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Science Week: Bird Brains (Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5)

Live Event

Join us for Science Week to learn all about the fascinating minds of magpies!


Did you know that being social makes you smarter? Find out why in this special Science Week incursion on Bird Brains!

Lizzie is a behavioural ecologist working at the University of Western Australia. Her PhD investigates why certain individuals are smarter than others with one of the main theories being that social behaviour is what makes you smarter, which is also known as the Social Intelligence Hypothesis.

To test this theory Lizzie works with wild magpies. Despite the popular phrase “bird brain”, magpies demonstrate incredibly sophisticated cognitive abilities, including tool use and recognising human voices. As part of this research magpies are presented with a series of tasks to measure their cognition (or intelligence) and are also tested for social connectedness – who’s friends with who and who doesn’t get along. Combined, this allows researchers to test whether smarter magpies are more social.

Join Lizzie this Science Week to learn all about the fascinating minds of magpies!



Event Details

Date & Time

  16-Aug-2023    11:45AM   + Google Calendar  + iCal Export

Event Type

Live Event - Scheduled

Delivery Platform



45 Minutes




Primary, Secondary

Main KLA, Strand, Sub Strand

Special Event

Presenter Bio

Lizzie Speechley is a behavioural ecologist at the University of Western Australia. Her PhD explores the drivers of individual differences in cognition in the Western Australian magpie. She has also completed her Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and is a Higher Education Academy Fellow. When she isn’t working you will usually find her chilling on the couch, watching a good movie and cuddling her cats.

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Technology and Materials Requirements

This virtual excursion will run via Zoom. A device with internet connectivity with the capability of streaming video is required.

Attendees can choose to have their cameras enabled or disabled, but all microphones will be muted.

The virtual excursion will include a live presentation and time for a Q&A. Questions can either be submitted as part of your DART booking form or in the Zoom chat.

All student participants must be supervised by a teacher or parent/guardian for this virtual excursion.

If you have any queries please contact the provider

Name: Arludo

Phone: Send us an email!

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://arludo.com/gdc2023/

NSW Department of Education

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