Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast
Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast
Dr. Dave Brodbeck (dave.brodbeck@algomau.ca)
A podcast where scientists who study animal cognition talk about their research.
Episode 27 - (Season 2, Episode 8) - Marisa Hoeschele
Scientist and metal drummer Marisa Hoeschele received an honours B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy at the University of Guelph, Canada in 2006. After that she completed an M.Sc. and PhD in Psychology with a specialization in Comparative Cognition and Behaviour at the University of Alberta, Canada. In 2013 she moved to Vienna as a post-doc and built the budgie lab at the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. In October 2018 she started her own group, known as the “Musicality and Bioacoustics” group, at the Acoustics Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This institute has researchers from many different disciplines all studying problems in acoustics: however the first animal studies were not conducted on site until this year in April when the budgie lab was moved to the institute. Marisa studies how different animals, including humans, perceive and produce sounds. The broader goal is to understand where music and language come from and what other similar capacities might exist in the animal kingdom. Marisa is the first guest I've had on who had a pop filter on her mic.  That's neither here nor there but it's still a thing. We talked, of course, about how Marisa got into the field in the first place, a bit about Austria and, obviously about her work.  Her work is interdisciplinary and we talked a bit about how this sort of thing is important not just in animal cognition, but in any field. mp3 download
Dec 1, 2021
Episode 26 (Season 2, Episode 7) - Jennifer Foote
Woo hoo! This one should be fun. Partly because I'm talking to.a friend and colleague from Algoma University. Also because it will be only the second episode I've done face to face. Jenn Foote came by my podcast studio (OK, look, I have two podcasting studios in my house, because I'm me, so to be clear, she came to Studio B). and we talked about her work, her origin story, and other stuff. Jenn Foote completed a BSc. Honours in Biology from St. Mary's University, where her thesis research investigated how neighbour-stranger discrimination in song sparrows was influenced by breeding stage of females. She then moved up the road and completed MSc. in Biology at Dalhousie University where she demonstrated that Eastern song sparrows in NS share songs like west coast birds and unlike other eastern song sparrows. Both her BSc. and MSc. work was supervised by Colleen Barber. Jenn completed a PhD at Queen's with Laurene Ratcliffe where she studied dawn chorus communication networks of black-capped chickadees and demonstrated that males interact vocally at dawn and those interactions sometimes included three or more males. She then did a short postdoc with Dan Mennill at University of Windsor before moving to Algoma University in 2010. She then moved to Algoma University where her lab, the OVEN (Ornithology, Vocalization, and Ecology Network) has been studying vocal behaviour of northern Ontario songbirds. The OVEN does in fact study ovenbirds. mp3 download
Oct 28, 2021
Episode 25 (Season 2, Episode 6) - Fiona Cross
OK, look, I won't lie, I do love talking to all of the people who have come on the podcast. But, there is one person I've been hoping to talk to since way back in Season 1. It's FIONA CROSS! Fiona got her BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2001 before she began working with spiders and then she got her MSc (with Distinction) in Zoology in 2003 and her PhD in Zoology in 2009, with all three degrees being at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Dr. Cross first went to Kenya to work with spiders in 2006, and has been a Visiting Scientist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (in Kenya) since 2010. Her research interests include selective attention, working memory, expectancy violation, and problem solving by spiders. Fiona never used to think that spiders could be particularly interesting, but she has since learned that spiders can do many remarkable things that could keep a person awake at night. Dr. Cross has 46 publications, and her work has featured in many news sources including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, BBC, The Guardian, The New Zealand Herald, and Radio New Zealand. Fiona is sorta famous really, to quote her 'I got a fright when I first discovered there is a Wikipedia page about me, and I had to sit down when I discovered that a video about me had been viewed 12,000 times in one day'.  (BTW, that fame is well deserved, she rocks).  As an aside, there used to e a wikipedia page about me, but it was deleted because I suck.... She loves to communicate science, and has so far organized three of her own international speaking tours (one in the UK and two in North America). COVID permitting, she hopes to run a spider event for children at the Christchurch public library in October (the month of the year that arachnologists affectionately refer to as ‘Arachtober’). She's also keen on writing for all ages. You can learn more about her and her work at her website (www.doctorspider.net). mp3 download
