When marine mammals beat the WNBA: Welcome to Heather Hill

It gives me great pleasure to introduce our new Digital Associate Editor, Dr. Heather Hill, who joined our team a few weeks ago.

Welcome, Heather, great to have you.

Heather’s area of expertise is animal cognition, and her appointment therefore comes with a twinge of sad news because she is replacing Anna Wilkinson.  Anna has been offered a prestigious editorship for a journal, and decided that she could not also serve as Digital Associate Editor at the same time. I fully understand her decision and I am sure she’ll make a great contribution in her new position, but it is nonetheless sad to say good-bye to Anna. Her posts about dolphins that dial 9-1-1 and rats that go shopping—among many others—were classic examples of how fascinating research in animal cognition can be, even for a broad audience.

I look forward to similarly fascinating pieces from Heather, whose first post as Digital Associate Editor will appear tomorrow. I don’t want to steal her thunder but it will make me think twice about drinking out of plastic bottles before my next root canal. (Not that I am planning on having one).

For future reference, Heather’s Psychonomics bio page is here, but as usual I also asked her to supplement her formal bio with a few more pieces of information:

  • Heather loves to teach developmental psychology, comparative cognition, animal cognition, comparative psychology, learning, and even statistics.
  • She put herself and her husband through graduate school by refereeing basketball and volleyball at all levels, from little kiddoes all the way to DII college ball.  She thought about joining the WNBA officiating crew, but the arrival of her son and completion of her dissertation ended up taking priority.
  • Heather chose to study marine mammals in managed care because she believes there was so much to learn about them, and that it could be done while raising a family without traveling too much.
  • Heather’s family consists of a son who just started high school and a daughter who just started middle school. She often finds herself repeating the phrase: “It is just a developmental stage, and it is totally normal.” The family also includes an 18-year old dog, a 13-yearr old dog, and a 5-year old cat. When the family does travel, they always visit the local zoo or aquarium.
  • In addition to studying marine mammals, Heather analyzes the content of children’s cartoons. Of greatest interest to her are topics such as how parenting is portrayed, how characters interact with each other, and what stereotypes and educational content are present in programs directed toward children of different ages. Eventually, she intends to examine how these different types of content affect children’s behavior. (Hint: “It is just a developmental stage, and it is totally normal.”)

Welcome to the totally normal team, Heather!

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