Photo – Mike Lovett, Brandeis University Photographer
She is also a lecturer and research associate at Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA.
Ph.D., Chemical Physics, Harvard University, 1976
M.A., Chemistry, Harvard University, 1971
S.B., Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969
Irene Pepperberg studies Grey parrots. The main focus of her work is to determine the cognitive and communicative abilities of these birds, and compare their abilities with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children. She is studying the mechanisms of their learning as well as the outcomes.
Research Associate, Harvard University, 2005-present
Adjunct Associate Professor, Brandeis University, 2002-present
Bunting Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2004-2005
Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab, 2001-2002
Visiting Associate Professor, The Media Lab, MIT, 1999-2000
Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, January, 1991-2000, with joint appointment in Department of Psychology and as an Affiliate in the Program in Neuroscience
Visiting Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Northwestern, 1984-1991
Lecturer, Psychological Sciences, Purdue, Spring, 1982
Research Associate in Biology, Biological Sciences, Purdue, 1979-1984
Postdoctoral research in animal-human communication, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue, 1977-1979
Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Chemistry, Harvard, July, 1976
Honors and Awards
Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award, American Psychological Association, 2006
Bunting Fellow, Radcliffe Institute, 2004
Fellow, AAAS, 2001
Nominee, Quest Award, Animal Behavior Society, 2001
Selby Fellow, Australian Academy of Sciences, 2000
Fellow, American Psychological Society, 1999
Fellow, American Ornithologists’ Union, 1998
Recipient, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 1996 (for calendar year 1997)
Fellow, American Psychological Association, 1996
Alternate, Cattell Award for Psychology, 1996
Nominee, Merit Teaching Award, 1995
Nominee, Distinguished Professor, 1995
Fellow, Animal Behavior Society, 1994
Recipient, UA Parents’ Association, Advisor Award for Capstone Experiences, 1994
Nominee, UA Creative Teaching Award, 1994
Nominee, Professor of the Month Award, Nat’l Women’s History Month, 1994
Nominee, AAAS Mentor Award, 1993, 1994
Recipient, Professor of the Month Award, Nat’l Women’s History Month, 1993
Finalist, Five Star Faculty Award, U of A, 1992
Pepperberg, I.M. (in press). Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) numerical abilities: addition and further experiments on a zero-like concept. J. Comp. Psychol.
Pepperberg, I.M. & Gordon, J.D. (2005). Numerical comprehension by a Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus), including a zero-like concept. J. Comp Psychol.119: 197-209.
Pepperberg, I.M. (2004a). Insightful string-pulling in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) is affected by vocal competence. Anim. Cogn.7:263-266.
Pepperberg, I.M. (2004b). Cognitive and communicative abilities of Grey Parrots: Implications for the enrichment of many species. Animal Welfare 13:S203-208
Pepperberg,I.M. & Wilkes, S.R. (2004).Â Lack of referential vocal learning from LCD video by Grey Parrots(Psittacus erithacus) Interaction Studies 5:75-97.
Pepperberg, I.M. (2003). Training behavior by imitation: from parrots to people&to robots. In Proceedings of the AISB 03 Second International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, K. Dautenhan & C. Nehaniv, eds
Pepperberg, I.M., & Sherman, D.V. (2002). A two-trainer modeling system to engender social skills in children with disabilities. Intl J. Comp. Psych. 15:138-153.
Pepperberg, I.M. (2001). Lessons from cognitive ethology: Animal models for ethological computing. Proceedings of the First Conference on Epigenetic Robotics, C. Balkenius, J. Zlatev, H. Kozima, K. Dautenhahn, & C. Breazeal, Eds., Lund University Cognitive Science Series No. 85, Lund, Sweden,http://www.lucs.lu.se/Abstracts/LUCS_Studies/LUCS85.html (online only)
Pepperberg, I.M. & Shive, H.A. (2001). Simultaneous development of vocal and physical object combinations by a Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus): Bottle caps, lids, and labels. J. Comp. Psych. 115:376-384.
