Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers of ESCBC 2020

Prof. Ádám Miklósi, PhD

Ádám Miklósi is a full professor and the head of the Department of Ethology at Eötvös University in Budapest. In addition, he leads research groups on comparative ethology, that has been funded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and on neuroscience, funded by the Hungarian Research Fund (NKFIH). In 2016 he was elected as a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is also the co-founder and leader of the Family Dog Project which aims to study human-dog interaction from an ethological perspective. In 2014 he published the 2nd edition of an academic volume entitled Dog behavior, evolution and cognition by Oxford University Press that summarizes the most recent status on dog oriented research, and is regarded as the main textbook for teaching in this area.

Michelle Spierings, PhD

Michelle Spierings is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna in Austria. Her work focusses on language evolution and shared cognitive traits throughout the animal kingdom. This includes studies on the ability to perceive grammar structures, prosodic features and rhythm of human speech. Thus far she has been working with several bird species, songbirds and parrots, and is currently involved in projects with common marmoset monkeys. In July, 2020 she will start a new position at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands.

Amanda Seed, PhD

Amanda Seed is currently working at the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She is interested in the evolution of flexible behaviour and abstract thought. In particular, she studies the extent to which non-human primates and human children solve problems using object concepts and causal reasoning. She is also interested in how other cognitive processes (such as inhibition, working memory and attention) affect individual differences in performance on problem-solving tasks. The underlying question motivating her research is to uncover the evolutionary changes in representational and executive processes that marked the origins of uniquely human thinking. To answer this she thinks we also need to find out what selective pressures caused those changes to occur. To this end, she is interested in convergent evolution of intelligence in other large-brained animals such as corvids and parrots, and comparing species to uncover common principles for the evolution of intelligence. (Source: webpage of University of St Andrews)