Plenary Speakers

Lars Chittka

Queen Mary University of London


Lars Chittka's work is at the intersection between sensory physiology and learning psychology on the one hand, and evolutionary ecology on the other. Studying mostly bees, Lars Chittka is asking why animals have certain sensory systems, how they use them in their natural foraging environment, and how cognitive-behavioural processes function in the economy of nature. Recently, he has also become interested in the evolution of cognitive capacities and communication, and the pollination biology of invasive species.

Catherine Crockford

Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig


Catherine Crockford is interested in the evolution of sociality and social cognition. In her work on social cognition, she studies the evolution of language and uses field playback experiments to address questions about the social mind of chimpanzees and baboons. To adress the evolution of sociality, she examines underlying physiological and cognitive mechanisms that may explain patterns of cooperation or aggression between non-kin as well as kin.

Hanna Kokko

University of Zürich


Hanna Kokko has a longstanding interest in the mathematical logic that underpins biology, with a particular curiosity towards the evolution of reproductive strategies. In her own words, she finds "everything captivating as soon as it involves conflict and possible cooperation between entities (individuals, genes, parts of society…) and this then leads to demographic consequences within or across species"

Friederike Range

Veterinary University Vienna


Friederike Range's research interests lie in the fields of social cognition, social organisation and communi-cation. After having worked with primates and ravens, she was a co-founder of the Clever Dog Lab at the University of Vienna and the Wolf Science Center, where she studies the cognition and development of canine cooperation from a comparative perspective.

Christian Rutz

University of St. Andrews


Christian Rutz' research interests are in the fields of animal ecology, animal cognition, and conservation science. His principal research project is on the evolutionary, ecological and social contexts of tool-use behaviour in New Caledonian crows. He enjoys developing innovative research methodologies, and developed the first miniature video-cameras and proximity loggers deployed on wild birds.