Pepperberg, I.M., and Lynn, S.K. (2000). Perceptual consciousness in Grey parrots. American Zoologist 40:893-901.
Pepperberg, I.M., Sandefer, R.M., Noel, D., & Ellsworth, C.P. (2000). Vocal learning in the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus): Effect of species identity and number of trainers.Â J. Comp. Psychol. 114:371-380.
Pepperberg, I.M., & Wilcox, S.E. (2000). Evidence for a form of mutual exclusivity during label acquisition by Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)? J. Comp. Psych. 114:219-231.
Pepperberg, I.M., & Sherman, D. (2000). Proposed use of two-part interactive modeling as a means to increase functional skills in children with a variety of disabilities. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 12:213-220.
Pepperberg, I.M., Gardiner, L.I., and Luttrell, L.J. (1999). Limited contextual vocal learning in the Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus): the effect of co-viewers on videotaped instruction. J. Comp. Psych. 113:158-172.
Pepperberg, I.M., Naughton, J.R., and Banta, P.A. (1998). Allospecific vocal learning by grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus): A failure of videotaped instruction under certain conditions. Behav. Processes, 42:139-158.
Pepperberg, I.M., Howell, K.S., Banta, P.A., Patterson, D.K. and Meister, M. (1998). Measurement of the trachea of the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) via Magnetic Resonance Imaging, dissection and Electron Beam Computed Tomography. J. Morphol., 238:81-91.
Patterson, D.K. and Pepperberg, I.M. (1998). A comparative study of human and Grey parrot phonation: Acoustic and articulatory correlates of stop consonants. JASA 103:2197-2213.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1997). Social influences on the acquisition of human-based codes in parrots and nonhuman primates. Social Influences on Vocal Development, C.T. Snowdon and M. Hausberger, eds., Cambridge.
Pepperberg, I.M., Willner, M.R., and Gravitz, L.B. (1997). Development of Piagetian object permanence in a Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). J. Comp. Psych. 111:63-75.
Patterson, D.K., Pepperberg, I.M., Story, B.H. and Hoffman, E. (1997). How parrots talk: Insights based on CT scans, image processing, and mathematical models. In SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 3033; ed. E. Hoffman. International Society for Optical Engineering.
Pepperberg, I.M. and McLaughlin, M.A. (1996). Effect of avian-human joint attention on vocal learning by Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). J. Comp. Psych. 110:286-297.
Warren, D.K., Patterson, D.K., and Pepperberg, I.M. (1996). Mechanisms of American English vowel production in a Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Auk 113:41-58.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1994) Numerical competence in an African Grey parrot. J. Comp. Psych. 108:36-44.
Patterson, D.K. and Pepperberg, I.M. (1994) A comparative study of human and parrot phonation: I. Acoustic and articulatory correlates of vowels. JASA. 96:634-648.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1992) Proficient performance of a conjunctive, recursive task by an African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). J. Comp. Psych. 106:295-305.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1992) A synthesis of ethology and psychology: Effects of social interaction on learning in avian species. Proceedings from 1985 Symposium, Animal Behavior Society, The Inevitable Bond, H. Davis and D. Balfour, eds., Cambridge University Press.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1991) Learning to communicate: The effects of social interaction. Perspectives in Ethology, P.H. Klopfer and P.P.G. Bateson, eds., Plenum.
Pepperberg, I.M. and Schinke-Llano, L. (1991). Language acquisition and use in a bilingual environment: A framework for studying birdsong in zones of sympatry. A peer-reviewed Essay on Contemporary Issues in Ethology, 89:1-28.
Pepperberg, I.M. (1990). An investigation into the cognitive capacities of an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Advances in Study of Behavior, P.J.B. Slater, J.S. Rosenblatt, C. Beer, eds., Academic Press.