The toutouwai and kākā research is led by Dr Rachael Shaw, a Rutherford Discovery Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. Here’s a few words from her:

“My research interests have ranged from evaluating potential evolutionary pathways for brood parasitic behavior in birds to testing the cognitive abilities of Eurasian jays (and even a few elephants…). My current research investigates the role that cognition plays in the lives of wild birds. Ultimately, my aim is to understand the processes by which cognition evolves and how we might harness cognition for conservation.”


Rachael, Nicky and KC at Zealandia in 2016


We are lucky to have a team of international experts involved in various aspects of this research, including Assoc. Prof. KC Burns (Victoria University of Wellington), Prof. Nicky Clayton (University of Cambridge), Prof. Sue Healy (University of St Andrews), Dr Neeltje Boogert (University of Exeter) and Dr Alex Taylor (University of Auckland).