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New Caledonian crows can infer the weight of objects from their movements in a breeze.

(Jelbert, Miller et al. 2019, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)


March 2012-February 2016

PhD in Cognitive Biology

University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

September 2010-August 2011

MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology

University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK

September 2008-June 2010

Advanced National Certificate in Zoo Animal Management

Sparsholt College, Sparsholt, UK

September 2004-August 2008

MA in Psychology

University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Professional Career

1 February 2021 - date

Principal Investigator and/or Lead Research Roles, Anglia Ruskin University and University of Cambridge, UK

  • Animal Cognition & Behaviour: Exploring the evolutionary and developmental drivers of cognition and behaviour within and between-species: a) Corvids, non-human primates and/or children (Prof Nicky Clayton, Cambridge University; Prof Thomas Bugnyar, Vienna University; Dr Elias Garcia-Pelegrin, National University of Singapore). 3 publications: publication 28, 34, 35 plus 3 submitted; £53,300 funds awarded;b) Wild blue & great tits fieldwork (Dr Julia Mackenzie, Dr Çağlar Akçay, ARU). Co-senior paper in prep; £4,500 funds awarded

  • Big-Team Open Science: Working to increase accessibility, transparency, inclusivity and representation in research – changing the narrative from competition to collaboration and promoting Open Science practices: a) Co-Founder of the ManyBirds Project, February 2021 to date (with Co-Founder Dr Megan Lambert, Veterinary Medicine University Vienna; 100+ collaborations; 64 institutions worldwide;; Study 1 represents 160+ avian species. Manage Twitter/X handle: @TheManyBirds with 1000+ followers). 3 publications: publication 29-31 plus 1 submitted; £15,000 funds secured;b) Team Lead on the ManyManys Consortium, October 2022 to date (40+ international collaborators including MM1 Project Leads Dr Nicolás Alessandroni (Concordia University) and Dr Laurent Prétôt (Pittsburg State University); 1 publication accepted (publication 39)

  • 3.Applications for Conservation and Welfare: Applying cognition and behaviour research to enhance conservation initiatives to improve survival outcomes in reintroduction of threatened species:a) PI on Critically Endangered Bali Myna Project (Prof Stuart Marsden, Manchester Metropolitan University; Rothschild Foundation; Friends of the National Park Foundation). Publication 32 plus 1 submitted; £56,000 funds secured;b) PI on Red-billed chough Project (Prof Alex Thornton, Exeter University; Wildwood Kent, Kent Wildlife Trust); Implementing cognition and behaviour to improve welfare including guidance on decision-making process for funding improvements;c) Farm Animal Welfare funded by Open Philanthropy (Dr Bob Fischer, Rethink Priorities). Publication 33 plus 2 submitted; £3,300 funds secured.  

1 December 2021 - 31 May 2022 (50% FTE, fixed-term), 1 June 2022 - date (60% FTE, permanent role), 1 August 2023 - date (promotion to Senior Lecturer)

Senior Lecturer in Biology, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

1 August 2021 - 31 Dec 2021, 31 May 2022 - 30 May 2023, 31 May 2023 - 30 May 2024

*Visiting Researcher and Invited Guest Lecturer, University of Cambridge, UK (*full affilation rights)

  • 2023-24: Comparative Cognition research, hosted by Prof Nicola Clayton. External PhD interviewer for Cambridge University

  • 2022-23: Cognition & Covid-19 Project, hosted by Dr Lucy Cheke

  • 2021: Comparative Cognition research, hosted by Prof Clayton, with birds and children: continuing in preparation/ submitted manuscripts and completion of PhD student supervision (publication 28, 34)

  • Teaching (2021-date): Continuing teaching on BSc-level courses (in-person & live streaming) – positive student feedback received

4 October 2021 - 31 December 2021 (27% FTE), 1 June 2022 - 31 August 2022 (13% FTE)

Independent Researcher, Rethink Priorities, USA

Animal Welfare Research: Moral Weight and Animal Sentience Project, review and theoretical research of cognition and welfare across 10 farmed taxa leading to 1 publication (publication 33), 1 pre-print (Miller et al., Submitted) and 1 book chapter (Duffy et al. Submitted) in revision. Rethink Priorities funded by Open Philanthropy, with Dr Bob Fischer (Texas State University). Income generation brought to ARU.

