My Background


My research through PI (Cambridge University, 2021-date), Postdoc (Cambridge University, 2015-date), PhD (Vienna University, 2012-2016), Research Assistant (Auckland University, 2011; Edinburgh Zoo roles, 2008-2010) and MSc (St Andrews University, 2010-2011) positions has focused on examining the evolution of cognition, primarily in birds and humans (including children). ​In parallel, I also have a strong background of skills, knowledge and practical experience in animal care, welfare, training and conservation, including roles at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo as Avian Research Coordinator, Animal Keeper and Animal Trainer, animal conservation work in Uganda & Zambia, and Zoo Animal Management degree.

Selected Current Projects (June 2021)

ManyBirds Project

We (a team of early career researchers) are working to establish a multi-site collaborative Open Science approach to provide new insights into the evolution of avian cognition through comparative studies, following the lead of exemplary ManyPrimates, ManyBabies and ManyDogs projects. Pre-print available, submitted for publication. 

Current Collaborators:

Dr Megan Lambert  (University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna), Dr Stephan Reber (Lund University), Ben Farrar (Cambridge University),

Elias Garcia-Pelegrin (Cambridge University)


Cognition in Animal Conservation

As PI, I am leading an independent project combining cognitive research with applied conservation in Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi).

I recently secured a small grant from University of Cambridge to support this research. ​

Bail starling.jpg

Neophobia in Corvids

I am leading a pre-registered collaborative study incorporating data collected in 10 corvid labs world-wide, focussing on the role of socio-ecological factors on responses to novelty (neophobia) - publication in preparation. 


Current Collaborators:

Dr Megan Lambert, Dr Anna Frohnweiser, Dr Katharina Brecht, Prof Thomas Bugnyar, Isabelle Crampton, Elias Garcia-Pelegrin, Prof Kristy Gould, Dr Alison Greggor, Prof Ei-Ichi Izawa, Prof Debbie M. Kelly, Dr Zhongqiu Li, Yunchao Luo, Linh Luong, Dr Jorg Massen, Prof Andreas Neider, Dr Stephan Reber, Martina Schiestl, Akiko Seguchi, Parisa Sepehri , Prof Jeffrey R. Stevens , Dr Alex Taylor, Lin Wang, London M. Wolff, Yigui Zhang, Prof Nicky S. Clayton