Dr. Lucy M. Aplin

Affiliated Scientist
IMPRS Faculty

Main Focus

I study social learning, social networks and culture, mostly in wild populations of birds. Broadly, I am interested in the interactions between cognition, social dynamics and transmission of behaviour.

My current and past work has asked questions like: what is the process by which new behaviours emerge, spread and persist in animal populations? Can the cultural inheritance of information form an important component of a species’ life history? Can culture evolve? If so what is the relationship between cultural evolution, cognition and demographics? 

Recently, I have added a second focus to my work, asking how social cognition and culture can influence the ability of species to exhibit rapid behavioural adaptation, through diffusion of innovation and cultural inheritance. Urban areas are perhaps the most highly modified and rapidly changing environments on the planet, and so we look at this question in the context of urban persistence and colonisation. 

For more information, see my lab website: https://sites.google.com/site/lucymaplin/home

Curriculum Vitae

            • 2018: Max Planck Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany
            • 2015-2017: Junior Research Fellow, St John’s College & Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K.
            • 2014-2015: B.B.S.R.C. Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K.
            • 2010-2014: PhD, Research School of Biology, Australian National University
            • 2003-2009: Bachelor of Science (Hons), Australian National University
            • 2003-2009: Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University
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