Department of Philosophy

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I am a cognitive zoologist. That means that I compare cognitive mechanisms between species in order to understand cognitive evolution. Hopefully, this type of research leads to a deeper understanding of cognition as a biological phenomenon.

I mainly work with great apes and corvid birds. I want to understand the cognition of the species themselves, but I also want to gain further understanding of human cognitive evolution. One of my prime interests is to understand how complex cognition evolves, and how it can evolve independently (like in hominids, cetaceans and corvids).

I am the scientific director of Lund University Primate Research Station Furuvik, and I also direct Lund University Corvid Cognition Station.

I mainly teach in comparative cognition and in fields related to it. I am the main supervisor two PhD-students in projects related to physical cognition and planning in great apes and corvids.


About the research

I am an associate professor in Cognitive Zoology. My main research concerns the evolution of cognition, and in particular independently evolved similar cognition which leads to an understanding of cognitive principles. I compare great apes and corvids which are similar in their complex cognition despite sharing a last common ancestor about 320 million years ago. I also study cognition in the deep evolutionary history of the bird lineage, including the extinct dinosaurs, by comparing crocodilians with the least derived birds, the palaeognaths. I similarly study the evolution of the mammals by comparing monotremes, marsupials and placentals. The two lineages are compared in order to get a better picture of the natural history of cognition that lead to the high levels we see today in some species of both lineages.


Books (1)
Articles (37)
Book chapters (4)
Prefaces (1)
Encyclopaedia entries (5)
Conference contributions (20)
Reports (2)
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (1)
Supervision at Lund University (3)

Research portal (Lund University)

Mathias Osvath

Reader, Senior Lecturer
Cognitive Science
Department of Philosophy

Contact information

E-mail mathias.osvathlucs.luse

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30

Phone +46 46 222 32 99

Mobile +46 70 511 26 55