I graduated from the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham in 2008. Whilst working in the Locomotor Ecology and Biomechanics lab for my dissertation I developed a keen interest in primate behaviour and wild-captive comparisons in particular. I continued working closely with Birmingham and became an Honorary Research Associate where I was primarily collecting data for another PhD student looking at mother-infant interactions and locomotor development in Sumatran Orangutans. After the birth of my son in 2009 I decided to return to study and completed an Msc. by Research in Animal Behaviour and Conservation at Manchester Metropolitan University earlier this year. Whilst there I concentrated on primate conservation and began the first study to quantify the role of play behaviours in juvenile Barbary Macaques in a semi-free ranging habitat.
I have just returned to Birmingham to begin a PhD under the supervision of Dr Jackie Chappell and Dr Susannah Thorpe, funded by NERC. I am going to investigate the level of understanding of support properties and relationships in old world monkeys and great apes. I hope to test the use of flexible vs. rigid supports to obtain a goal, looking particularly at the use of supports as tools. This I hope will increase current understandings of the complex cognitive abilities possessed by arboreal primates. This has many applications from furthering knowledge of primate and ultimately human evolution to practical implementations such as understanding the importance of the structure of wild habitats in successful conservation and reintroductions from captive populations.