amanda-seedDr Amanda M. Seed

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.

twitter: @AmandaMSeed

PhD Students

IMG_3698Emmie Bryant

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.

twitter: @emmielociraptor

0f2681fKatie Dickerson





227024_10150260018140832_516080831_8930070_680689_nZeynep Civelek

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.


Puja Singh

Elisa Felsche

Eleanor Jordan

Da Zhang

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.


twitter: @cvoelter

otter research:

Visiting Researchers

patiencePatience Stevens

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. 



jaa7_Dr James Ainge

twitter: @JamieAinge


call_gorillaProfessor Josep Call




Image00009Dr Katie Slocombe, University of York



Megan Photo (2)Dr Megan Lambert




DaphnaDr Daphna Buchsbaum



SeedWebpageProfileDr Emma Tecwyn

twitter: @emmatecwyn


jcgomez-150x150Dr Juan-Carlos Gomez





Dr Verena Kersken




derekDr Derek Ball




Past members

Joléne van der Mescht

St. Andrews Day Trip 110Jolene 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.



Carolina Mayer

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.

Honorary members


IMG_3185As 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.