Amanda is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews. She teaches a 3rd year Psychology module on Developmental Psychology at and a course on ‘The Origins of Human Cognition’ for the MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology. She is director of the ‘Living Links to Human Evolution’ research centre at Edinburgh Zoo, and a member of SPRG, SoLACE and the Origins of Mind research grouping. In her free time, Amanda enjoys exploring the countryside on foot or on horseback in Northeast fife.
Emmie is jointly supervised by Amanda and Jamie, studying the evolution and development of episodic cognition in children and non-human primates. She is particularly interested in developing techniques that can be used to draw near-direct comparisons in memory function across taxa and across the lifespan. An aspiring science communicator, if you say anything funny about your research around her she will try and recruit you for Bright Club St Andrews. In her spare time she enjoys knitting whimsical hats and expanding her cooking repertoire.
Zeynep studies how temporal patterns influence causal understanding in great apes under the supervision of Amanda and Josep. She is also interested in the future planning abilities of great apes. She previously did a masters on Developmental Psychology at Koç University, Istanbul where she studied the effects of maternal intrusiveness on children’s cognitive development. Having always been interested in evolutionary psychology she feels she is at the right place now. In her spare time, she likes walking around and listening to music.
Post-Doctoral Research Associates
Dr Christoph J. Völter
Christoph is a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews. He studies how animals solve novel problems, especially how they identify and represent causal relations in their physical and social environment. He is also interested in basic, domain-general cognitive abilities such as impulse control and working memory. He mainly works with human children and nonhumans primates (especially great apes and capuchin monkeys) but he is also conducting studies with other taxa such as otters. In his spare time, he enjoys rock climbing and travelling.
otter research: theotterproject.com
Patience is a visiting researcher, here for a year-long project on social learning. She is investigating the motivations behind imitation in primates and children using behavioural and computational techniques. In her free time she enjoys tap dancing and reading science fiction novels.
Dr Verena Kersken
Joléne van der Mescht
Jolene studied the social mechanisms behind cooperation and Theory of Mind, as well as tool use and the comparative cognition between species in being able to solve complex tasks. In her spare time she enjoys fencing, outdoor sports and painting.
During her PhD, Carolina studied behavioural control, i.e. attentional flexibility, working memory and impulse control, in humans of different age groups and chimpanzees. She continued an advanced training in cognitive behavioural therapy and client-centred therapy before opening her own psychological practice in Leipzig, Germany.
In her practice, as well as online, she offers psychotherapy, psychological counselling and stress management (in German, English and Spanish). In addition, she holds regular workshops on stress management and presentations on the evolutionary origins of stress reactions and psychological disorders.
As the youngest member of the Seed Lab, Dylan spends much of his time conducting in depth research into child development by experiencing it in real time. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys napping and participating in developmental studies.