Principal Investigators

Dr Amanda SeedDr Amanda Seed

Amanda is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience and aims to address the evolutionary origins of conceptual thought and causal knowledge by combining developmental and comparative studies of physical problem-solving.

Dr Juan Carlos GomezDr Juan-Carlos Gómez

Juan is a Reader in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience who conducts research on the development of prelinguistic communication and early theories of mind in human infants and in great apes and monkeys.

erin-resizedDr Erin Robbins

Erin is a lecturer whose research interests focus on social learning, cross cultural influences and traditions. She studies the development of social learning capacities  in children.

Dr James AingeDr James Ainge

James is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience who studies episodic and spatial memory from both neuroscientific and developmental perspectives.

Prof Melinda CarpenterProf Malinda Carpenter

Malinda is a Professor in Developmental Psychology and studies infants’ and young children’s social behaviour and social-affiliative motivations.


Prof Josep CallProf Josep Call

Josep is a Professor in Evolutionary Origins of Mind who studies causal and inferential reasoning, tool-use, long-term memory and planning, gestural communication and mindreading in great apes and human children.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr Eva Reindl

Eva is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, working with Dr Seed on examining the origins and development of executive functions in young children. Other research interests include children’s problem-solving and tool use, innovation, collaboration, social and asocial learning.


Zeynep Civelek

Dr Zeynep Civelek

Zeynep studies the emergence and the development of causal reasoning ability in children and the origins of this ability over human evolution. She is interested in how the development of executive functions and the socio-cultural context children grow up in are related to the development of causal reasoning.

Postgraduate Students

Emmie BryantEmmie Bryant

Emmie is a PhD student jointly supervised by Amanda Seed and Jamie Ainge, studying the evolution and development of episodic cognition in children and non-human primates. She is interested in developing techniques for drawing near-direct comparisons in memory function across taxa and across the lifespan.

Eleanor Jordan

Eleanor is a PhD student with Amanda Seed, studying the evolution and development of curiosity and exploration in children and non-human primates. Her initial work focused on causal reasoning in monkeys, and subsequent work on comparative research into how an individual’s natural curiosity can lead to self-guided exploration and learning.

Hao (Lucy) Liu

Lucy is a PhD student co-supervised by Malinda Carpenter and Juan-Carlos Gómez, studying infants’ and young children’s social cognition and communication. She is currently conducting research on the development of common ground reasoning and its relation to theory of mind.

Laras Yuniarto

Laras is a PhD student supervised by Juan-Carlos Gómez. She studies how implicit and explicit elements come together in children’s skill learning, focusing on the processes behind learning from one’s own past performance and making predictions about others’ skills.

Gideon Salter

Gideon is a PhD student supervised by Malinda Carpenter, interested in joint attention and communication. His research is looking at the ways in which the emergence of joint attention in infancy relates to early communication, and he is interested in examining how a clearer understanding of the development of these skills can inform theoretical approaches.

Francesca Fotheringham

Francesca is a PhD student, co-supervised by Barbara Dritschel and Erin Robbins, exploring how children think multiple emotions interact across time. Her main current focus is adapting the Analogue Emotions Scale (AES) measurement for children, and exploring the different patterns of interaction.

Baby and Child Lab Manager

Geraldine BrownGeraldine Brown

Geraldine began her research career as a Research Fellow at Strathclyde University.   She subsequently retrained as a chartered teacher.  Having taught in schools for over 13 years, she returned to academia as manager of the ABC Lab.  Her research interests span a wide spectrum of areas related to the cognitive and social development in early stage infants and children. Her role is to manage and coordinate the ABC’s developmental research and public engagement work.


Dr Emily Burdett, Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK.

Dr Sarah Gerson – School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK.