They have joined a team of researchers interested in understanding why individuals vary in their cognitive abilities. The Evolutionary Ecology of Cognition (EVOECOCOG) – an ERC funded project – takes the disciplines of cognition and evolutionary biology into a natural setting to answer this question. It aims to do this by investigating a variety of proximate causes and population-level consequences of individual cognitive variation using a great tit Parus major population. The project represents one of the first large-scale integrative studies of cognitive performance on any wild population.
Sam Crofts will be based in Oxford, UK, working in Wytham Wood, as part of a collaboration with the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. Sam Bayley will be based at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC.