Professor Gilly Forrester: Human and Animal Psychology

Gilly is a Professor of Evolutionary & Developmental Psychology at the University of Sussex. Gilly earned a BSc in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego and a PhD in Experimental Neuroscience from the University of Oxford. She is on a quest to better understand how we became the upright walking, talking, tool-using great apes that we are today – both through the evolution of our species and though the development of infants. She studies the behaviours of humans and other animal species.

Gilly is dedicated to science engagement. She runs public science exhibits, features at festivals and makes regular contributions to television, radio, newsprint and podcasts.

Sample of public engagement and media events
Professor Gilly Forrester chats with BBC Producer, Melissa Hoganboom, about motor development in infants

Highlight of media contributions: 

Professor Gilly Forrester on the Royal Society Summer Science Live show
Professor Ben Garrod and Professor Gilly Forrester discuss ‘seeing more’ with thermal imaging and great apes
Professor Ben Garrod and Professor Gilly Forrester look at brain responses to touch using electrophysiology
In the very first Ecoflix Primate Podcast, watch and listen as Ian Redmond chats with Professor Gilly Forrester on how she came to study great apes
Talking Apes podcast host, Gerry Ellis, chats with Professor Gilly Forrester about her research into the original of human language and how tool use may have played an important role.
At New Scientist Live 2022, Professor Gilly Forrester explains that just like humans, gorillas make noises when they eat – and better food elicits different sounds and that we may be able to shed light on the longstanding mystery of how humans evolved the ability to speak by studying these great apes.
New Scientist: The language puzzle: What great apes can teach us about language
Professor Gilly Forrester, is featured in Birkbeck Inspires celebration of 10 years of Public Engagement:
BBC 4 Dissected: The Incredible Human Hand
Threads Radio: Internal Object – Planet of the Brains
BBC CrowdScience, Why do we pull faces when we concentrate? click to listen
BBC Clips: Why do we pull faces when using our hands? click to listen
BBC Radio 4 Archive on 4: Speaking in Public: Archive on 4 Goes Live! click to listen
Level Up Human S2E3 – 14 senses click to listen


University Email:

Personal Email: (*note the ‘s’ between first/surnames)

Twitter: @ForresterGilly

Instagram: @GillyForrester

Me, Human Project:

@Me__Human (twitter) @Me__Humanproject (instagram)