Monday, 27 January 2014

Nijmegen Lectures 2014: Russell Gray on Evolution

Photo from
Today I went to the first day of the Nijmegen Lectures 2014. This year's Nijmegen Lectures (organised by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) are given by Professor Russel Gray, from the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and are titled 'No miracles! A Darwinian view of the evolution of cognition, language and culture'.

Russell defined himself as an evolutionary biologist and psychologist in the lectures, which is probably modest. His work has contributed to the fields of linguistics, animal cognition, philosophy of biology and behavioural phylogenetics. He is best known for his work with corvids (the New Caledonian crow) and the application of computational evolutionary methods to language.

I was really happy to hear about these lectures as they are close to my hometown where I am currently residing, and because I always like to hear talks by Russell and his colleagues. While I was doing my PhD in Auckland, I followed the postgraduate course Evolutionary Psychology which that year was given by Russell and Quentin Atkinson - before the semester was over I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I finished my PhD first though of course (and attended some more of Russell and Quentin's lab meetings), and am now looking for a postdoc in evolutionary psychology/anthropology. It's the best!  

Time to write down the report of the first day. 


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