Remembering Alex the African Grey Parrot: More than Just a Birdbrain

Irene Pepperberg

Friday, 29 Feb 2008 at 7:00 pm – Sun Room, Memorial Union

Irene Pepperberg is an adjunct professor of psychology at Brandeis University and a research associate at Harvard University. She studies Grey parrots, focusing on how the cognitive and communicative abilities of these birds compare to those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children. She is best known for her work with the famous African Grey parrot Alex, who passed away in April 2006. Alex possessed more than one hundred vocal labels for different objects, actions, and colors; could count object sets up to the total number six; exhibited math skills that were considered advanced in animal intelligence; and was learning to read the sounds of various letters. Alex's accomplishments proved that African Grey parrots have an intelligence far beyond what was previously thought before his decades-long work with Pepperberg.

Cosponsored By:
  • Avian Club
  • ISU Behavior Club
  • Mid America Cage Bird Society
  • Psychology
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB)