I am Professor of Anthropology and faculty in the Huck Institute's Ecology Program and the intercollege program in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment. I co-direct the HEnDy lab with Douglas Bird. I study the ecological and economic contexts of variability in human cultural practice or behavior: how and why behavior varies with local social and ecological environments. Although my training is in human behavioral ecology, I also draw widely on landscape ecology, community and population ecology, evolutionary ecology, and social theory to investigate a wide range of topics relating to dynamic temporal and spatial interactions between human behavior and the environment, focusing particularly on hunter gatherer socioecology. This work relies on a variety of quantitative methods, including ecological survey, social network analysis, GIS, naturalistic behavioral observation, and participant observation.  I've written extensively on the ecology of human fire use and the link to ecosystem function, resource management and niche construction, the social and ecological contexts and consequences of age and gender differences in subsistence labor, women's hunting, cooperation and food sharing, conspicuous consumption and costly signaling, and the ecological links of egalitarianism and political hierarchy. My current research projects in Australia and Northern California are centered on the intersection between climate, indigenous patch mosaic burning, and its emergent outcomes for sustainable hunting and the conservation of endangered species. We're currently investigating the historical ecology of hunter gatherer landscapes in the 1950's in the Western Desert of Australia, building a computational model to explore human environmental dynamics, and using stable isotopes to help understand the deep history of landscape modification using fire.

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