Cognitive Ethology, Distributed Cognition, Animal Cognition.
My work recruits methods from cognitive science and ethology to study the process of cognition in non-humans as it emerges through interaction. This research is aimed to contribute to the growing understanding of the relationship between ecological, social, and cognitive complexity as well to analyses of evolutionary convergence and cognitive diversity.
My dissertation research focuses on social interactions among male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia as they negotiate a nested structure of alliances critical for reproductive success. These relationships have complex dynamics that may be more similar to those among humans than to any extant primate species - making them an important but often overlooked model species for understanding the evolution of complex cognition.