Personal profile


The aim of my PhD thesis is to investigate the evolution of cognition in reptiles (including birds), with a special focus on fundamental cognitive skills. My thesis is part of a wider project called Deep Time Cognition, which aims to study the depth of cognitive evolution through geological time (e.g., deep time) in a three-way collaboration between cognitive zoologists, neuroscientists, and palaeontologists. My project expands on a previous experiment battery from the project Dinosaur Cognition, which focused on crocodylians and birds, by including representative species from other reptile families like lizards and tortoises. Furthermore, I will investigate more specific questions concerning the evolution of cognition, for instance, the link between the evolution of endothermy and more complex cognition. I also hope to link some of my research to issues in bioacoustics or biolinguistics.

Professional work

I have a multidisciplinary background in cognitive science, philosophy, and linguistics, with a special interest in auditory cognition and biolinguistics. I started to work with animals as a research assistant for the LUCS-zoology group, working mainly with American alligators. In general, I think crocodylians are an exemplary model to study the evolutionary origins of cognition and are underrated as research subjects. I am passionate about research projects that explore life-mind continuity¸ which is to say the idea that cognition evolved from the same processes and principles that apply to life. Most of my academic endeavors are based on the assumption that complex cognition arises gradually, even when it comes to such an ability as language.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Zoology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Philosophy


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Collaborations the last five years

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  • Crocodylia cognition

    Grendeus, S. & Reber, S., 2022, Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior . Vonk, J. & Shackelford, T. K. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 1836–1843 8 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryResearch