Lucia Jacobs

Lucia Jacobs is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley. Her research addresses questions about the adaptation and evolution of cognitive traits—in particular spatial navigation and its underlying neural substrates—in tree squirrels and other domestic and wild free-ranging rodents. Focusing on the function of the mammalian hippocampus, her theoretical work reframes questions about the evolution of cognition and the brain. Lucia trained in animal behavior (1978 B.S., Cornell), behavioral ecology (1987 Ph.D, Princeton), and neuroscience (postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Utah) and joined the Berkeley faculty in 1993. Her work has been recognized with the 1995 Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford, the 1999 Prytanean Prize, the 2004 Santa Fe Public Lecture, and the 2013 Michigan State Distinguished Lecture in Cognitive Science. She has published over fifty scientific articles in animal behavior, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience and is currently working on some new ideas about olfaction and the evolution of navigation.