Professor Nicola Susan Clayton FRS
Professor of Comparative Cognition, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge
Nicola Clayton has made three major empirical contributions to the study of animal cognition. She has pioneered new procedures for the experimental study of memory, planning and social cognition in animals, all attributes that have been claimed to be uniquely human, and this work has been a tour de force in expanding our appreciation of animal intelligence and its relationship to human memory and cognition. Her research has resulted in a re-evaluation of the cognitive capacities of animals, particularly birds, which led her to develop a theory that intelligence evolved independently in the apes and the corvids. Her work has not only been a major influence in shaping the contemporary study of comparative cognition but has also had an important impact in two other fields, the neurobiology of memory and the study of cognitive development.