About


I received a PhD in Evolutionary Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June, 2017. Before coming to UCSB, I earned a BA in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (2008) and an MA in Cognition and Culture from Queen's University Belfast (2010). Beginning in July, 2017, I will be a post-doctoral researcher in the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory at Harvard University.

My research takes an evolutionary approach to the psychology of cooperation. In particular, I study evolved mechanisms for choosing cooperative partners and dividing the surplus of cooperation. My work has shown that people's criteria for choosing cooperative partners, and intuitions about fair divisions of the resources generated through cooperation, match the demands of the environment in which humans evolved (e.g. physical strength makes a man - but not a woman - a more valuable cooperative partner; skilled partners can get away with being more selfish than unskilled partners, in ways that cannot be explained by income maximization alone). This line of research generates novel predictions and new explanations for the fields of social cognition, moral psychology, and behavioral economics.

I also do research in behavioral endocrinology, particularly the role of hormones in adjusting motivational priorities across different behavioral domains. My work has shown that women are more likely to wear red (a sexual signal) when they have a high estradiol-to-progesterone ratio, and that women at high conception risk are more demanding towards other women in a bargaining game. These results show that women negotiate the trade-offs between different social behaviors like attracting a mate, competing with mating rivals, and building cooperative same-sex relationships by calibrating their behavior to fluctuations in fertility.