Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Joe Henrich
Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
 
 
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Post-Docs

 
Dr. Damian Blasi
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
I study the cognitive, behavioral, and cultural underpinnings of the languages of the world, not only as they exist now but also as they unfolded over the course of the Holocene. I rely primarily on the statistical and computational analysis of diverse observational data, from grammars of endangered languages to ethnohistorical descriptions, paleoanthropological evidence, and massive corpora. (website)  
 
 
HelenDr. Helen Elizabeth Davis
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
I use theoretical perspectives from behavioral ecology and cultural evolution to better understand cognitive development and cognitive decline in humans. In particular, I am interested in how variable access to resources, different learning environments, and ecological variation can affect cognition across the lifecourse. I work with the Tsimane of Bolivia and the OwaTwa & Himba of northern Namibia. (website).   
 
MaxDr. Max Kleiman-Weiner
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
My interests span the study of intelligence (natural), intelligence (artificial), and intelligence (moral). My goal is to understand how the human mind works with enough precision that it can be implemented on a computer. I also draw on insights from how people learn and think to engineer smarter and more human-like algorithms for artificial intelligence. (website)
 
MaxDr. Max Winkler
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
My primary research interests lie at the intersection of Development Economics, Economic History, and Political Economy. I seek to better understand contemporary economic outcomes by taking an evolutionary perspective and how development policy can be optimally designed given the local context – e.g., social structures and cultures. I have specialized in innovative empirical methods – including machine learning and natural language processing. (website)
 

Graduate Students

 
Graham Noblit
G5 in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
I aim to understand the evolution of political institutions and why they vary across the world. In particular, I am interested in how variation in institutions produces and stems from psychological variation. To answer these questions, I make use of mathematical models alongside psychological and economic experiments. I consider my research to entail both positive and normative aspects. My applied interests focus on the design of political-economic institutions and developing a more general applied cultural evolutionary science.

Ze (Kevin) Hong
G5 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.
 
TommyTommy Flint
G4 in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Broadly I am interested in synthesizing ethnographic and historical accounts to develop insights into human behavior and culture. I’m currently working on an evolutionary and cross-cultural investigation of bachelorhood. If you'd like to talk about any of those topics send me an email: tommyflint[~at~]g.harvard.edu 

 

Cammie

Cammie Curtin
G3 in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
I am interested in understanding how human cultural practices evolve and, relatedly, how they shape psychology and behavior. In particular, I study how social norms and institutions– such as those governing kinship, economic exchange, and community structure– impact how people think and behave. My research combines cultural evolutionary theory with methods from anthropology, psychology, and behavioral economics. Recently, I have begun working with the Zapotecs of the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, Mexico.
 
TCTian Chen (TC) Zeng
G2 in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
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Lab Manager

 
CammieTiffany HwangTiffany Hwang
Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab Manager
In 2018, I earned a B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. During this time, I completed a senior honors thesis through the Psychology Departmental Honors program that investigated how Cervical Dystonia patients perceive vertical in their environment. Additionally, I led research projects within the Anthropology department, including projects on pathogen versus ectoparasite disgust and threat-based credulity. Presently I am working on a paper that provides an evolutionary framework for understanding anorexia nervosa and the thin ideal in industrialized societies, as well as assisting the lab on projects investigating the origins of WEIRD psychology.

 

Lab Associates

Duman Bahrami-RadDr. Duman Bahrami-Rad
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Economics, George Mason University
 
My research interests are in development and cultural economics. Combining insights from economics and anthropology, I particularly focus on the origins and consequences of differences in kin networks, marriage practices, and gender norms. (website).
 
 
 
IvanIvan Kroupin
Visiting PhD student from the Department of Psychology, Harvard University

The structure of human cognition is underdetermined by our genetic makeup to a unique degree - evident from our species' unparalleled diversity of cognitive and behavioral repertoires. It follows that determining which repertoire an individual human ends up developing with must involve non-genetic mechanisms. Specifically, culture - cumulatively developed across generations and individually learned in ontogeny - plays a central role in helping to determine the structure individuals' minds. 

My general interest is in developing representational, cognitive accounts of what it how it is that cultural experience structures cognition. I pursue this issue across a variety of topics, with a particular interest in basic cognitive capacities - abstract, analogical reasoning and executive function. The research program is fundamentally interdisciplinary, combining a background of philosophy and developmental cognitive science with emerging work with anthropological and ethnographic insights and methods.

 
 
 

Research Assistants