22 November 2021 - 30 May 2022 (20% FTE)

Research Associate in Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

  • Cognition and Covid-19 Project: Leverhulme Trust funded position with Dr Lucy Cheke, focussing on research into the effects of Covid-19 on cognition in adults and children. 2 co-author publications in preparation.

  • Lab Management: Assisting in running the lab and Long Covid Project

1 August 2019 - 31 July 2021 (50% FTE: maternity leave August 2019-July 2020)

Research Associate/ Lab Manager in Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

  • European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant funded position with Prof Nicola Clayton (PI)

  • Animal Cognition/ Behaviour & Child Development research with birds & children: 5 publications (publications 24-27), inc “Welfare in corvids” book chapter (37)

  • Formed new collaborations, inc Dr Nishant Kumar (Wildlife institute of India; Oxford University) - co-applicant grant “Street smartness in people and stray dogs” secured

  • Teaching: Designing, delivering & organising Undergraduate courses primarily online (due to Covid-19 pandemic), including exam assessor and use of Moodle, Panopto, Teams and Zoom for online lectures (live & pre-recorded), setting learning objectives, participating in/ chairing seminar style discussions, meetings, and discussion forums. Gained positive student feedback

  • Supervision: PhD & Undergrad research projects, prospective PhD & MPhil proposal support. Final supervised student was awarded 1st Class for her Undergrad project (supervised virtually - particularly challenging during the pandemic)

  • Administration & Lab Management: co-managing culturally diverse lab of 15+ members plus external collaborators – securing funding for bird research facilities (£50,000), organising & chairing lab meetings, ERC grant & lab administration e.g. Home Office non-regulated procedures, AWERB ethics bird use reports, responsible for bird welfare, testing schedules, grant financial reports and overseeing lab finances lab pre-registration admin, health & safety compliance inc Occupational Health & COVID-19 risk assessments, hosting virtual lab yoga during the pandemic

1 March 2015 - 31 July 2019 (100% FTE then 70% FTE from Jan 2018: maternity leave Oct 2016-Sept 2017)

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

  • ERC funded research position with Prof Clayton. Lead role on successful application to secure 1-yr extension supporting five staff.

  • Animal Cognition/ Behaviour & Child Development research with birds & humans (adults and children): 10 publications (publications 6, 9, 14-17, 19-22)

  • Designed & published causal reasoning research in line with ERC proposal e.g. highlighting impact of prior reward-stimulus associations on corvid, though not child, cognitive performance

  • Enhanced project output by introducing and publishing on new research lines inc self-control (review and empirical-based publications), social learning of tool-use behaviours, and flexibility in planning & decision-making

  • Formed new/ continued collaborations (e.g. publications 19, 20, 21)

  • Research dissemination: conference presentations, media output, public engagement (schools & nurseries)

  • Teaching: Planned, prepared & delivered lectures and led practicals for in-person teaching. Gained positive student feedback

  • Supervision: PhD & Undergrad students & Junior Researchers/ Research Assistants

  • Administration & Lab Management: ERC grant administration, submitting funding applications (inc ERC Advanced Grant & shortlisted for several Fellowships), lab management inc ensuring compliance with ethical & animal regulations and obtaining Home Office Personal License, staff training, hand-rearing & training 16 Eurasian jays for new research group, HR matters inc led 6 recruitment appointments, member of Health & Safety Committee & Animal Users Committee

March 2012-February 2016

PhD in Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria

  • Vienna Science & Technology Fund (3-year) position with Prof Thomas Bugnyar & Dr Christine Schwab. PhD Viva awarded 1st Class

  • Cognitive Biology & Behavioural Ecology research: thesis - the role of identity, social context & development on corvid behaviour; 6 publications (publications 10-13, 18, 23)

  • Led all aspects of own research, inc literature review, research design, obtaining ethical approval, data collection (wild & captive birds), bird training, ringing wild crows, hand-reared 22 corvids, bird care, video coding, data analysis (R, SPSS) manuscript preparation & publications. Presented at international conferences

  • Formed collaborations in & outside University (e.g. publications 13, 18, 23)

  • Teaching: Undergrad practical course. Co-supervision: MSc & Undergrad students

September-November 2011

Research Assistant in Psychology, Auckland University, New Zealand

With Prof Russell Gray & Dr Alexander Taylor: cognition experiments with New Caledonian crows in New Caledonia (publications 2, 4, 5, 8).

