I am an anthropologist interested in the social and ecological determinants of reproductive and health outcomes across both ‘small’ and ‘big’ data. Through my work I question sexual stereotypes and generalizations about human behavioral universals.
My primary interest is in disentangling individual and contextual variables that drive reproductive behavior and mortality differentials. In particular, I look to how community composition affects patterns of family formation and violence and how early life conditions affect health outcomes across the lifecourse.
Research questions include, how does partner availability influence relationship stability, paternal investment, and sexual risk taking? Does an excess of men result in greater social instability? How do causes of mortality track early life experiences?
My fieldsite is in the Yucatan region of Mexico. I use a combination of survey and ethnographic methods to assess the effects of economic migration and change on partner choice preferences, relationship styles, parental investment and social norms driving expectations of men and women within a relationship, and the emergence of health differentials as a consequence of lifestyle shifts.
Recent research collaborations, a bit closer to home, focus on the evolution of monogamy in our lineage, the use of U.S. data to evaluate patterns of marriage and family formation, and the cross-cultural patterning of violence in response to sex ratio imbalance.
Prospective students: I have funding for MA students – please email me if you’d like to talk about research opportunities!
Keywords: human behavioral ecology, reproductive health, family formation, risk-taking, parental investment, violence, sex ratio