Christopher Krupenye, PhD
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Chris (he/him) is an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences and the director of the Social & Cognitive Origins group. He is broadly interested in how humans and other animals think and how cognition evolves. Before coming to Hopkins, Chris completed a bachelor’s degree at Connecticut College and a PhD at Duke University, and received predoctoral training at Kyoto University (Japan) and postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany), the University of St Andrews (UK), and Durham University (UK).
Patrick (he/him) graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2014. He supported animal cognition research with dogs, parrots, and crows for labs at the University of Auckland and University of California, San Diego before joining the Social & Cognitive Origins group. He is most interested in exploring new technologies and how we can use them to further our understanding of non-human minds. When he is not working, Patrick enjoys taking his dog for hikes and wildlife photography.
Amalia Bastos, PhD
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Amalia (she/her) holds a B.A. Hons. in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, where she studied under a full scholarship. In 2021, she earned a PhD in Comparative Psychology from the University of Auckland, in New Zealand. She is broadly interested in how intelligence evolves and which cognitive processes animals possess to understand and respond to the world around them. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Social & Cognitive Origins Group, she will be studying how chimpanzees perceive third-party social interactions through eye-tracking technology, as well as investigating dog cognition.
Elizabeth Warren, PhD
Elizabeth (she/her) is interested in the evolution of communication and cooperation and investigates the cognitive processes and abilities that underlie animal social behavior. She is a strong advocate for voluntary and positively-reinforced animal research methods that take population and species differences into account. Elizabeth graduated from St. Olaf College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts and completed an MSC in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology at the University of St. Andrews in 2018. In 2023, she earned her PhD in Comparative Psychology with the Origins of Mind Group at the University of St. Andrews. In the Social & Cognitive Origins Group, she will investigate the cognitive underpinnings of individual versus collective reasoning in great apes. Outside her research activities, she enjoys hiking, dog training, knitting, and science outreach.
Luz Carvajal Villalobos PhD student since 2022
Luz (they/them) is a PhD student fascinated by the complex, rich and exciting social lives of apes. Luz completed a Master’s in Psychology at the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. Subsequently, they carried out research for the Suaq Project in Indonesia, the LuiKotale Bonobo Project in the DRC and the Proyecto Caí in Argentina. These experiences with wild orangutans, bonobos and capuchins nurtured Luz' curiosity about the intricacies of primate social cognition and behavior. Through inventive research methods, they want to explore ape’s knowledge of other individuals and their relationships, and they hope to contribute to a multidisciplinary understanding of the mechanisms that help apes navigate their social world. Experiencing the privilege of observing wild primates has also strengthened Luz’ commitment to conservation, and their goal is to support community-based initiatives that envision conservation beyond the boundaries of colonial interests. Luz finds joy in baby animals, being surrounded by trees, dancing and building community.
Luke Townrow PhD student since 2022
Luke (he/him) is a PhD student with an interest in comparative cognition. Luke is looking to shine greater light onto how primates, and other animals, navigate their social worlds through understanding of their own minds and whether they ‘project’ minds onto others! Keen to dive deeper into this area of interest by looking at the mechanisms underlying an animal’s social cognition, Luke will be investigating the concept of minds, mental states, Theory of Mind, metacognition and more. Before starting his PhD, all of Luke’s studies were in the UK. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at Cardiff University and an MRes at Durham University with Dr. Zanna Clay. Luke also completed an internship at Edinburgh Zoo as part of Professor Josep Call’s Evolutionary Origins of Mind lab at the University of St Andrews before working as an RA for Professor Amanda Seed of St Andrews and Professor Katie Slocombe of the University of York. Luke is incredibly passionate about family, sports and art, and hopes to pursue more science outreach!
Giuliana Bucci-Mansilla PhD student since 2022
Giuliana (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in The Dynamic Perception Lab (PI: Jason Fischer) who also collaborates with the Social and Cognitive Origins group. She feels passionate about understanding how we perceive the world around us and how we resolve physics problems in the real world. Specifically, she is interested in two main topics: 1) the understanding of visual dynamics in a complex environment and how they are related to other cognitive processes. 2) understanding how different primate species comprehend the world around them, what are the differences and commonalities between species when they have to resolve physics problems. Giuliana advocates for experiments with great ecological validity in order to understand how the mind works and how we behave in the real world. Besides science, She enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, animal photography, and reading adventure books.
Justine Griego PhD student since 2023
Justine (she/her) is a PhD student working with the Social Cognitive Origins group as well as Dr. Justin Halberda's lab. She is interested in language-based comparative cognition, particularly language of thought and the cognitive correlates that lead to “advanced language” evolution in humans. Her research investigates what cognitive elements of language and grammar are present in 3 models: dogs, human infants and non-human primates. Justine became interested in comparative psychology as an undergraduate at Emory University, studying psychology and linguistics. While at Emory, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Lynne Nygaard’s lab, studying auditory imagery and prosody in adult humans. After graduating from Emory in 2021, she became the lab manager in Dr. Jennifer Groh’s SPACE lab at Duke University, studying auditory and visual perception and neuroanatomy in rhesus macaques. While at Duke, she worked at Duke Lemur Center, aiding in data collection and education outreach. After leaving Duke, Justine worked as a field research assistant under Dr. Sarie Van Belle of UT Austin, studying wild black howler monkey vocalizations and biology in Palenque National Park in Chiapas, Mexico, on a Leakey Foundation funded project. Justine is passionate about conservation and sustainability and hopes to be involved in science outreach and diversity in the community.
Melodie (they/them) is a junior undergraduate majoring in Behavioral Biology. In the lab, they're helping with several projects, including video coding for bonobo experiments. They're interested in rewilding, avian cognition, and environmental justice. In their free time, they like to play video games, pet birds, and write poetry.
Laura Lewis, PhD '22
Laura (she/her) uses non-invasive eye-tracking technology and other methods with chimpanzees and bonobos living in zoos and sanctuaries around the world to explore the evolution of great ape social cognition. She graduated from Duke University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science, and earned her PhD from Harvard University in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology in Spring 2022. SCO group’s PI, Chris Krupenye, was her primary research mentor and advisor throughout her graduate school career. Laura is currently UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley, working with Jan Engelmann and Alison Gopnik. Besides hanging out with great apes, she loves swimming in the ocean, making pottery, and hiking in the Berkeley hills.