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- Student Stories
Professor Alex Kacelnik
Tutor in Zoology, EP Abraham Fellow, Professor of Behavioural Ecology
Undergraduate teaching of Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology.
Professor Kacelnik has supervised over 30 Ph.D. thesis and some 15 postdocs, and is the Head of the Behavioural Ecology Research Group,
Fellow and Tutor in Biological Sciences
Curator of Gardens
Professor of Behavioural Ecology, Department of Zoology.
Current non-Oxford Activities
Professor Kacelnik is currently Chairman of the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships Panel, Associate Editor of Biological Letters of the Royal Society and member of the editorial board of different scientific journals. In recent years he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and Member of the European Academy, and received prizes such as the Research Award of the Society of Comparative Cognition, the de Robertis medal from the Argentinian Society of Neurosciences, The Cogito Prize for interdisciplinary Research, and the Raices Prize of the Argentinian Ministry for Science
Professor Kacelnik's research has attracted world-wide attention, as he and his colleagues have produced the first demonstrations of a non-human spontaneously shaping novel material into hooks to use as tools (Science 2002, Doi: 10.1126/science.1073433), of using micro-cameras mounted on free flying wild birds to transmit behavioural video data remotely (Science 2007), of state-dependent learning in an invertebrate (Science 2006, Doi: 10.1126/science.1123924), and of the presence of an innate trait towards use of tools in a vertebrate species ( Nature 2005, Doi: 10.1038/433121a). More information about this research, including movies, can be found at Professor’s Kacelnik's web site
Departmental website: http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk
Personal Website: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~kgroup/people/alexkacelnik.shtml
Decision making in animals and humans.
Ethology and Behavioural Ecology.
Animal coginition, tool use and time perception.
Tools for thought or thoughts for tools? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 2010 vol. 107 no. 1 508-512; doi_10.1073_pnas.0904735106
The Role of Experience in Problem Solving and Innovative Tool Use in Crows. Current Biology, 2009: 19(22): 1965-1968. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.037
Context-dependent utility overrides absolute memory as a determinant of choice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 2010 vol. 107 no. 1 508-512; doi/10.1073/pnas.0907250107
Weir, A. A. S., Chappell, J. and Kacelnik, A. (2002) Shaping of hooks in New Caledonian crows. Science, 297, 981. Doi: 10.1126/science.1073433
Marsh, B. and Kacelnik, A. (2002). Framing effects and risky decisions in starlings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.99, 3352-3355. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.042491999
Schuck-Paim, C., Pompilio, C and Kacelnik, A. (2004). State-Dependent Decisions Cause Apparent Violations of Rationality in Animal Choice. PLoS Biology 2, 2305-2315. Doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020402
Kacelnik, A. (2005) Meanings of rationality. Chapter 2 (pp. 87-106. In: Rational Animals? Matthew Nudds and Susan Hurley, editors, OUP, Oxford.
Kenward, B., Weir, A.A.S. Rutz, C. & Kacelnik, A., (2005) Tool manufacture by naive juvenile crows. Nature 433: 121 Doi: 10.1038/433121a
Pompilio, L., Kacelnik, A., & Behmer. S.T. (2006) State-Dependent Learned Valuation Drives Choice in an Invertebrate. Science. 311: 1613-1615. Doi: 10.1126/science.1123924
Rutz, C., Bluff, L.A., Weir, A.A.S., & Kacelnik, A. (2007) Video Cameras on Wild Birds. Science. (on line publication October 5 2007).16-20
Pembroke's tutors are engaged in research across the breadth of the field. Professor Alex Kacelnik is an expert in animal behaviour; with a particular speciality in the study of the tool-making behaviour of crows and cockatoos. Professor Nick Kruger's research explores the metabolic networks of plants.