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Megan Lambert, PhD


Curriculum Vitae

Megan Lambert received her bachelor’s in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego in 2012, completing an honors thesis on manual laterality in Western lowland gorillas. Following this she began her doctoral research in the Department of Psychology at the University of York, United Kingdom. Her thesis focused on physical and social problem solving in corvids and parrots. For a portion of her PhD she studied the ravens and kea at Haidlhof in collaboration with researchers from the University of Vienna and the Messerli Institute. 

After completing her PhD in 2016, she began a postdoctoral position in the Department of Cognitive Science at Lund University, Sweden, where she investigated aspects of planning, tool use and information seeking in apes and ravens. 

Megan joined the Messerli’s Comparative Cognition Unit in 2019 as an FWF Lise Meitner Fellow. Her research will focus on probing the limits of flexible tool use and physical problem solving in kea (Nestor notabilis).


Main Fields of Research

Comparative cognition

Avian cognition

Tool use

Physical cognition


Research Project

  • FWF Lise Meitner Project (M-2563): “Probing the limits of flexible tool use in kea”



Lambert, M.L., Osvath, M. (2020). Investigating information seeking in common ravens (Corvus corax). Animal Cognition,

Morales Picard, A., Mundry, R., Auersperg, A.M., Boeving, E.R., Boucheries, P.H., Bugnyar, T., Dufour, V., Emery, N.J., Federspiel, I.G., Gajdon, G., Guéry, J., Hegedič, M., Horn, L., Kavanagh, E., Lambert, M.L., Massen, J.J.M., Rodrigues, M., Schiestl, M., Schwing, R., Szabo, N., Taylor, A.H., van Horik, J.O., von Bayern, A.M.P., Seed, A.M., Slocombe, K.E. (2020). Why preen others? Predictors of allopreening in parrots and corvids and comparisons to grooming in great apes. Ethology,126: 207-228.  

Lambert, M.L., Jacobs, I., Osvath, M. & von Bayern, A. (2018). Birds of a feather? Corvid and parrot cognition compared. Behaviour, , 1-90.

Lambert, M.L. & Osvath, M. (2018). Comparing chimpanzees’ preparatory responses to known and unknown future outcomes. Biology Letters, 14: 20180499.

Lambert, M.L., Schiestl, M., Schwing, R., Taylor, A., Gajdon, J., Slocombe, K.E., & Seed, A.M. (2017). Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and New Caledonian crows. Royal Society Open Science, 4:170652.

Lambert, M.L., Massen, J J.M., Seed, A.M., Bugnyar, T. & Slocombe, K. E. (2017). An ‘unkindness’ of ravens? Measuring prosociality in Corvus corax. Animal Behaviour, 123: 383-393.

Morales Picard, A., Hogan, L., Lambert, M.L., Wilkinson, A., Seed, A.M. & Slocombe, K.E. (2016). Diffusion of a novel foraging behaviour in amazon parrots through social learning. Animal Cognition, 1-14.

Lambert, M.L., Seed, A.M. & Slocombe, K.E. (2015). A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Biology Letters 11: 20150861.

Massen, J.J.M., Lambert, M., Schiestl, M. & Bugnyar, T. (2015). Subadult ravens generally don’t transfer valuable tokens to conspecifics when there is nothing to gain for themselves. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 885.

Lambert, M. (2012). Hand preference for bimanual and unimanual feeding in captive gorillas: extension in a second colony of apes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 148: 641-647.