My research interests center on applying an evolutionary framework to explanations of social phenomena and human behavior.  I’m interested in the dynamics of human social groups, especially issues of cooperation, prestige, and social capital.  My particular focus lies in using the theory and methods of human behavioral ecology, especially signaling theory, to investigate religious practice.


I am conducting my dissertation research on public rituals in Tamil Nadu, India.  At Stanford, my primary advisor is Rebecca Bliege Bird.  My dissertation committee also includes Richard Sosis, Tanya Luhrmann, Thomas Blom Hansen and James Holland Jones.  I am also part of an interdisciplinary project looking at marine resource use on Tabuaeran atoll in Kiribati (with Stanford anthropologists Doug Bird and Bill Durham), and am a member of the Petra Great Temple Excavation in Jordan (directed by Martha Joukowsky). 


I received my BA from Brown University, my MSc from University College London, and am currently pursuing my PhD at Stanford University.



 

Research Interests

human behavioral ecology

signaling theory

social network analysis

religious practice