Comparative Cognition Laboratory

Welcome to the Comparative Cognition laboratory at the University of Manitoba, directed by Dr. Debbie Kelly.

University of Manitoba Comparative Cognition Lab

From left to right (top to bottom): Parisa Sepehri, Dr. Debbie Kelly, Abdelrahman Elzayadi, Kevin Leonard, Helen Harvie, Nanxi Huang, Breanna Cheri, Alizée Vernouillet, Iroshini Gunasekera, Edgar Delbert.

Graduate Student Position:The labs of Drs. Debbie Kelly (Dept. Psychology) and Jason Treberg (Dept. Biological Sciences) at the University of Manitoba are looking for a motivated student to begin a Master’s Degree working on project that combines evaluating the importance of physiological condition on cognition in young-adult and old individuals of long-lived pigeons (Columbia livia). The project would combine methods for characterizing the metabolic state of individual birds with experiments to evaluate cognition through tests that involve food reward as an incentive.
Click here to see more about Dr. Jason Treberg's lab.
Interested individuals should contact either Dr. Kelly (Debbie.Kelly @ or Dr. Treberg (Jason.Treberg @ Please include a brief statement of relevant experience and an up-to-date C.V.

Volunteers:We are currently looking to recruit students interested in gaining valuable research experience to our laboratory for a project examining dog cognition, as well as with our numerous projects on avian cognition. For more information, please contact Dr. Debbie Kelly.


Upcoming Special Issue on Animal - Human Interactions: We are in the process of organizing a special issue for Animal Cognition on how non-human animals are helping us deal with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about this Special Issue can be found here.

October, 2020: Congratulations to Alizée Vernouillet who accepted a Post Doctoral position at the Ctrl-Impact Lab at Ghent University.

September, 2020: Watch Iroshini present her Honour's thesis poster: Sex Differences in Reorientation

September, 2020: Watch Alizée's virtual poster from the Animal Behaviour Live conference: Thick as thieves? Highly social pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) do not discriminate between thieves and bystanders when storing food

April, 2020: Congratulations to Helen Harvie who was accepted to a Master's program at the University of Manitoba.

April, 2020: Congratulations to Candace Briggs and Shane Thiessen for successfully defending their undergraduate honour's theses.

March, 2020: Congratulations to Dr. Alizée Vernouillet for successfully defending her PhD thesis on the influence of the social environment on exploration and caching behavior in highly social pinyon jays and less social Clark's nutcrackers. Way to go Alizée!

March, 2020: Congratulations to Parisa Sepehri who was accepted to a Clinical Master's program at Concordia University.

Find more of our older news here