Megan Lambert
PhD Student



  • PhD Psychology, University of York, UK (2012-present)
  • BA Biological Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, USA (2009-2011)
  • Undergraduate study abroad, University of Cambridge, UK (2010)



Avian cognition

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in how nonhuman animals understand their physical and social environments, and how this can inform us about the evolutionary pressures that may have selected for our own cognitive capacities. Specifically, I am interested in using large-brained birds such as corvids (members of the crow family) and parrots as models to test various hypotheses about the evolution of uniquely human traits such as our hyper-cooperation or complex tool-using abilities. Some of my most recent projects have focused on the prosocial tendencies of ravens, as well as object exploration and tool use in kea, vasa parrots and New Caledonian crows. 

Research group(s)

Comparative Cognition Lab


  • Overseas Research Scholarship, University of York (2012-2015)
  • International Seedcorn Award, University of York (2015)
  • Best Student Oral Presentation, PALAEO Summer Conference (2013)


  • Dr Katie Slocombe (PhD Supervisor, University of York)
  • Dr Amanda Seed (University of St. Andrews)
  • Dr Jorg Massen (University of Vienna)
  • Prof Thomas Bugnyar (University of Vienna)
  • Dr Gyula Gajdon (Messerli Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr Raoul Schwing (Messerli Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine) 
  • Dr Alex Taylor (University of Auckland) 



  • Year 2 – Development and Language
  • Year 2 – Brain and Behaviour 


  • Msc Research Design and Statistics Practical marking 


Selected publications

  • Lambert, M.L., Seed, A.M. & Slocombe, K.E. (in press). A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several Greater vasa parrots. Biology Letters
  • Massen, J.J.M., Lambert, M., Schiestl, M. & Bugnyar, T. (2015). Subadult ravens generally don’t transfer valuable tokens to conspecifics when there is nothing to gain for themselves. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 885. doi: 10.3389/fesdg.2015.00885
  • Lambert, M. (2012). Hand preference for bimanual and unimanual feeding in captive gorillas: Extension in a second colony of apes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 148: 641-647.  doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22095

Contact details

Megan Lambert
PhD student
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C018