June 2004-August 2011 (part-time 2004-2008 during Undergraduate degree)

Avian Research Coordinator, Qualified Animal Keeper, Animal Trainer
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Edinburgh Zoo, UK

  • Qualified Animal Keeper and Animal Trainer (publication 3)

  • Ex-situ conservation: actively participated in captive breeding programmes, public engagement and education (inc keeper talks), animal welfare, care & training; ANC in Zoo Animal Management qualification

  • In-situ conservation fieldwork: Munda Wanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Zambia (2006), wild chimpanzees at Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda (2007; RATEL magazine piece)

  • As Avian Research Coordinator: Animal Cognition/ Behaviour & Behavioural Ecology research: with Dr Amanda Seed & Prof Richard Byrne (St Andrews University). Appointed first RZSS Research Group Representative for Avian Behavioural Research to facilitate creation of Avian Cognition Centre in Edinburgh Zoo (joint venture with St. Andrews University), inc securing support & funding. Created wild crow study site in Edinburgh Zoo inc obtaining British Trust of Ornithology ringing permit. In this role, co-supervision: 4 BSc and MSc level students

  • Collaborated with Dr Valerie Dufour (CNRS), Dr Claudia Wascher (Anglia Ruskin University) & Prof Bugnyar in corvid study (publication 1).

September 2009-August 2010

MSc in Psychology, University of St Andrews, UK

With Prof Andrew Whiten (St Andrews University) & Prof Bugnyar (Vienna University): thesis on social learning in wild carrion crows (publication 7). Created wild crow field site in Vienna Zoo as basis for my and others’ studies

September 2004-June 2008

MA (Hons) in Psychology, University of Glasgow, UK

With Dr Steve Draper, Prof Bugnyar & Dr Dufour: thesis on raven cognition (object permanence understanding) – MA thesis awarded 1st Class

Supervision/ co-supervision and Mentoring

Anglia Ruskin University (2021-date): 2 Undergraduate students (1 complete, 1 ongoing), 1 MSc student (complete)

Cambridge University (2015-2022): 2 PhD (complete), 1 MSc (complete) & 2 Undergraduate students (complete); 5 Research Assistants (complete); Supporting all lab research and members as Lab Manager; Animal Behaviour Collective Mentor

University of Vienna (2014): 1 MSc & 4 Undergraduate students (complete)

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (2011): 3 Undergraduate students (complete)

Teaching (lectures, practicals, assessments/ exams)

Anglia Ruskin University, UK

2022: Invited guest lecture at MSc Seminar on Avian Conservation, Manchester Metropolitan University (virtual)

2022-23 and 2023-24: Module Leader in Undergraduate Animal Physiology and Behaviour, including lectures, practicals, field trips and marking assignments, School of Life Sciences (2 academic years)

2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24: Module Leader in Undergraduate Practical Skills in Animal Behaviour, including lectures, practicals, marking assignments and 1-week UK residential trip, School of Life Sciences  (3 academic years)

2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24: Moderator and Lecturer in Undergraduate Zoos and Zoo Animal Management, including moderating marks and international residential trip, School of Life Sciences (3 academic years)

2023-24: Lecturer in Undergraduate Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour, including lectures, School of Life Sciences (1 academic year)

University of Cambridge, UK 

2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24: Undergraduate Comparative Cognition Lecture Series, including lectures, live discussion sessions and exams (online in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic), Psychology Department (4 academic years)

2021: Undergraduate Methodology and Experimental Design Course - assisting with exam questions, Psychology Department

2016-17, 2019-20 and 2023-24: Undergraduate Evolution and Behaviour Practical Course, Zoology Department (2023 and lecturer; 2019 as supervisor; 2016 as demonstrator) (3 academic years)

2019: Undergraduate Animal Cognition Lecture Series and exams,

Zoology Department

University of Vienna, Austria

2014: Undergraduate Practicals, Cognitive Biology Department

Screenshot 2021-10-20 at 11.03.17.png

Teaching online during Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020

Preparing for human testing for our study on the role of perceptual motor-feedback in water displacement tasks in young children.  

(Miller et al. 2017, Peer J)

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