Department of Psychology
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3EB
alg61 AT cam.ac.uk
I am full of curiosity about the natural world. While growing up in Northern California, I was inspired by the groves of redwood trees and the animals that inhabit them. I pursued this interest at the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I studied animal behaviour in the literature, laboratory and field on species ranging from hermit crabs to spotted hyenas. After graduating I spent time as a research assistant on the Big Island of Hawaii, studying the impact of tourism on Hawaiian spinner dolphins. This experience motivated me to understand how human interaction can affect the behaviour of animals. Apart from my academic interests I also am an avid distance runner.
Under the guidance of Dr Alex Thornton and Prof Nicola Clayton I am starting my PhD on wild jackdaws to understand how individuals vary in their perception of humans, and how this variation may contribute to their social learning strategies and overall fitness in different environments. Despite being highly intelligent problem solvers, jackdaw populations vary in their success across the British landscape. Figuring out the dynamic interaction between humans and these populations may be the key to understanding the behavioral and fitness differences between groups. Identifying the factors that govern animal success alongside humans is of paramount importance considering the dominance of farmland within the British landscape and the constant expansion of human settlement.