I am a behavioral ecologist and biological anthropologist with a research focus on between-group conflict. In particular, I examine the structure, causes, and consequences of competition among social groups and address three fundamental questions: what factors cause variation in the patterning of intergroup contests? What are the short‐ and long‐term effects of winning versus losing a contest? And how does intergroup competition shape social relations, both within groups and between species? I combine traditional models of primate socioecology with evolutionary game theory to generate novel predictive frameworks.
I currently study several species of frugivorous monkeys in East Africa - including grey-cheeeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena), redtail monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius), and blue monkeys (C. mitis) - at the Ngogo site in Kibale National Park in western Uganda. I previously worked with Bornean orangutans, domestic dogs, and captive grey wolves.
In the field, I use a combination of non-invasive behavioral observations and physiological sampling, playback experiments, and botanical monitoring to create a comprehensive picture of my study subjects' lives.
I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Integrative Anthropological Sciences wing of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 2011-2014, I was an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow affiliated with the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. I have a PhD in Evolutionary Primatology from the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, and was a graduate student member of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP).
If you are interested in conducting research on the monkeys at Ngogo, gaining pre-grad school field experience, or collaborating on a project, please email me.