About Gorilla

Gorilla was launched on the 1st October 2016 and is created by Cauldron Science.

Cauldron are specialists in creating bespoke software for behavioural scientists. Their ultimate ambition is to support the transfer of researchers’ findings into front-line evidence-tested interventions.

Since 2011 we have worked on a wide range of products for specific research projects including:

  • A supermarket that nudges healthy purchasing choices designed to inform policy decisions on (among other things) food labelling
  • A fun to play and adaptive computer game to teach deaf children how to lipread
  • A constructionist and adaptive computer game to teach children (with and without dyscalculia) the basics of addition and subtraction
  • An online portal providing specialist diagnositic tests DCAL Portal to speech and language therapists to use with their clients

Gorilla is our first customer facing product. It leverages five years of experience building bespoke software for behavioural scientists and provides a user friendly environment in which to create and deploy novel tasks and experiments.

The Team

Cauldron is led by Jo Evershed (CEO) and Nick Hodges (CTO).

Jo Evershed loves providing behavioural scientists with tools to liberate their work from the lab and accelerate the creation of evidence-tested interventions. She holds a BSc in Psychology from UCL and a BSc in Combined Studies (Economics and Business) from Oxford Brookes and was an Innovate UK Women in Innovation Award Winner.

Jo’s focus is on inspiring researchers to adopt online research methods be that with our BeOnline conference, core Gorilla Tools or through our Gorilla Games Studio.

Nick Hodges loves building new tools. His background in computer games where he worked on some of its biggest and most prestigious franchises, such as Call of Duty, Lara Croft, Biohazard and Metal Gear Solid. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Bristol, and after graduating spent two years teaching English in Japan.

Nick is focused on building new tools. You can see what’s coming soon here.

Will Webster enjoys helping people. Not sure how to implement that paradigm? Here’s an experiment tree he made earlier! Can’t get your randomisation quite right? Oh, he’s already added a script to your task. Don’t know where to start in getting your MatLab task online? He’ll get you through it, step by step.

While finishing his PhD in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Will became Cauldron’s first employee in August 2015. He worked first on the DCAL portal before moving on to Gorilla full-time, developing new features in for Task and Questionnaire Builders. He also started the Gorilla Workshop program, making custom scripts for users to fulfil their research needs

After a brief time away to focus on his Rowing Coaching and Personal Trainer qualifications, Will is back at Cauldron running Gorilla’s Scripting Consultancy program. He also helps out on the support desk and is developing a new wave of improvements and features for Gorilla.

Clare Renshaw is fascinated by how people make decisions. She completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Warwick, which introduced her to behavioural economics and the science of decision making. She then went on to study an MSc in Applied Psychology and Economic Behaviour at the University of Bath.

Clare’s focus is on customer success: making it easy for our users to get the best out of Gorilla. Her background (including her own experience of designing online research projects) helps her to understand what researchers need to make good online research easy. Clare is also involved in various other projects, such as organising the BeOnline conference!

Hannah Spence loves people! Or at least… how people think. Especially people at a safe distance… like through an email.

Hannah completed her BSc Psychology degree at De Montfort, with a focus on energy and motivation regulation, both conscious and unconscious. She is fascinated by communication in every form, from in depth discussions to mimicry – something that has driven her work with children with developmental disabilities. She strives to improve communication in every aspect of her life.

Hannah jumped head-first into Gorilla in 2018, applying her interests to our Support desk. If you’ve sent a support request to Gorilla recently, you’ve probably heard from her! Her current aspirations involve improving our support service, and planting a vegetable garden.

Joshua Balsters loves science! He loves coming up with ideas, making experiments, and (weirdly) he even loves stats. If you’d like, Josh can help you get started on Gorilla or even run a whole project for you from start to finish.

Josh holds a BSc in Psychology and PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Royal Holloway University of London. Over the last 15 years, he has worked in both industry (GlaxoSmithKline, Nielsen) and academia (Trinity College Dublin, ETH Zürich, Royal Holloway) investigating a range of topics including: neuroimaging methods, comparative neuroanatomy, neuroeconomics and social decision making, rule-based learning and automation, early markers of cognitive decline in ageing, and reward and motivation in autism spectrum conditions. He currently has 44 peer-reviewed publications and has won over £1.5 million in grant funding.

Klaudia Stanoch is fascinated by mechanisms of learning and memory. She completed a BSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Westminster and a MSc in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Klaudia is passionate about open, reproductible research practices and loves to learn new research methods. She has gathered her research experience at institutions including UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, The British Psychological Society, Royal Holloway and Guy’s Hospital. She is currently involved in memory-enhancement pharmacological trials at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, KCL.

With her broad research background, Klaudia works on implementing new ways to elevate Gorilla customers’ learning experience: she focuses on improving Gorilla’s support pages and experimental database to help customers expand their creative research potential.

Bill Spooner loves systems, puzzles and learning new things. He is driven by his curiosity about the world around him and what it can teach him.

After completing a BA in 3D Animation and Interactive Design at Buckinghamshire New University he moved into games development for several years before progressing into cloud architecture and web services.

Bill’s focus is on improving and nurturing the gorilla platform for both its users and developers.

Warren McFadyen finds few things more satisfying that innovating solutions and solving problems – this combination has resulted in someone who actually enjoys hunting bugs through code. Having worked for several years as a full-stack web developer, he likes having the ability to contribute at whatever stage a project needs from the hosting environment right up to breaking things down in non-technical terms for an end-user.

Warren’s focus is on collaborating on the Gorilla platform wherever required to increase its flexibility and reliability, as well as bringing his web development experience to bear on Cauldron’s websites and communication platforms.

Ashleigh Johnstone has a big interest in whether we can train our brain. She also loves science communication – her superpower is chatting to people about cool science!

Ashleigh has recently submitted her PhD thesis entitled ‘Cognitive Changes Associated with Martial Arts Practice’ – viva coming up at the end of November! After studying at Bangor University since 2012, Ashleigh now lives surrounded by peacocks, donkeys, and dogs on a farm in Anglesey.

Now at Gorilla she is looking forward to chatting with you to see how you can get set up and running on the platform! If you want to chat about your research interests and how we can help, do get in touch.

Maggie Szymanska loves science, with a large passion for methodology and statistics. Her personal interests also include perception and multisensory integration. Maggie completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh before joining us at Gorilla, where she tries to understand and help with problems that researchers encounter when creating experiments online.

Maggie’s work currently focuses on content marketing and social media, helping introduce us to a broader audience and figuring out how we can make Gorilla be the best product for our users! She also helps out on the support desk, answering questions regarding data and R.

Alex Anwyl-Irvine is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in using technology and big data to move work out of the lab. He is a PhD researcher, focusing on child development with Dr Duncan Astle at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge. Previously Alex has worked as a research assistant at the Oxford Center for Human Brain Activity, with Prof. John Duncan at the MRC CBU, and as a web developer.

Alex works part time as a Developer & Scientist at Gorilla, focusing on new tools to widen what is possible on Gorilla — things like webcam eyetracking, gabor patch generators, gamification and high-resolution timing. He also works on research at Gorilla, writing papers with the team on the platform and comparing timing accuracy, and is currently working on a gamification study.

Gorilla wouldn’t be the product you see today without the help and support of our clients, collaborators, friends, colleagues and employees. Special thanks to: Dr Suzanna Forwood, Dr Daniel C Richardson, Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Dr Mairead MacSweeny, Prof Diana Laurillard, Prof Brian Butterworth, Dr Jenni Rodd, Dr Becky Gilbert, Prof David Shanks, Delia Fuhrman, Jorina von Zimmermann, Jamie Knight and Simon Basher.