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Alexandra Schnell

Research Fellow in Comparative Psychology, University of Cambridge

Dr Alexandra Schnell is a Research Fellow of Darwin College and a Research Associate in the Comparative Cognition Lab at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests centre on complex learning and memory mechanisms in animals and how these abilities have evolved across diverse taxa. Her primary model species include cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish, and squid) and corvids (members of the crow family) but she also has experience working with elephants, freshwater fish, and juvenile crocodiles. In addition to her interest in cognitive evolution, she also has an interest in sensory ecology, neuro-ethology, sentience, and welfare.

Alex has a background in marine biology, having gained a B.A. in Marine Science at the University of Sydney in 2007. She completed her Ph.D. on the behavioural ecology of giant cuttlefish at Macquarie University in 2015. Following that, she held several post-doctoral positions and was based at two leading cephalopod research facilities including the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, USA and the Centre de Recherches en Environnement Côtier in Normandy, France. Alex currently holds a Newton International Fellowship funded by the Royal Society.


  • –present
    Research Fellow, University of Cambridge


  • 2015 
    Macquarie University, PhD