Thomas Bugnyar

Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna

Thomas Bugnyar received his PhD in Biological Sciences from University of Vienna in 2001. He worked as an Erwin Schrödinger fellow at the University of Vermont, USA, and as lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, UK. In 2008 he settled in Austria with the help of the prestigious START prize. Since 2013 he is full Professor of Cognitive Ethology at the University of Vienna and since 2016 speaker of the Vienna Doctoral School in Cognition, Behaviour and Neurosciences.

Thomas Bugnyar is interested in social behaviour and the evolution of complex cognition. He pursues an integrative approach, combining concepts and methods of behavioural biology and comparative psychology. He is most renowned for his long-term program on ravens studied under captive and field conditions but currently expands his work to other 'smart' animals such as primates and parrots.The broad questions are (i) which abilities do individuals require to solve problems in daily life with others, (ii) what types of mental representation underlie these abilities and (iii) how are skills acquired and transmitted. His recent studies focus on aspects of communication, cooperation, social knowledge, and the mediating role of emotions.

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