Squirrel Economics

We study foraging decisions in wild fox squirrels (Sciurus niger; introduced to California in the early 20th Century). We study the decisions in both the solo forager and squirrels making decisions in competitive social contexts. Scatter hoarding tree squirrels (e.g.,...

Olfaction and Space

A large focus of our lab is the study of navigating choices in space. All mobile animals track the locations of prey, predators, mates and competitors. Many animals do this using olfaction, our current focus in this area. Our new funding to study this behavior in...

CogEvoDevo

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Hippocampal Maps

 In earlier work, our group studied how knowledge of a species’s cognitive niche (the ecology of its species, sex and age) can predict patterns of cognitive abilities and brain structure, in particular the hippocampus. We formalized such patterns in the parallel map...

Sex and Cognition

The parallel map theory provides a theoretical framework for sex differences in cognition and brain structure in vertebrates. We’ve recently published four journal articles in this area, ranging from maze and object learning in mice (Bettis & Jacobs, 2013;...