Dr Alex Thornton
Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Evolution


My research group website can be found at www.wildcognitionresearch.com.

We seek to understand how the challenges faced by animals (including humans) in their natural environments shape their mental processes, how the ability to learn from others affects the behaviour of individuals and groups, and how culture itself evolves.

We incorporate approaches from evolutionary biology, psychology and anthropology and work on a range of different study systems. Our current work focuses on cognition and behaviour in wild jackdaws and the cognitive requirements of cumulative culture in humans.

I am a member of the Behaviour research group and the Human Biological and Cultural Evolution group.


2007 PhD Zoology, University of Cambridge
2003 BA (Hons), University of Oxford


2015 - present Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Evolution, Exeter

2012-2015 BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow, Exeter
2010-2012 BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow, Cambridge
2007-2010 Pembroke College Research Fellow, Cambridge
2003-2007 PhD, Cambridge


Contact details

Internal tel5081
Tel+44 (0) 1392 725081
AddressDaphne du Maurier Building
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE
OfficeDDM 3059
Office hours

Monday: 10-11

Tuesday: 10-11

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