Author Website



Jennifer Mather, What is in an octopus's mind?


Mather (2019) provides a rich overview of the elements underlying octopus cognition and behavioral flexibility. Recently, two remarkable natural history films, My Octopus Teacher and The Octopus in My House have explored intimate human-octopus relationships with a wild (Octopus vulgaris) and a captive octopus (Octopus cyanea) respectively. Both films show rare behaviors that offer observations to test new hypotheses as well as a novel perspective on our own human relationships and place within the natural world. An interview with filmmaker Craig Foster from My Octopus Teacher reveals the profound and transformative power of forming a trusting relationship with such a cognitively capable yet evolutionarily distant group of animals.

Author Biography

Tierney Thys is Research Associate at California Academy of Science, biologist, filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer. Current research includes: mapping connections between nature imagery and human wellbeing with Stanford University and University of Utah; satellite tracking marine megafauna in South America and; reducing plastic pollution. Website