Postdoc in Cultural Evolution
and Theoretical Biology

University of Pennsylvania

Biography

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in Theoretical Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. My research focusses broadly on the evolutionary origins and dynamics of social behaviours, such as individual cooperation, group coordination, and cultural evolution. In previous projects I studied self-organisation and division of labour in social insects. I continued this research by looking at the effect of competition on the utility of social learning, the fundamental mechanism that allows culture to evolve. At my current position in Philadelphia, I study the co-evolution of culture and population structure.

I am interested in the complex feedbacks between individual actors, the group, and the environment. My goal is to use theory to guide research questions, produce testable hypothesis, and build bridges between the diverse disciplines involved in the study of cultural evolution.

Interests

  • Cultural Evolution
  • Social Dynamics
  • Society-Culture Coevolution

Education

  • PhD in Evolutionary Biology, 2017

    University of Manchester, UK

  • Dioplom (MSc equivalent) in Biology, 2011

    University of Würzburg, Germany

  • Vordiplom (BSc equivalent) in Biology, 2008

    Universtiy of Jena, Germany

Research

Culture Network Coevolution

Our social environment affects what we can learn. But how does what we need to learn affect our social environment?

Publications

Search within in all publications.

Capuchin Monkey Rituals: An Interdisciplinary Study of Form and Function

Many white-faced capuchin monkey dyads in Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica, practise idiosyncratic interaction sequences that are not part of …

Evolution of Contribution Timing in Public Goods Games

Life-history strategies are a crucial aspect of life, which are complicated in group-living species, where pay-offs additionally depend …

Competition for Resources Can Promote the Divergence of Social Learning Phenotypes

Social learning occurs when animals acquire knowledge or skills by observing or interacting with others and is the fundamental building …

Cultural selection shapes network structure

Cultural evolution relies on the social transmission of cultural traits along a population’s social network. Research indicates that …

Reproductive skew affects social information use

Individuals vary in their propensity to use social learning, the engine of cultural evolution, to acquire information about their …

Get in touch

  • 433 S University Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Second floor of Caroline Lynch Laboratories
  • DM Me