Evolution and Development

Evolution and Development Research Group

Researching the evolution and development of motor, behavioural and cognitive processes in children and adults, non-human primates and other animals.

What are we doing? 

Staff in the Evolution and Development Research Group study how motor, behavioural and cognitive processes change in relation to life history variables and during the course of evolution. We conduct both fundamental and applied research on autism, child safety, language and cognition, decision-making, attention and memory, human-animal interaction, perspective-taking, individual differences, atypical development, and handedness. We focus on a range of species, including humans (from new-born infants to older adults), dogs, non-human primates and fish. We have excellent facilities and equipment for our research; e.g. Babylab, Motor lab, field sites for primate research. Our methods include Intermodal Preferential Looking, Eye-tracking, Adult EEG, Motion Analysis, Safety Education Training, Elicitation methods, Interviews, and Response Time Measures. 


Why is it important? 

We address key questions in science, including understanding the development of typical children and children with special educational needs, decision-making, cooperation and competition. Our research has significant and wide impact on policy for road safety, dog bite prevention, animal conservation, surrogate decision-making, motor and language development. Members of our Research Group have received prestigious grants from a range of funding bodies, including ESRC, the National Institute of Health, the Primate Society of Great Britain, the Leakey Foundation. We have also repeatedly won prestigious funding from charities and industry, e.g. from Waltham and MARS. We offer consultancy for the Department for Work and Pensions, International Union for the Conservation of Nature as well as research on bilingualism in children. 


How are we different? 

We are an interdisciplinary research group with a comprehensive and open-minded approach to psychology: we believe there is clear scientific value in crossing boundaries between psychology and traditionally distinct scientific disciplines like anthropology, economics, linguistics, (veterinary) medicine and physiology. We foster a large community of post-graduate students and have established collaborations within our University, with other national and international Universities, charities and the industry. We organise public events, conferences and workshops, such as the Summer Scientist, Northern League Developmental Meeting, NordForsk Meeting, Primate Society of Great Britain Conference. Via the path of interdisciplinarity, our research continues to produce significant real-life impact for society.


Academic Staff 

Dr Bonaventura Majolo


Dr Lesley Allinson

Senior Lecturer

Dr Niko Kargas

Senior Lecturer

Dr Kirsten McKenzie

Senior Lecturer

Prof Kerstin Meints

Professor in Developmental Psychology

Dr Kirsty Miller

Senior Lecturer
Dr Karen Pfeffer Senior Lecturer
Prof Alina Rodriguez Professor in Psychology
Dr Julie Van de Vyver Lecturer

Dr Emile van der Zee

Principal Lecturer
Dr Fenja Ziegler

Senior Lecturer


Research Staff & Students

Huda Alqahanti   
Ibrahim Alyami   

Victoria Brelsford

Associate Lecturer

Catia Correia Caeiro

Associate Demonstrator

Mirena Dimolareva PhD Student
Pengzhen Huang Visiting Researcher
Laura Martinez Inigo Associate Demonstrator
Janine Just Associate Lecturer
Laetitia Marechal Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Lynn Pickerell Teaching Assistant
Martin Smith  
James Waterman  



Evolution and Development Blog
School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS