- Assistant Professor, Psychology
- Comparative cognition in elephants and other mammals; applications of animal behavior and cognition research to wildlife conservation; conservation education
- Ph.D., Emory University
Dr. Plotnik studies the evolution of cognition across species, with a particular interest in how similarities in physical and social intelligence evolve in evolutionarily distant taxa. Dr. Plotnik works with a number of species, with a particular interest in the Asian elephant. His work aims to identify the sensory modalities most relevant to an animal's physical and social decision-making processes, and to use this information to develop cognitive tasks that allow for relevant comparisons within and across species. In addition, Dr. Plotnik has a strong interest in the applications of behavior and cognition research to conservation in practice, and works in Asia to use the study of elephant behavior as a tool for mitigating human/elephant conflict.
Dr. Plotnik is the Principal Investigator for the Comparative Cognition for Conservation (CCC) Lab.