Thomas grew up in Germany and joined UQ in 1999 following postgraduate studies in New Zealand. He investigates the mental capacities in young children and in animals to answer fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the human mind. His research has attracted several awards (incl. from the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the Australian Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association) and his critically acclaimed book The Gap (e.g. see reviews in Nature, Science or the Wall Street Journal) is currently being translated into several languages.