My Background

My research through Postdoctoral posts (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) has focused on examining the evolution of cognition through the study of animals, primarily birds and humans. My 13-years of research in comparative psychology and behavioural ecology has resulted in a productive academic output, taking account of 2-years of maternity leave and some part-time working: 27 publications (13 as lead-author), with an h-index of 13 and 696 citations. 

In parallel, I also have a strong interest in animal conservation with a 17-year background of skills, knowledge and practical experience in animal care, welfare, training and conservation, including my roles at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo as Avian Research Coordinator, Animal Keeper and Animal Trainer, a conservation trip to Uganda, education trip to Zambia, and Animal Management degree.

Selected Current Projects (April 2021)

ManyBirds Project

We are working to establish a multi-lab 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. Invited article in Animals MDPI in preparation.

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

I am working towards establishing a project combining cognitive research with applied conservation in Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi).

I recently secured a £5,000 grant from University of Cambridge to support this research. ​

Neophobia in Corvids

I am leading a pre-registered collaborative study incorporating data from 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, Prof Russell Gray, Dr Alison Greggor, Prof Ei-Ichi Izawa, Prof Debbie M. Kelly, Dr Zhongqiu Li, Yunchao Luo, 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

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