Meet the team

Dr. Irene M. Pepperberg

Irene M. Pepperberg, SB (MIT), MA (Harvard), PhD (Harvard) is an adjunct Research Professor at Boston University and an affiliate in the Animal Behavior and Conservation Program, Hunter College, CUNY. She has been a Research Associate and Lecturer at Harvard and Purdue University, a visiting Assistant Professor (Northwestern University), tenured Associate Professor (University of Arizona), visiting Associate Professor (MIT Media Lab, where she studied animal-human-computer interfaces), and adjunct Associate Professor (Brandeis). For over forty-five years she has trained Grey parrots to use English speech referentially, then employs this communication code to examine their intelligence; the birds score at the level of 6-8-year-old children on many of the same cognitive tasks used to test humans. She received John Simon Guggenheim, Selby, and Radcliffe Fellowships, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Psychonomic Society, Animal Behavior Society, American Ornithologists’ Union, and Midwest and Eastern Psychological Associations. She has been funded by and served on grant review panels for NSF. She won the Christopher Clavius, S.J. Award, Sigma Xi (Saint Josephs University, Spring 2013), the Comparative Cognition Society Research Award (2020) and several awards for teaching and mentoring. She lectures world-wide and has authored over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, and book chapters, The Alex Studies, and the NY Times bestseller Alex & Me. She serves on the editorial board of several journals, was an associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and a board member of APA (Divs 3,6), EPA, and the American Ornithological Union.