Scientist Irene Maxine Pepperberg was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1949. She received her B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Pepperberg is an adjunct psychology professor at Brandeis University and active in wildlife conservation. She is also the president and founder of The Alex Foundation, a non-profit organization. Pepperberg's studies focus on animal cognition, animal behavior, and comparative psychology, and she is well-known for her successful work in teaching Alex, an African Grey Parrot, a large vocabulary and the ability to identify objects by color, shape, number, and material. Pepperberg has published many scholarly books and articles, which appear in journals including Animal Cognition and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. She also wrote the New York Times-bestseller Alex and Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process.