Principal Investigators

Dr Amanda SeedProf Amanda Seed

Amanda is a Professor 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 Catherine Hobaiter

Cat is a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. She studies the evolution of communication and social behaviour in wild apes. Her work on gesture focuses on wild apes across Africa, and she is often based in Budongo, or at her new field-site in Bugoma, Uganda. You can find Cat’s list of publications here and the group GitHub here.


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 AingeProf James Ainge

James is Head of School of Psychology and a Professor 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.



Dr Manon Schweinfurth

Manon is a lecturer in Origins of Mind and investigates why and how individuals decide to cooperate and help others in a competitive world. To this end, she conducts studies on children, non-human primates and rodents.



Dr Eve Holden

Eve is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience. Eve studies comparative and developmental psychology in human infants and non-human primates. She has interests in infant experience, social cognition and behaviour, and communication.  

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.


Dr Eleanor Jordan

Eleanor studies the evolution and development of curiosity-driven learning. She uses a comparative approach to investigate the underlying cognitive and motivational mechanisms involved in self-directed exploration and learning in human children at the ABC lab and non-human primates at the Living Links Research Centre at Edinburgh zoo.


Postgraduate Students and Scholars

Matt Henderson 

Matt is a graduate research student at the University of St Andrews. He previously studied the vocal communication of chimpanzees in Budongo, and his PhD will investigate gesture use in human children.


Rasmus Overmark 

Rasmus is a PhD student doing a joint project in psychology and philosophy. The project looks at how language might contribute to the development of theory of mind, and particularly whether culture-specific constructions, like the use of certain quotatives, make a difference.


Jinzhi Feng

Jinzhi is a PhD student interested in the prosocial motivation of young children. Her PhD project investigates: 1. how children make reason-based moral judgments; 2. the association between having others in mind, prosocial behaviour, and potential biological underpinnings in young children.


Jasmine Rodriguez

Jasmine is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews. Her project is focusing on the development of learning and cognitive skills in infants across the 1st year of life. Specifically, how infants utilise the relationship between familiar and new images when interacting with a new environment. Alongside her project, she also helps to organise the Baby Bees programme, a young infant playgroup run through the ABC Lab.



Baby and Child Lab Manager

Geraldine 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 the 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.