Former lab members

Thomas OudmanDr Thomas Oudman

Thomas Oudman is a behavioural ecologist from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, working on the learning behaviour of migratory birds.
He focusses on how traditions help and hinder birds in adjusting their flight schedules and destination as a response to e.g. climate change.

Helen Spence-Jones

Helen Spence-Jones

Helen Spence-Jones is interested in the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution and is working on the project entitled, An experimental test of plasticity-led evolution. Her model system is the three-spine stickleback.


Karina VanadzinaKarina Vanadzina

Karina Vanadzina studies the role of niche construction in the evolution of parental care patterns in fish, spiders and social insects using phylogenetic
comparative methods. She is working on the project entitled, Adaptive trends and parallel evolution generated by niche construction.


Edith Invernizzi

Edith Invernizzi

Edith Invernizzi studies the dynamics of evolution of complex behaviour using computational simulations and is particularly interested in integrating information across disciplines.


Lynn Chiu

Lynn Chiu is working with Kevin Laland on communicating research in the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis research program.


Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark is interested in the role of niche construction in evolution.
Andrew Clark


Dr Katrina Falkenberg

Katrina Falkenberg was responsible for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis and Laland Lab websites,the EES Update blog
and the the EES Update Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Katrina Falkenberg


Wataru ToyokawaDr Wataru Toyokawa

Wataru Toyokawa’s research interests include social learning, group decision-making, collective intelligence, multi-agent systems and exploration-exploitation trade-offs.


Catherine SheardDr Catherine Sheard

Catherine Sheard uses phylogenetic comparative methods to model phenotypic trait evolution across a variety of systems, including birds and human languages.


Elena MiuElena Miu

Elena Miu is interested in cumulative cultural evolution and social learning strategies in humans. She is looking at social learning strategies in a mathematical software context.


Murillo PagnottaMurillo Pagnotta

Murillo Pagnotta is studying the Developmental Systems Approach to integrate theories in biology, psychology and anthropology.


ANavarreteDr Ana Navarrete

I specialize in comparative analyses to identify evolutionary patterns on brain evolution. My actual research project focuses on the evolution of brain size and innovation in primates. To study this issue, I will compile a reliable primate brain dataset and analyze the data using causal statistics to find the most likely cause promoting primate encephalization.


CamilleCamille Troisi

I am interested in teaching behaviour in Callitrichid monkeys, as well as more general social learning mechanisms in zebra finches and starlings.


Daniel Cownden
Dr Daniel Cownden



KeelinDr Keelin Murray

I’m looking at the effects of competition, (social) learning strategies, and information turnover on cumulative culture. To study this, I run experiments with humans, where I manipulate these variables in order to examine their effects on the outcome of interactive tasks.


GlennaDr Glenna Evans

At present I am working on Bayesian estimation of social networks using diffusion data. This work involves writing an R package which will facilitate diffusion analysis in a Bayesian context.  This will also allow for model discrimination. My other interests include Bayesian spatial point process modelling.  I have worked with Gibbs point processes to estimate both symmetric and asymmetric species interactions.


DanielDr Daniel van der Post

I am working on the evolution of social learning biases using agent-based models and I also work on statistical models that can be used to infer social learning and transmission processes in experiments



Joseph StubbersfieldDr Joseph Stubbersfield




StuartDr Stuart Murray

I am working on studying models of social learning through the Second Social Learning Strategies Tournament, as part of the ERC funded EVOCULTURE project.



CaraCara Evans

I am investigating the relationship between the fidelity of social learning and measures of brain size, behavioural plasticity and socio-ecology across primate species.



Nicola AttonNicola Atton

I am studying social learning in three-spine sticklebacks, in particular identifying the mechanism behind the social enhancement of food preferences.



AliceAlice Cowie

I am interested in social learning in Budgerigars and am part of the ERC Evolution of Culture project.



Sally StreetSally Street

I am using comparative statistical techniques to investigate relationships between measures of anatomy, socio-ecology, brain size and intelligence across primate species. In particular, I am examining the relationships between sexual swellings and mating behaviour, and between measures of culture and brain size, using appropriate controls for phylogenetic non-independence.


TomThomas Morgan

I am investigating the factors that affect the use of social information and different social learning strategies in humans and other primates.



MichalDr Michal Arbilly

I’m interested in the evolution of learning abilities and how it may be shaped by a social context. I study it using theoretical methods, mainly evolutionary agent-based simulations.


SarahDr Sarah Benson-Amram

My research interests include topics such as innovative problem-solving, social learning, numerical cognition and the evolution of complex cognitive abilities in animals. I am currently studying the role of social learning in the diffusion of novel behaviors in captive groups of starlings in order to develop methods to detect social learning and predict the spread of innovations in wild populations.

Neeltje BoogertDr Neeltje Boogert

My main research interests are in avian cognition, song and mate choice. I study which individual and social variables might predict the spread of information in starling groups, the existence of a general cognitive factor (‘g’) in birds, the mechanisms underlying cognitive performance, and the potential for sexual selection of cognitive traits.


Christopher TempletonDr Christopher Templeton

My main research interests are in avian learning, behaviour, and ecology. In particular I study how birds use their vocal signals to communicate and how social factors influence vocal learning and the spread of information across individuals.



Dr Catharine Cross

I’m interested in sex differences in human social behaviour and am currently looking at sex differences in social learning biases



Will HoppittDr Will Hoppitt

I am working on a ERC project to investigate methods for identifying social learning in wild animal populations.



Theoni PhotopoulouDr Theoni Photopoulou

I am currently working on developing software for studying social learning in wild animal populations. My other research interests are the diving behaviour, movement and foraging ecology of seals, and the way we analyse information obtained using animal-attached telemetry instruments. I have a particular interest in the polar regions and the relationship between the environment and animal behaviour in these areas.”


Birgit WeinmannBirgit Weinmann

I am working on niche construction and ecosystem function in intertidal soft sediments. I am investigating whether the ecosystem engineering activities of soft sediment macrobenthos species influence the population dynamics of microphytobenthos (MPB) assemblages and ultimately, whether these in turn effect the engineering species’ populations.


Hannah LewisDr Hannah Lewis

I am interested in mathematical modelling and computer simulations of biological phenomena, with particular emphasis on evolutionary processes. My research includes modelling the evolution of culture, the evolution of suboptimal sex allocation and food web assembly and evolution.


LauraLaura Chouinard-Thuly

I will be investigating and isolating the cues necessary to acquire public information in nine-spine sticklebacks using animated (3D) stimuli.



Laurel FogartyDr Laurel Fogarty

My research interests are in studying the evolution of social learning and social learning strategies. I will be using computer simulations to investigate social learning strategies and will also be working with wild and captive animal populations doing empirical studies of social learning and problem solving.


Luke RendellDr Luke Rendell

I am working on theoretical and experimental studies of the evolution of social learning strategies as part of the ERC project EVOCULTURE. I also have an ongoing interest in whale behaviour and ecology.



Adrian de FromentDr Adrian de Froment

My research investigates information transfer and the emergence of leadership in schools of threespine sticklebacks, and developing computer vision methods to analyze the interactions of individually-marked fish in real time.


Lewis DeanDr Lewis Dean

My research is on experimental studies of cumulative social learning across species.



Anne KandlerDr Anne Kandler

I am interested in modelling different kinds of diffusion phenomena in time and space, particularly I analyse the competition and spread dynamics of cultural traits in heterogeneous environments. Further, I am working on explaining language competition. (Joint with AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity.)


Micael EhnMicael Ehn

I study mathematical models of social learning.



Laura_FortunatoDr Laura Fortunato

My research investigates the evolution of human social organization, focusing on the social norms regulating kinship and marriage: for example, it tries to understand why some societies prescribe monogamy while the majority allow polygynous marriage. I combine theoretical and statistical methods used in the study of non-human social systems with theory and data from the social and historical sciences, including anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology.


Elodie AlapetiteElodie Alapetite

Elodie visited the Laland lab for 5 months from France. She worked on social learning and spread of learned innovations in budgerigars.


Pontus StrimlingDr Pontus Strimling

I am interested in formal models that give us a better understanding of why specific cultural traits spread and when we would expect social learning mechanisms to evolve. Among other things, I am currently working on the evolution of teaching behavior and on how social norms change.


Tom PikeDr Tom Pike

I have broad research interests within behavioural ecology. I am currently working on a BBSRC-funded project where we are using a variety of experimental and theoretical approaches to explore social learning strategies.


Jeremy KendalDr Jeremy Kendal

My research interests include studying conditions that favour the evolution of social learning, the diffusion dynamics of social traditions through populations, and the association between the evolutionary dynamics of genes and culture.


Rachel KendalDr Rachel Kendal

My research focuses on social learning and innovation, including the potential application of findings in these areas to animal welfare and conservation. (Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow)


Andrew WhalenAndrew Whalen