In the final year of my BSc (Biology, University of Auckland) I took an elective paper in Psychology. This introduced me to the study of comparative cognition and marked the beginning of my ongoing fascination with understanding how non-human minds work and how evolution shapes cognitive abilities. My PhD studies in the Psychology Department at the University of Cambridge used behavioural-based experiments to gain insight into the mental lives of Eurasian jays. In 2013, I returned home to New Zealand. After a brief stint as a Scientific Advisor for Greenpeace NZ, I began a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington in 2014, where I am now a Rutherford Discovery Fellow. My current research examines the causes and consequences of individual variation in the cognitive abilities of wild toutouwai and kākā, two of New Zealand's endemic birds.