M.Soc.Sc (Waikato), PhD (Auckland)


Professor Thomas Suddendorf was born and raised in Germany and - following postgraduate study in New Zealand - has been working at the University of Queensland since 1999. He investigates the cognitive capacities of young children and of animals to answer fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the human mind. For instance, in his critically acclaimed book THE GAP: The Science of What Separates Us From Other Animals (Basic Books) he examined the current state of knowledge about what capacities humans share with other animals, and what makes our species so distinct. Of particular interest has long been the human capacity for “mental time travel’ - a phrase he coined with Prof Michael Corballis in 1997. He has studied many aspects of this capacity, including its evolution, development, mechanisms and functions. 

Prof. Suddendorf has published more than 130 papers, frequently in the best journals in neuroscience and psychology (e.g. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Trends in Cognitive Science), as well as in science more generally (e.g. Current Biology and Proceedings of the Royal Society B). His contributions have been cited over 13000 times, and he has reached out to the wider public through talks, interviews and popular science writing. 

Prof Suddendorf has received honors and distinctions for both his research and teaching, including awards from the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, the Australian Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), serving on the APS publications committee. Currently he is the Director of the Early Cognitive Development Centre at UQ.  

Professor, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland

Elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2020)

Elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences (2013)

SBS Award for Teaching Excellence, UQ (2001)

Australian Psychological Society Early Career Award (2002)

American Psychological Association Frank A. Beach Award (2005)

The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia Early Career Award (2005)

SBS Research Award, UQ (2006)

Accolades for The Gap: The Science of What Separates US From Other Animals (New York: Basic Books) include:

• American Association for the Advancement of Science, SB&F’s: Best Books of 2014

• 3rd Place: Best German overview science book of 2015 – awarded by “Bild der Wissenschaft”

• NewSouth Books: Best Australian Science Writing 2014 

1. Suddendorf, T. (2017). The development of episodic foresight and its consequences. Child Development Perspectives, 11, 192-195

2. Suddendorf, T., Bulley, A., & Miloyan, B. (2018). Prospection and natural selection. Current Opinion in Behavioral Science, 24, 26-31. 

3. Redshaw, J., Nielsen, M., Slaughter, V., Kennedy-Costantini, S., Oostenbroek, J., Crimston, J., & Suddendorf, T. (2019). Individual differences in neonatal ‘imitation’ fail to predict early social cognitive behaviour. Developmental Science. e12892

4. Suddendorf, T., Watson, K, Bogaart, M., & Redshaw, J. (2020). Preparation for certain and uncertain future outcomes in young children and three species of monkey. Developmental Psychobiology, 62, 191-201.

5. Redshaw, J., & Suddendorf, T. (2020). Temporal junctures in the mind. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24, 52-64.