Dr Rachael Miller (Harrison)

Cognition in Animal Conservation | Comparative Psychology | 

Child Development | Behavioural Ecology 

I am currently a Principal Investigator (PI) & Research Associate at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge,

and a Lecturer in Biology (Animal Behaviour) at the School of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University.


I use comparative, ecological and developmental approaches to investigate the evolution of cognition, primarily in birds and humans (children and adults). My research has resulted in a productive academic output (taking account of 2 periods of maternity leave and some part-time working): 32 publications, with an h-index of 15 and 814 citations (Google Scholar). As PI, I am leading two independent research projects supported by my secured funding: 1. Cognition in animal conservation with a critically endangered bird species; 2. With a core team of early career researchers, "ManyBirds" Project - multi-site collaborative Open Science approach to avian cognition and behaviour research.

In my current Research Associate role, in Dr Lucy Cheke's CAMB Lab at Cambridge University, I test the effects of COVID-19 on cognition in adults and children, using online experiments. In my two previous Research Associate roles, in Prof Nicky Clayton's CCL Lab at Cambridge University, I tested cognition in humans and corvids (crow family), with a particular focus on self-control, behavioural flexibility, responses to novelty, social learning and reasoning about cause and effect. Key aspects of my PhD in Cognitive Biology, in Prof Thomas Bugnyar's Corvid Lab at Vienna University, involved highlighting the critical role of individual differences, social context and development on cognition in wild and captive crows and ravens.


Alongside my research, I am responsible for teaching (lectures, practicals, exams on Psychology, Biology and Zoology University courses) and supervision/ mentoring of university students/ Junior Researchers, as well as lab management and administration. I advocate Open Science practices, including publishing all data-sets associated with my papers, and (from Nov 2018) I pre-register my studies.