paulLizard1I’m a mathematical biologist, computational social scientist, and ersatz philosopher. I’m interested in all sorts of questions, especially those related to the psychological, organizational, and evolutionary processes involved in human culture and human behavior. These kinds of questions tend to require methodological, theoretical, and factual input from sources that are often scattered, and I regularly find myself straddling the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

I mostly work by building mathematical models and computer simulations to generate and test hypotheses. Humans are notoriously bad at reasoning about complex systems. Building formal models scaffolds the imagination, facilitating new insights as well as new questions. This approach is complementary to other approaches that use field research, database analysis, or laboratory experiments. I care about those approaches too, and I am interested in helping my collaborators to use them in the best ways possible.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, working with Richard McElreath. If you poke around this site, you can learn some more things about me, check out my publications, and in general see the sorts of things we’ve come to expect from the personal websites of academics.

Key words:

  • Complex systems
  • Cultural evolution
  • Cooperation
  • Collective behavior
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Decision making
  • Social identity
  • Social learning
  • Metascience