research on nicotine.

  • weight control
  • food choice
  • nutrition; health and behaviour
  • psychopharmacology
  • caffeine
  • craving and addiction
  • human classical conditioning
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    Recent publications

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