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Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast

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Episode 19 - Kristy Biolsi

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...


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 friendEmma has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the...


Episode 17 - Reggie Gazes

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


Episode 16 - Eric Legge

Eric Legge is a part time instructor at the University of Alberta and at McEwan University, both in Edmonton Alberta. Look, I've known Eric since he was 17. I taught him intro psych at the Memorial University of Newfoundland's Genfell campus in Corner Brook, and he worked in my lab while there. Indeed, I am pretty sure that was the highlight of his career and everything after that was downhill. Actually, Eric went on to grad school at the University of Alberta and worked with Marcia...


Episode 15 - Tom Zentall

Thomas Zentall is a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. Tom's research interests focus on cognitive behaviours in animals including memory strategies, concept learning, and social learning. The approach Tom and his students use is to define a cognitive behaviour that is characteristic of humans in a way that clearly distinguishes it from simple associative (SR) learning and then to examine the conditions under which it can be found in animals. This approach not only...


Episode 14 - Ed Wasserman

Edward A. Wasserman is a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa. Work in Ed's lab focusses on animal cognition and perception and the similarities and differences between humans and non humans in categorization, perception and memory. I could write this great long biography of Ed, but, you know what? There is a great long biography of Ed online, so you could go read it! (There's also Ed's wikipedia article, which some editor named 'dbrodbeck' wrote). Among other things it...


Episode 13 - Suzanne MacDonald

Suzanne E.MacDonald is a professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, appointed to the graduate programs in both Psychology and Biology. She received her PhD in animal learning and behavior from the University of Alberta, and then did postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia, before moving to York in 1990. In addition to maintaining an active research and teaching career, Suzanne has held several senior administrative positions at York, including Associate...


Episode 12 - Brett Gibson

Brett Gibson is an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire. While he may live in Bruin territory he is a Minnesota Wild fan, and he received his BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1991, followed by his MS from Bucknell 1995 and his PhD at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1999. (Brett also did a postdoc with my PhD supervisor, Sara Shettleworth and one with Ed Wasserman). Brett is broadly interested in the evolution of behaviour and...


Episode 11 - Michael Brown

Michael Brown is a professor of psychology at Villanova University in Villanova, PA, which is just outside of the home of the evil Philadelphia Flyers..... Mike got his BA in psychology and philosophy at the University of Michigan and then went on to UC Berkley where he got his PhD in psychology. Mike's interests are in the general areas of comparative cognition and animal learning. He uses the results of behavioral experiments to make inferences about the systems controlling simple...


Episode 10 - Jennifer Vonk

Jennifer Vonk is a comparative/cognitive psychologist with primary research interests in two overlapping areas: (1) animal cognition, and (2) cognitive development. She completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University in Hamilton ON, conducting an honors thesis in behavioral endocrinology, a Masters degree in human memory at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON and a doctoral degree on the topic of concept formation in great apes at York University in Toronto. Her...


Episode 9 - Jon Crystal

Jonathon Crystal is a professor of psychology and director of the program in neuroscience at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Jon received his BSc in psychology at the University of Toronto in 1992 where he worked in Sara Shettleworth's lab. He also spent a lot of time working with Ken Cheng as an undergrad. He then went on to grad school at Brown where he worked with Russ Church, receiving an Sc.M. in 1994 and a Ph.D. in 1997. Jon's lab focuses on the development of animal models...


Episode 8 - Leslie Phillmore

Leslie Phillmore (follow her on twitter) is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Leslie received her BA (Hons) from Huron College at UWO working with Mark Cole. (She also worked the summer between undergrad and grad school on some great stuff, and some not so great stuff when she ran birds for some postdoc in Bill Roberts' lab...) She then went on to work with Ron Weisman at Queens University in Kingston for her MA and...


Episode 7 - Valerie Kuhlmeier

Valerie Kuhlmeieris an Associate Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, Canada. She is the director of The Infant Cognition Group, a laboratory studying cognitive development in the first few years of life. Valerie grew up outside of Los Angeles, CA, but moved south to the University of California, San Diego, to pursue a BA and a BS in Anthropology and Biology, respectively. There, she worked with Christine Johnson, a comparative cognitive psychologist who was studying...


Episode 6 - Laurie Bloomfield

Laurie Bloomfield is an associate professor of psychology at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada. Laurie grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, and did her BA at Algoma University College (1996-2000). Based on some fascinating research she had learned about during several classes with one particular professor (Laurie claims this was me), she was the only student to conduct her Honours thesis study on animal behaviour (a trend that hasn’t seemed to have changed in years at AU). Also...


Episode 5 - Aaron Blaisdell

Aaron Blaisdell is a Professor in Learning & Behavior and Behavioral Neuroscience in the UCLA Psychology Department. He presides over the Comparative Cognition Lab, studying cognitive processes in rats, pigeons, hermit crabs, and humans. After receiving his BA and MA in Biological Anthropology (at SUNY Stony Brook and Kent State University, respectively), Aaron realized that animal cognition was even more interesting than dead humans. So he trekked on over to SUNY Binghamton for his Ph.D....


Episode 4 - Noam Miller

Noam Miller is an assistant professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where he runs the collective cognition lab. Noam has a B.Sc. in Biology from Tel-Aviv University and – for some reason – also a degree in music (I suspect that reason is because he is a pretty good musician) . He did his PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, working with Sara Shettleworth on geometry learning and with Robert Gerlai on schooling in zebrafish. For those...


Episode 3 - Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Salem State University in Massachusetts, and will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at UMass Lowell this upcoming fall, teaching statistics and research methods. He earned his B.S. in Interdisciplinary Psychology/Biology in 2005 from Southampton College of Long Island University, mentored by Dr. Paul Forestell. Research experience there included work at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and work at Brookhaven National Laboratories on a...


Episode 2 - Neil McMillan

Neil McMillan is a postdoctoral researcher in the psychology department at the University of Alberta. Neil completed his undergraduate degree (a BSc(Hons)) in 2007 with Angelo Santi at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON and then moved on to graduate school at the University of Western Ontario. He completed his MSc and later his PhD (in 2013) under the supervision of Bill Roberts. We have something in common there as I did a postdoc with Bill Roberts back in the mid 90s. We talked...


Episode 1 - Chris Sturdy

Chris Sturdy is a professor of psychology and member of the neuroscience and mental health institute at the University of Alberta. Chris has a BA in psychology from the University of Windsor as well as an MA and a PhD from Queens University in Kingston Ontario. He studies the neuroethology of song learning and more generally songbird communication. I was really happy he wanted to be my first guest on the podcast. We talked about a lot of different things including the influence that...