Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Episode 23 (Season 2, Episode 4) - Aimee Sue Dunlap

On today's edition of Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast, I'm joined by Aimee Sue Dunlap.  She is an associate professor of biology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

Aimee got her undergraduate degree in biology, history and English in 2000 from the University of Memphis and then her MS in biology from  Northern Arizona University in 2002 and her PhD in ecology, evolution and behavior from the university of Minnesota in 2009. It should be noted that I'm making a concession to American spelling here and should be commended...

Oh we also talked hockey.  Including Liga hockey in Finland.

Work in her lab focusses on the evolution of cognition and the adaptive value of cognition and memory, especially in bees.  We talked about her experimental evolution work, as well as her field and lab stuff.

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Monday, 12 July 2021

Episode 22 (Season 2, Episode 3) - Caroline Strang

Today on the podcast I'm joined by Caroline Strang.

Caroline is known for her work with bees, horses, dogs, and scarves.

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Toronto where she worked closely with someone you have have heard of, Sara Shettleworth.

She then went on to work at the University of Western Ontario with someone else who has come up a lot on the podcast, David Sherry. 

Once she finished up her PhD she moved down to UT Austin and became a postdoc with Felicity Muth in their biology department.  

We talked about her work with David on bumblebee vs. honeybee cognition as well as her stuff on reversal learning in bumblebees.  We also talked a bit about her work during her postdoc and of course other stuff.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Episode 21 (Season 2, Episode 2) - Jeff Martin

Only guest with a baseball scholarship

Jeff Martin joins me on the podcast this week.  He's actually the first non psychologist on the show.  He's a biologist or something...

Jeff attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) from 2011-2015 on a baseball scholarship. He earned both a BSc in Health and Sports Science and a second BSc in Biology specializing in Natural History. Though they didn’t have a traditional honours program, he did research under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Place investigating simple conditioning in reptiles – mainly snakes. He then moved back home to Canada to attend Western University, obtaining his MSc studying with Dr. David Sherry at the Advanced Facility for Avian Research. His Master’s research focused on how birds respond behaviourally to changes in overwinter temperature

Jeff continued at Western and obtained his PhD under the supervision of Drs. David Sherry and Yolanda Morbey. His research focused on caching decisions made by Canada Jays and what factors may influence site- and item-selection. Jeff has just started a post-doc with Dr. Mélanie Guigueno at McGill University in Montréal (Go Habs Go!), where he will be investigating male choosiness in Brown-headed Cowbirds, and the importance of ecologically relevant tasks in animal cognition and behaviour.

Thanks to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music.

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Friday, 18 June 2021

Episode 20 (Season 2, Episode 1) - Jenna Congdon

Jenna was wearing PPE before it was cool

I'm really happy to be back doing these.  They take some time, so I waited until my next sabbatical.  Well, my next sabbatical is NOW.  Look, OK, I'm pretty psyched for this, but let's not make this all about me.

We open up season 2 with Jenna Congdon, who is a postdoc at York University, working with Suzanne MacDonald (who you may remember from such podcasts as 'Spit and Twitches, the Animal Cognition Podcast').

We talked some about her PhD work as well as side projects.  We also talked about her current work at the Toronto Zoo.

Jenna started out her career as a biology student at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.  Coincidentally, I work there!  She switched over to psychology, what the cool kids take, when she took an elective with a frenetic but brilliant intro psych prof (me).  Actually, I'm a bit of a hack, don't tell anyone.  After completing her honours thesis project with me she moved on to bigger and brighter things, working with Chris Sturdy at the University of Alberta.  She got her PhD in 2019 and has been teaching as a part time faculty member at Concordia University of Edmonton and at the University of Alberta.  

She's currently working with Suzanne MacDonald, as I noted above. Look, I haven't written one of these things in a while, and, well, I'm out of practice...

As always, thanks to Red Arms for allowing me to mash up their music in the closing theme, BUY THEIR MUSIC.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Episode 19 - Kristy Biolsi

Kristy's subjects seem to like her a lot
Kristy Biolsi is an Associate Professor of Psychology at St. Francis College in Brooklyn NY, where she also serves as the Director of the BA/MA Program in Applied Psychology.  She is a co-editor for the journal Aquatic Mammals, serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the Association for the Study of Ethical Behavior and Evolutionary Biology in Literature (ASEBL), is a co-founder of the Evolutionary Studies Collaborative, and is the co-founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Pinniped Ecology and Cognition (C-SPEC) housed at SFC.  

She received her B.S. in Psychobiology from Long Island University, Southampton College in 2001 and in 2007 she received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).

Her research focus was on marine mammal cognition and while at Long Marine Lab, UCSC, she worked specifically with the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab.  Her current research interests are in comparative cognition, focusing on marine mammals, and she has two main lines of scientific inquiry; laboratory work that is conducted at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead NY investigating discrimination learning and categorization with two captive, trained, California sea lions and field work which consists of data collection from surveys and naturalisticobservations of the local wild harbor seal population.  We even touched on some theoretical stuff about animal morality.

Thanks again to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music with the ending theme, buy their music now.

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Episode 18 - Emma Tecwyn

Emma Tecwyn is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Daphna Buchsbaum’s Computational Cognitive Development Lab in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto (which is the school I went to, thus making Emma the coolest guest so far on the show). She does research in the overlapping areas of comparative cognition and cognitive development to answer questions about the evolution and development of cognitive abilities. 

Emma and a friend
Emma has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham, UK. During her undergraduate degree she spent a year studying at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, Germany, where she took classes in animal behaviour and primatology, which sparked her interest in animal cognition. She subsequently obtained an MSc in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she did research on grazing interactions between wild and domestic herbivores on a Kenyan game reserve. She later returned to Birmingham to complete her PhD on great ape physical cognition under the supervision of Jackie Chappell and Susannah Thorpe, where she focussed on whether orangutans, bonobos and children can plan sequences of actions to solve physical problems. She then spent a year in Amanda Seed’s lab at the University of St Andrews in Scotland working on causal sequence imitation and probabilistic inference in capuchin monkeys, before moving to Toronto in November 2014.

Emma’s current lines of research include physical reasoning in dogs, causal sequence imitation in dogs and toddlers, and how different species and children of different ages weight and integrate their physical knowledge and social information. 

We talked about Emma's research, about the recent Conference on Comparative Cognition, and about the GTA Animal Cognition Group, which she coordinates.  Oh and how philosophy of animal mind is a thing.

Thanks again to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music with the ending theme, buy their music now.

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Episode 17 - Reggie Gazes

Reggie Gazes is an assistant professor of psychology and animal behaviour at Bucknell University in Lewisburg Pennsylvania.

Reggie and a pal, wondering why Hampton won't do the podcast
Reggie has a BS from Bucknell in Animal Behaviour and a PhD from Emory University where she worked under the supervision of Rob Hampton.  I first met Reggie at CO3 a few years back through Rob.  Rob and I were students in Sara Shettleworth's lab in the 90s.  (As usual, I can turn any of these posts into posts about me).  Reggie later did a postdoc at Zoo Atlanta.

Her work looks at the evolutionary roots of behaviour and cognition using a comparative approach.  She and her students look at things like memory, space and magnitude in four different species of primates (capuchin and squirrel monkeys as well as Hamadryas baboons and lion tailed macaques).  The social housing they use allows them to look at social stuff as well.

We talked about her work about transitive inference in infants and monkeys as well as a bunch of other stuff.

Thanks again to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music with the ending theme, buy their music now.

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