Did you know that Polistes dominulus paper wasps have distinct faces that others of the species use to determine their strength and dominance (Tibbetts & Lindsay, 2008)? Or that Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are one of the most adaptive non-human primate species, able to live in cities, forests, flatlands, and mountains (“Rhesus macaque”, n.d.)? Or that elephants know not only how to cooperate, but they can also assess whether or not they require the help of a partner in specific situations (Plotnik, Lair, Suphachoksahakun, & de Waal, 2011)? Well, now you do!
I am a senior studying Psychology with a minor in Biology at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, and will graduate in the class of 2020 (Go Visionaries!). My interests include non-human primate research, the evolution of social behavior, primate cognition, behavioral ecology, captive animal welfare, behavioral neuroscience, and more.
I have a wide breadth of experience in the field of animal research on projects relating to cognitive and developmental neuroscience, captive animal welfare, behavioral ecology, and cognitive bias. I have worked with a diverse set of animal subjects including non-human primates, captive and wild birds, mice, and insects. Working with animal subjects, especially non-human primates, has been such a thrilling and beneficial experience to me, and I hope that no matter where I end up, I get to keep working with these amazing creatures.
I not only understand and appreciate the application of non-human primate research to humans in studying our behavior and the evolution of certain traits or actions, but I’m also passionate about studying non-human primates (and other animals) simply for the sake of understanding them alone and applying that knowledge to areas such as conservation, ecology, and captive animal welfare.
My ultimate career goal is to achieve a Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences (or a related field) and go on to teach in higher education and conduct research. I wish to not only commit to lifelong learning about animals’ and humans’ lives and cognition, but also to inspire in my students the passion for animals and psychology that was inspired in me during my time at Agnes Scott College.
Plotnik, J. M., Lair, R., Suphachoksahakun, W., de Waal, F. B. M. (2011). Elephants know when they need a helping trunk in a cooperative task. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 5116-5121. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1101765108
Tibbetts, E. A., & Lindsay, A. (2008). Visual signals of status and rival assessment in Polistes dominulus paper wasps. Biology Letters, 4, 237-239. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0048
Wikipedia contributors. (2019, September 17). Rhesus macaque. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 23, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rhesus_macaque&oldid=916096168