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I am an Evolutionary Anthropologist based at the University of Cambridge interested in applying evolutionary theory to predict and explain behaviour across the entire spectrum of human societies. My research thus far has focussed on the evolution of sociality and cooperation in our species, which I have investigated by working with the BaYaka Pygmies, a hunter-gatherer society residing in the rainforests of Congo. My work has examined how individual differences in social integration and cooperative networks affect health, mating patterns and fertility among the BaYaka; and aims to shed light on the role social relationships have played in human evolutionary history. As part of a large research team, I have also been involved in projects related to the evolution of cumulative culture, life-history trade-offs and statistical methods for the ageing of individuals in small-scale societies.

 

In collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists I am currently investigating the prevalence of various mental disorders among hunter-gatherers and evaluating the extent to which they are 'diseases of modernity' caused by a 'mismatch' between modern socio-ecological conditions and those more typical of our species' evolutionary history. This is part of a larger long-term cross-cultural project examining how aspects of subsistence and social organisation affect psychological well-being. I am also in the process of planning a project exploring how social cognition and behaviour respond flexibly to environmental cues in urban settings; specifically, I plan to use virtual reality environments to induce shifts in paranoia, stereotyping and prosociality.

 

Here you can find links to my publications and associated press, talks, photos from my fieldwork, and scribbles about stuff that interests me (evolution, psychiatry, non-human animal cognition...) and might interest you.