I work on the evolution of social behaviour, including conflict and cooperation. My research asks whether the theory of evolution by natural selection can explain why environmental problems arise and why they persist. I am particularly interested in human conservation and anti-conservation behaviours, and the evolution of environmental morality: individual-level beliefs, intuitions, attitudes, as well as social norms about what is right and wrong regarding other species and the environment more generally. I measure and analyse people’s moral attitudes towards wild organisms, and I develop evolutionary models of adaptive conservation behaviours.
I have an MA(Hons) in moral and political theory from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Natural Resources from Cornell University. I worked in public policy for nine years before starting my postgraduate work. I retain a keen interest in public policy and collaborate with conservation professionals across sectors to help design socially and ecologically responsible systems of wildlife governance.
I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, a research fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and an adjunct assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at the University of New Mexico.