I am a Reader in Comparative Psychology and member of the psychology department at the University of Portsmouth. Before that I was the group leader of the research group “Evolutionary Roots of Human Social Interaction” at the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig/ Germany where I also completed my PhD in 2005 (with Michael Tomasello & Josep Call). I was also a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College and a member of the Experimental Psychology lab of Cambridge University.
My main research interest is the evolution of human sociality with a particular focus on social cognition. Here I am especially interested in the individual’s understanding of others’ perception, knowledge, intentions, desires and beliefs. I am also interested in questions concerning cooperation and communication among individuals. In my research I follow a comparative approach, that is, I select meaningful groups for comparisons. One comparison is that of humans with their closest living relatives, the great apes. Another comparison is that of humans with one of their closest living domesticated species, the domestic dog.