Welcome to the "Avian Cognitive Ecology" lab of uOttawa!
Cognition, a suite of neural processes including learning, memory and decision-making, determines how individuals interact with their environment, and therefore impacts on a range of ecological and evolutionary processes. The major goal of my research is to understand how cognitive processes are shaped by natural selection. My research is focused on avian foraging and social behaviour, using experiments in the field and in aviaries, as well as comparative methods. I use an integrated approach, drawing from behavioural ecology, evolutionary ecology and experimental psychology.
1998-2001: BSc Biologie, Université Laval, Canada
2001-2006: PhD Biology, McGill University, Canada
2007-2009: Postdoc, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
2009-2012: Postdoc, EGI, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
2012-Now: Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Ottawa, Canada
Join the lab:
*Paid research assistant position*: I will be hiring a RA in Oct-Nov this fall for fieldwork. Mistnetting and ringing experience (small passerines) required. Contact me for more information: email@example.com
I will be taking applications for UROP projects for the winter term: please contact me by email with your CV and unofficial transcript.
Applications for graduate positions (MSc, PhD, postdoc): please send a cover letter explaining why you would like to conduct research in my lab, along with your cv and an unofficial transcript, as well as indication as to whether you hold a valid driving license. For international students and postdocs, also include information on scholarships for which you would be eligible to apply. For instance, French PhDs are encouraged to apply for a Fyssen Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. All graduate students will receive a salary established according to U Ottawa regulations allowing full-time commitment to postgraduate studies. Ideal candidates would have experience in ornithology, animal cognition, or with fieldwork, and would be eligible for postgraduate scholarships (NSERC, OGS or provincial equivalent; i.e. last 2 years GPA>80%).
Read a media article in Science about a Symposium I organised on: "Individual variation in cognition and fitness consequences in natural populations" at ISBE conference in New York, 2 Aug 2014: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6197/609.summary?sid=8d81a173-33a7-487c-ab0f-27d4f970779f
Recommended by F1000: Aplin, L. M., Farine, D.R., Morand-Ferron, J., Cole, E.F., Cockburn, A. & Sheldon, B.C. (2013) Individual personalities predicts social behaviour in wild networks of great tits, Parus major. Ecology Letters,16: 1365-1372. Read the paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12181/full
Watch a BBC short documentary on our ongoing social learning field experiment on wild great tits of Wytham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YTL5DetuR8
Lab research themes
Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)
Spatial cognition and survival
Innovation, social cognition and within-group diversity
Urbanisation, social networks and cognition
Measuring cognition in the field vs. in captivity
Gray jays (Perisoreus canadensis)
Spatial cognition and reproductive fitness
Innovation, behavioural plasticity and conservation biology
Collaboration: Ryan Norris (Guelph, Canada).
Great tits (Parus major)
Contribution of learning ability to reproductive fitness
Collaboration: John Quinn (Cork, Ireland); Ella Cole, Lucy Aplin & Ben Sheldon (Oxford, UK).
Vous pouvez communiquer avec moi en anglais ou en français.