I am a Professor in Psychology at the University of Auckland, where I run the Language, Cognition and Culture Lab, and co-Director of the University of Auckland Behavioural Insights Exchange (UoABIX).
I use lab and field experiments, computer modelling and evolutionary theory to shed light on the evolution of human culture and cognition. This work answers questions including the origins of linguistic diversity, the function of religion, the psychology of climate change, how evolved cognitive biases shape our social behaviour and why political systems vary the way they do around the globe. My research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, anthropology and behavioural economics. Read more about my research here or see my list of publications.
I am also a committed environmentalist. I co-founded the climate action group Claxon, have argued for a reduction in air-travel by academics and edited a volume with Dr Niki Harré on how New Zealanders can tackle climate change.
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution,
Max Plank Institute of the Science of Human History
School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
University of Oxford