In my research I use mathematical models and ethnographic field research to understand human culture, cooperation, and conflict – especially in the contexts of political organization and war.
I also have conducted ethnographic fieldwork with Turkana pastoralist warriors in northwest Kenya. They also have a high degree of combat exposure – with about half of adult male mortality due to combat in cattle raids. I am interested in how Turkana organization for war has influenced their susceptibility to combat stress and moral injury. I have interviewed hundreds of warriors about their combat experiences, moral beliefs about warfare, combat stress symptoms, and moral injury.
Before starting as an assistant professor at NPS I was a Donald R. Beall Defense Fellow in my department. Before that I was a postdoctoral research fellow at ASU’s Institute of Human Origins and a member of the Adaptation, Behavior, Culture and Society research group in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Before that, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis and, before that, earned by PhD at the University of California, Davis in the Cultural Evolution and Human Behavioral Ecology Labs.
I am also a US Air Force veteran with six years of service as a civil engineering officer with deployments to the UAE and Afghanistan.