Our laboratory uses an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to study cognitive evolution and animal behavior. We use experimental methods to investigate topics such as spatial cognition, social cognition, concept learning, animal welfare, and canine cognition. By studying a wide variety of species, we aim to better understand the neuromechanisms that support cognition as well as how evolution has shaped the cognitive abilities of a range of species.
Living in large social groups has traditionally been thought of as an evolutionary precursor to complex cognitive abilities. This assumption was based on the impressive cognitive abilities of social living species. However, rarely have non-social species been studied. Our lab investigates how the sociality of a species influences the behaviour and cognitive abilities of our study species. Research questions we are examining include: