Elly’s research interests center on applying an evolutionary framework to explanations of social phenomena and human behavior. She is interested in the dynamics of human social groups, especially issues of cooperation, competition, and prestige. Her particular focus lies in using the theory and methods of human behavioral ecology, especially signaling theory, to investigate religious practice. Her dissertation research is located in two villages in rural Tamil Nadu, India. Using social network analysis, she hopes to investigate the relationship between villagers' social capital and their public ritual practices. Elly received her BA from Brown University and her MSc from University College London.