Dr Rachael Miller (Harrison)

Comparative Psychologist | Behavioural Ecologist |

Cognition in Animal Conservation

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate/ Lab Manager at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. I use comparative, evolutionary and developmental approaches to investigate the evolution of cognition, primarily in birds and humans. 


Key aspects of my PhD in Cognitive Biology from the University of Vienna involved highlighting the critical role of individual differences, social context and development on cognition in wild and captive corvids (members of the crow family). In my Postdoc research, I test cognition in humans - both children and adults - and corvids, with a particular focus on self-control, behavioural flexibility, responses to novelty, social learning and reasoning about cause and effect. In addition, I am working to establish an independent project as PI using cognition research for applied conservation purposes in a critically endangered bird species, and with a team of early career researchers, to set-up a "ManyBirds" multi-site collaborative project on avian cognition research. I advocate Open Science practices, including publishing all data-sets associated with my papers, and (from Nov 2018) I pre-register my studies.


My research has resulted in a productive academic output (taking account of 2 periods of maternity leave and some part-time working): 27 publications, with an h-index of 13 and 705 citations. Alongside my research, as a Postdoc, I am responsible for teaching (lectures, practicals, exams on Psychology and Zoology University courses) and supervision of university students/ Junior Researchers, as well as lab management and administration.