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Research interests

ANIMAL COGNITION: I am broadly interested in the evolution of cognitive abilities in humans and non-human animals. My PhD (Auckland) and post-doctoral (Cambridge) research probed the cognitive abilities of the New Caledonian crow, a remarkably intelligent species of bird that manufactures tools in the wild. Where possible I follow a comparative approach. Over the past decade I have studied memory, learning and cognition in a range of animals, including Eurasian jays, rufous hummingbirds, Goffin cockatoos and (even) human children.

SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS: Since joining the University of Bristol I have increasingly transitioned towards applied research, largely in response to the student mental health crisis. Here, I am investigating the effects of positive psychology interventions on student well-being, delivered as part of the teaching curriculum.

I am particularly interested in the intersection of these two parts of my work. I continue to be fascinated by potential evolutionary explanations for the cognitive biases that influence human well-being.


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