I am an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, and my research focus is to explain human cultural diversity by understanding the microevolutionary level, that is, the mechanisms of social transmission.
I have used experiments, models and corpus analysis to address questions such as:
How do learning and interaction bias the cultural evolution of language?
What special features of human social learning and innovation enable cumulative cultural evolution?
What are the effects of context of acquisition (how, where and from whom we learn a cultural variant) on adoption and onward transmission of cultural traits?
And what are the consequences of these effects for the fate of cultural variants at the level of populations?
How do these effects play out differently across cultural modalities (language, technology, art etc)?
Finally, I also study partner dance as a complex communication system.
- Location: Edinburgh