Cognitive Adaptations Research Group

We study a wide variety of animals from parrots, through New Caledonian crows, to various species of primates (including humans), attempting to unravel animals’ cognitive adaptations to their environments. We use a range of behavioural techniques, studying animals in the wild and in captivity.

PhD students

Current students:

  • Rachel Pietragallo-Brown
  • David Pettifer

Former students:

  • Jolyon Troscianko
  • Zoe Demery
  • Emma Tecwyn
  • Nardie Hanson
  • Abi Phillips


The work of our research group is inherently cross-disciplinary, and we have excellent on-going collaborations several colleagues with in the University of Birmingham:

  • Susannah Thorpe (School of Biosciences)
  • Aaron Sloman, Jeremy Wyatt, Nick Hawes, Veronica Arriola Rios (School of Computer Sciences)
  • Sarah Beck, Ian Apperly and Nicola Cutting (School of Psychology)


We are grateful to the following bodies for supporting our research:

  • University of Birmingham
  • NERC
  • ESRC
  • ARCUS Foundation