About

I am a biological anthropologist and primatologist and currently a research associate in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. I am also a postdoctoral fellow in Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. At Harvard I am part of the Pan Lab, led by Dr. Martin Surbeck and the Stress & Development Laboratory, led by Dr. Katie McLaughlin. Previously, I was a Mind Brain Behavior Postdoctoral Fellow in psychology and human evolutionary biology. Before coming to Harvard, I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan and my BA with Distinction in evolutionary anthropology from Duke University. 

My research aims to uncover an evolutionary basis for how and why social relationships shape human life. Through longitundinal studies of wild chimpanzees and bonobos - our closest living relatives - I examine how social relationships manifest, develop, and contribute to learning, status, health, survival, and reproduction across the lifespan. I am currently working to integrate approaches from developmental neuroscience and clinical psychology into my field research program with the goal of understanding how chimpanzees and bonobos learn and achieve well-being during the socially dynamic life stage of adolescence (and beyond). My chimpanzee research takes place at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda where I have worked since 2013, and my bonobo research in Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve in Democratic Repbublic of Congo where I began working in 2021. In a second line of research I study the psychological mechanisms that underlie social relationships in humans as well as other animals, using experimental approaches.

My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The National Geographic Society, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, the Nacey-Maggioncalda Foundation, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Duke University and the Duke Lemur Center.

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A view of my favorite place in the world: the forest at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, home to many chimpanzees