Sep 7, 2021
Episode 24 (Season 2, Episode 5) - Mike Beran
Michael J. Beran is Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Language Research Center at Georgia State University.  He received his B.A. in Psychology from Oglethorpe University in 1995, his M.A. in 1997, and his Ph.D. in 2002, both from Georgia State University.  His research is conducted with human and nonhuman primates, including chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, capuchin monkeys, and rhesus monkeys.  He also has done research with bears, elephants, and robins.  His research interests include perception, numerical cognition, metacognition, planning and prospective memory, self-control, decision making, and language acquisition.   Dr. Beran is a Fellow of Division 3 and Division 6 of the American Psychological Association and a Fellow of the Psychonomics Society.  He was the inaugural Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellow at Georgia State University.  He received the Brenda A. Milner award from the APA in 2005.  He has served as the President of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, the Southeast Psychological Association, and the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology (Division 6 of APA).  He is the current Editor of Animal Behavior and Cognition and has served on numerous editorial boards including Cognition, Animal Cognition, Frontiers in Comparative Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, the Journal of Comparative Psychology, Learning and Behavior, and the International Journal of Comparative Psychology.  He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and contributed chapters to over 50 edited books and encyclopedia.  He also is the co-editor of Foundations of Metacognition (2012, Oxford University Press), the author of Self-control in Animals and People (2018, Elsevier), and the co-editor of the forthcoming Primate Cognitive Studies (2022, Cambridge University Press).  Mike gets 2 pics because I love this slide His research has been featured on numerous television and radio programs and in magazines, including Animal Planet, BBC, New Scientist, the Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American Mind.  His research is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Templeton Foundation, and the European Science Foundation.  In addition to the fun things he gets to do in his lab and with his students and colleagues, he enjoys beekeeping, hiking, paintball with friends (and enemies!), travel, and the occasional good bourbon.  And, of course, ‘Bama football.  Roll Tide.mp3 download
Aug 25, 2021
Episode 23 (Season 2, Episode 4) - Aimee Sue Dunlap
On today's edition of Spit and Twitches: The Animal Cognition Podcast, I'm joined by Aimee Sue Dunlap.  She is an associate professor of biology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Aimee got her undergraduate degree in biology, history and English in 2000 from the University of Memphis and then her MS in biology from  Northern Arizona University in 2002 and her PhD in ecology, evolution and behavior from the university of Minnesota in 2009. It should be noted that I'm making a concession to American spelling here and should be commended... Oh we also talked hockey.  Including Liga hockey in Finland. Work in her lab focusses on the evolution of cognition and the adaptive value of cognition and memory, especially in bees.  We talked about her experimental evolution work, as well as her field and lab stuff. mp3 download
Jul 20, 2021
Episode 22 (Season 2, Episode 3) - Caroline Strang
Today on the podcast I'm joined by Caroline Strang. Caroline is known for her work with bees, horses, dogs, and scarves. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Toronto where she worked closely with someone you have have heard of, Sara Shettleworth. She then went on to work at the University of Western Ontario with someone else who has come up a lot on the podcast, David Sherry.  Once she finished up her PhD she moved down to UT Austin and became a postdoc with Felicity Muth in their biology department.   We talked about her work with David on bumblebee vs. honeybee cognition as well as her stuff on reversal learning in bumblebees.  We also talked a bit about her work during her postdoc and of course other stuff. mp3 download
Jul 12, 2021
Episode 21 (Season 2, Episode 2) - Jeff Martin
