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Professor Nicola Clayton FRS FSB FAPS C Psychol

Nicola Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department, a position she has held since 2005. Nicky joined the Department as a tenured University Lecturer in 2000, having previously held academic posts at the University of Oxford, and the University of California, Davis. Nicky's undergraduate degree was in zoology (University of Oxford), and her PhD, which focussed on song tutor choice in zebra finches, was undertaken at the University of St Andrews.

Nicky's research focus is on the evolution of intelligence and problem-solving in corvids and humans. She leads the Comparative Cognition Lab., which is based in Cambridge. She has published over two-hundred journal articles, and has had papers published in Nature and Science. Nicky is co-editor of Social intelligence: from brain to culture, which was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.

Nicky has received numerous awards, including the Frank Beach Award (American Psychological Association, 2000), the Klaus Immelmann Prize in animal behaviour (Bielefeld University, 2003), the Jean-Marie Delwart Award in Comparative and Evolutionary Neuroscience (Belgium Academy of Sciences, 2010), and the Mid-career Award (Experimental Psychology Society, 2012).

An accomplished dancer (Argentine tango, salsa, jazz, contemporary and ballet), Nicky has forged cross-discipline collaborations to explore the relationship between science and art. She is Scientist in Residence at Rambert (the Dance Company), a position she has held since 2011.

Together with the writer and fine artist, Clive Wilkins, who is Artist in Residence in the Psychology Department, she has founded The Captured Thought, which integrates science and art to explore the subjective experience of thinking.

Nicky is one of the women academics featured in The meaning of success: insights from women at Cambridge, written by Jo Bostock, and published by Cambridge University Press in March 2014.

Formerly Deputy Head of Department (Research) Nicky provided career development support to the Department's post-doctoral researchers through semi-annual career development lectures. She is also Senior Treasurer of the Cambridge University Dance Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society.


The Captured Thought

Research News

Comparative Cognition Lab.

Prof. Nicky Clayton's Department Profile


Prof. Nicky Clayton on Radio 3, Private Passions

Madingley Lectures on iTunes (Lecture 3)

Prof. Nicky Clayton on the Naked Scientists radio show:

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