My Background


My research as PI (Cambridge University, 2021-date), Research Associate (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, 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

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.


Accepted (27.9.21) at Animal Behavior and Cognition, pre-print available ( 


@TheManyBirds (Twitter) 

(Website) (Email)  

Current Collaborators:

Dr Megan Lambert  (University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna), Dr Stephan Reber (Lund University), Dr Vedrana Šlipogor (University of South Bohemia),

Elias Garcia-Pelegrin (Cambridge University), Dr Jinook Oh (Institute of Science and Technology, Austria), Dr Claudia Mettke-Hofmann (Liverpool John Moores University), Emma Arbeau (Web designer)


Cognition in Animal Conservation

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

I secured a small grant from University of Cambridge to support this research and hire a research team: Elias Garcia-Pelegrin and Emily Danby (summer 2021). ​

Manuscript submitted to Royal Society Open Science, pre-print available (

Bail starling.jpg

Neophobia in Corvids

I am leading a multi-lab collaborative study  on individual repeatability, species differences and the socio-ecological correlates of  neophobia

(responses to novelty) in 10 corvid species.


In Current Biology,

PDF available here until 6 Jan 2022:



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 Nieder, 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