Principal Investigator

Giacomo is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He obtained his PhD in 2014 at the former Northern Institute of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen. Before joining the University of Stirling, he worked at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Copenhagen. Giacomo is an epistemologist interested in building bridges between disciplines.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kirsten is a postdoctoral research fellow in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Stirling. She holds a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Child Development, and received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Stirling in 2021. Kirsten’s research focuses on children’s socio-cognitive development and the distinctiveness of human cumulative culture, she is also interested in comparative cognition.

Dr Eva Rafetseder


Eva received her PhD in Cognitive Development from the University of Salzburg in 2010. She went on to serve as a PostDoctoral Researcher at the University of Salzburg and the University of Konstanz, before taking on a post as Lecturer at the University of Stirling in 2013, and as Senior Lecturer in 2019. From 2020 to 2021 Eva was Visiting Professor at the University of Konstanz. In her research she focuses on cognitive development, especially the development of counterfactual reasoning, understanding of possibility and theory of mind. Her expertise includes interdisciplinary research and longitudinal study design.

Dr Zsófia Virányi


Zsófia is a senior researcher at the Comparative Cognition Unit of the Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, and University of Vienna. She holds an Msc in Biology, a PhD in Ethology, and habilitated in the field of Animal Behaviour, Cognition, and Human-Animal Interactions in 2020. Zsófia is a co-founder of the Clever Dog Lab and the Wolf Science Center, and her research focuses on the social behaviour and cognition of dogs and wolves, in comparison to non-human primates and human children.

Ariane Veit

Research Assistant

Ariane is a PhD student at the Comparative Cognition Unit of the Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. She holds an MSc in Behavioural, Cognitive, and Neurobiology. Her main research focusses on social cognition and behaviour in free-ranging domestic pigs. In particular, Ariane investigates various factors influencing social learning, such as personality, social status, and cognitive abilities.

Chloe Dow

Research Assistant

Chloe holds a BSc in Psychology and Sociology and a MSc in Psychology from the University of Stirling in 2023. She started as a dissertation student with the project and has now joined as a research assistant. She has also worked as a research assistant on another developmental psychology project at the University of Stirling. Chloe has an interest in child development and social cognitive development.

Brina Recelj

Research Administrator

Brina is an undergraduate Psychology student at the University of Stirling. She started as a volunteer with the project but later joined as an administrator due to her experience in HR. Brina is interested in research in child development and is planning on furthering her education in this field.


University of Stirling:

Atheer Alalawi, Chloe Corcoran, Lewis Fox, Morana Mladic


Messerli Research Institute:

Kea Amelung, Panagiota Drakopoulou, Franziska Freudensprung, Kinga Kovacs

University of Stirling:

Sofia Amadori, Eman Amer, Stacy Bellingham, Sammy Berninger, Jennifer Boyd, Eloise Berry, Annie Brough, Alistair Brown, Chiara Busini, Juan Correa Mackliff, Rebecca Cross-Wright, Meghna De Souza, Chloe Dow, Cassian Hall, Eilidh Hughes, Alisha Jacob, Gillian Jeffrey, Rebekka Lowe, Josephine Martin, Dav Nava, Chantal Obro, Adam Otto, Riikka Pirttijarvi, Paulina Porubska, Rishika Ramanand, Brina Recelj, Marjon Rodenburg, Sarah-Louise Slater, Natasha Turnbull, Gaja Zivec

Prof Christine Caldwell

University of Stirling

Prof Crispin Wright

University of Stirling & New York University

Prof Michael Wheeler

University of Stirling

Prof Hilary Kornblith

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prof Ludwig Huber

Messerli Research Institute
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

Theme by the University of Stirling