Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Joseph Henrich
Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University


Dr. Martin Lang

Post-doc in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

My work lies at the intersection between the humanities and the cognitive and behavioral sciences, combining laboratory experiments with field studies to explore the effects of ritual on the individual and group level. I study effects of music on inter-personal coordination, synchronous movement, decision-making and social bonding. My other research line is focused on understanding the role that ritualized motor sequences might play in alleviating anxiety. I use physiological measurements, motion capture, machine-learning algorithms, and linear and nonlinear data analysis (recurrence quantification analysis). (website)

Dr. Anke Becker

Post-doc in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

My research interests lie at the intersection of economics, psychology and anthropology. In particular, I am interested in whether and how culture shapes our preferences and beliefs. (website)



Graduate Students

Manvir Singh

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

I’m intrigued by the processes by which rules emerge in human societies, as well as the evolutionary underpinnings and cultural evolution of expressive behavior (art). I earned an ScB from Brown University in 2012 (and studied burying beetles) before pursuing a year-long Fulbright project about policing in animal societies. I currently conduct fieldwork among the Mentawai people of Siberut Island (Indonesia). (website)


Graham Noblit
Ph.D. Student in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

My research interests congregate on evolutionary theory, cultural evolution, and gene-culture coevolution. I'm interested in understanding how cognition and psychology are culturally situated; how institutions function in light of and affecting such a psychology; and how institutions culturally evolve, with an eye on political and contemporaneous institutions. I have a specific eye for reaching across disciplinary boundaries and forming contacts with the other social, behavioral, and evolutionary sciences. Such interests demand an approach that draws from the macro-social sciences, the psychological and behavioral sciences, anthropology (and ethnography), and mathematical modeling. I maintain simultaneous interests in both philosophy and sociology of science.

Kevin Hong
Ph.D. Student in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

I am broadly interested in understanding human behavior from evolutionary perspectives. In particular, I study the evolution of non-adaptive behaviors in light of dual inheritance theory and gene-culture co-evolution. In addition, I am interested in the future of human evolution given the contemporary cultural environment in post-industrial countries.


Lab Associates

Dr. Nathan Nunn
Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Visiting Faculty Member in the Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab

Nathan Nunn is Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Professor Nunn was born in Canada, where he received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2005. Professor Nunn’s primary research interests are in economic history, economic development, cultural economics, political economy and international trade. He is an NBER Faculty Research Fellow, a Research Fellow at BREAD, and a Faculty Associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA). He is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics. (website)
Dr. Leander Heldring
Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard University

Post-doctoral Associate in the Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab

My research interests are in development economics, economic history and political economy with a particular interest in the role the state in development. (website)
Tommy Flint
Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard University

Associated Researcher in the Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab

 I'm a relative newcomer to cultural evolution (my academic background is in economics and public policy) and at this point my interests are varied: I'd like to learn more about our learning biases, norm psychology, and 'folk-sociology', among other topics. Lately, I've been working on a project related to marital norms, sex ratios, and male violence, as well as a project exploring the cultural complexity of hunter-gatherer populations. If all goes according to plan, I'll soon be conducting my research as a PhD student in a related field.


Lab Manager

CammieCammie Curtin

Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab Manager

I'm new to the field of cultural evolution, and am exploring how I can use this line of inquiry to synthesize my interests in human biology, culture, and language.  I received a B.A. in Neuroscience from Middlebury College, where I worked on projects ranging from potential schizophrenia therapies to neuroplasticity after traumatic brain injury. I also explored my interest in culture through coursework in language, art history, and anthropology. Before joining the lab, I conducted fieldwork in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where I studied the effects of matrilineal versus patrilineal descent on female empowerment and economic decision making.