Dr Gabrielle Davidson

Dr Gabrielle Davidson

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Postdoctoral researcher


Prof John Quinn

Dr Gabrielle Davidson



Gabrielle obtained a BSc Zoology at University College London, after which she worked as a Research Assistant looking at gene mutations associated with hereditary neuropathies in human families. She completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge in 2014 where she investigated the functions of gaze sensitivity (i.e. where others are looking) in corvids (birds of the crow family). As a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, she studied the development of causal reasoning in juvenile Eurasian jays. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at UCC studying individual variation in cognitive abilities in great tits (Parus major).


Gabrielle is a comparative psychologist and a behavioural ecologist with a keen interest in the development, function and evolution of cognition. Her doctoral work investigated how rooks, jackdaws and carrion crows respond to where others are looking (i.e. gaze sensitivity), and how this influences decision-making when foraging, finding nesting locations, guarding chicks and escaping predators. Her current research with Professor John Quinn focuses on developing rigorous cognitive tasks to investigate the evolution of intelligence in wild populations, using wild great tits as a model system. These methods will help us answer key questions regarding heritability of and selection on cognitive traits.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K