Only guest with a baseball scholarship Jeff Martin joins me on the podcast this week.  He's actually the first non psychologist on the show.  He's a biologist or something... Jeff attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) from 2011-2015 on a baseball scholarship. He earned both a BSc in Health and Sports Science and a second BSc in Biology specializing in Natural History. Though they didn’t have a traditional honours program, he did research under the supervision of Dr. Aaron Place investigating simple conditioning in reptiles – mainly snakes. He then moved back home to Canada to attend Western University, obtaining his MSc studying with Dr. David Sherry at the Advanced Facility for Avian Research. His Master’s research focused on how birds respond behaviourally to changes in overwinter temperature Jeff continued at Western and obtained his PhD under the supervision of Drs. David Sherry and Yolanda Morbey. His research focused on caching decisions made by Canada Jays and what factors may influence site- and item-selection. Jeff has just started a post-doc with Dr. Mélanie Guigueno at McGill University in Montréal (Go Habs Go!), where he will be investigating male choosiness in Brown-headed Cowbirds, and the importance of ecologically relevant tasks in animal cognition and behaviour. Thanks to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music. mp3 download
Jun 30, 2021
Episode 20 (Season 2, Episode 1) - Jenna Congdon
Jenna was wearing PPE before it was coolYES THE PODCAST IS BACK! I'm really happy to be back doing these.  They take some time, so I waited until my next sabbatical.  Well, my next sabbatical is NOW.  Look, OK, I'm pretty psyched for this, but let's not make this all about me. We open up season 2 with Jenna Congdon, who is a postdoc at York University, working with Suzanne MacDonald (who you may remember from such podcasts as 'Spit and Twitches, the Animal Cognition Podcast'). We talked some about her PhD work as well as side projects.  We also talked about her current work at the Toronto Zoo. Jenna started out her career as a biology student at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.  Coincidentally, I work there!  She switched over to psychology, what the cool kids take, when she took an elective with a frenetic but brilliant intro psych prof (me).  Actually, I'm a bit of a hack, don't tell anyone.  After completing her honours thesis project with me she moved on to bigger and brighter things, working with Chris Sturdy at the University of Alberta.  She got her PhD in 2019 and has been teaching as a part time faculty member at Concordia University of Edmonton and at the University of Alberta.   She's currently working with Suzanne MacDonald, as I noted above. Look, I haven't written one of these things in a while, and, well, I'm out of practice... As always, thanks to Red Arms for allowing me to mash up their music in the closing theme, BUY THEIR MUSIC. mp3 download
Jun 18, 2021
Episode 19 - Kristy Biolsi
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Jun 28, 2016
Episode 18 - Emma Tecwyn
Emma Tecwyn is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Daphna Buchsbaum’s Computational Cognitive Development Lab in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto (which is the school I went to, thus making Emma the coolest guest so far on the show). She does research in the overlapping areas of comparative cognition and cognitive development to answer questions about the evolution and development of cognitive abilities.  Emma and a friend Emma has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham, UK. During her undergraduate degree she spent a year studying at the Freie Universitat in Berlin, Germany, where she took classes in animal behaviour and primatology, which sparked her interest in animal cognition. She subsequently obtained an MSc in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she did research on grazing interactions between wild and domestic herbivores on a Kenyan game reserve. She later returned to Birmingham to complete her PhD on great ape physical cognition under the supervision of Jackie Chappell and Susannah Thorpe, where she focussed on whether orangutans, bonobos and children can plan sequences of actions to solve physical problems. She then spent a year in Amanda Seed’s lab at the University of St Andrews in Scotland working on causal sequence imitation and probabilistic inference in capuchin monkeys, before moving to Toronto in November 2014. Emma’s current lines of research include physical reasoning in dogs, causal sequence imitation in dogs and toddlers, and how different species and children of different ages weight and integrate their physical knowledge and social information.  We talked about Emma's research, about the recent Conference on Comparative Cognition, and about the GTA Animal Cognition Group, which she coordinates.  Oh and how philosophy of animal mind is a thing. Thanks again to Red Arms for letting me mash up their music with the ending theme, buy their music now. mp3 download
Apr 27, 2016
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