Joshua Plotnik. Thoughtful trunks: Applications of elephant cognition for elephant conservation

9:00 AM, Monday 2 Jul 2018 (1 hour 30 minutes)


Joshua Plotnik (Speaker) 
CUNY Hunter 

Colin Chapman 
McGill University

Suzanne Held (discussant)
Bristol Veterinary School (University of Bristol)

Investigating how animals think is an exciting approach to understanding the how and why of human intelligence. But how can understanding the mind of an endangered species also help us protect them from extinction? In this talk, I will discuss what we know thus far about the elephant mind and explain how this research has important implications for both understanding the evolution of similar intelligence in evolutionarily distant species and how the study of elephant behavior can be applied to conservation efforts, specifically in terms of human/wildlife conflict mitigation and childhood education.

Dale, R., & Plotnik, J. M. (2017). Elephants know when their bodies are obstacles to success in a novel transfer taskScientific Reports, 7.
Plotnik, J. M., Pokorny, J. J., Keratimanochaya, T., Webb, C., Beronja, H. F., Hennessy, A., ... & Melville, B. L. (2013). Visual cues given by humans are not sufficient for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to find hidden food. , 8(4)
Plotnik, J. M., Lair, R., Suphachoksahakun, W., & De Waal, F. B. (2011). Elephants know when they need a helping trunk in a cooperative taskProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(12), 5116-5121.
CUNY Hunter
Other Participant
McGill University
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