Eva Reindl accepting her award

Eva Reindl, third-year PhD student in the School of Psychology, has been awarded with The Michael K. O'Rourke Best Publication Award for the best PhD publication in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences 2016, receiving £400.

Her paper ‘Young children spontaneously invent wild great apes’ tool-use behaviours’, published in February with Proceedings of the Royal Society B, closes crucial knowledge gaps with regard to the basis of human culture, specifically human tool-use abilities.

It shows that young children are able to independently invent a range of tool behaviours which wild non-human great apes also show. Eva’s work suggests that humans’ basic tool-use skills do not depend on social learning and have not become impoverished compared to non-human great ape tool use.

The paper is relevant to psychologists, but also to other fields concerned with the study of culture, such as biology, archaeology and anthropology. It has received significant attention from the media and was featured in many newspapers (including The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Scientific American), blogs (including BBC Earth Science, mental_floss), and on the radio (CBC).

View the paper