I am an anthropologist and cognitive scientist who studies some of the things that make us human – but not the obvious ones: I am rather interested in some of the more peculiar aspects of our nature, like ritual, music, sports fanship, and other things that help people connect, cope, and live meaningful lives.

My research combines experimental methods with ethnographic fieldwork to study human culture holistically. I have spent several years conducting research in Southern Europe and Mauritius.

I am an Associate Professor in Anthropology and Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut and head of the Experimental Anthropology LabI have also served as President of the International Association for the Cognitive and Evolutionary Sciences of Religion

Before becoming a full-time academic, I worked as a translator, photographer, and book editor (and of course a waiter).

I have lived in 7 countries and have travelled to over 70, The people, the places, and  the cultures that I met have been the best education I've ever had.