top of page
My area of specialization is Biological Anthropology. My cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research program utilizes naturalistic field study designs, such as sports, as a proxy for aggression and psychobiological stress across different cultural contexts.
I investigate how children's and adults' physiological responses differ/parallel to social and physical challenges.
Testosterone, estrogens, and cortisol are associated with energetic mobilization, aggression, and stress in the adult human and non-human animal literature. Children are also competitive, yet their gonads have not yet been activated to produce high levels of primary sex steroids (e.g., testosterone, estrogen).
Thus, I am interested in understanding how hormone mediators underpin competitive behavior and regulate physical and psychological stress during childhood development and how these evolved physiological responses shift across the life course.
To assess these questions, I collect and evaluate adrenal hormones via saliva during social challenges, such as soccer (physical) and eSports, and academic competitions (nonphysical). I design quasi-experimental studies in Hong Kong and the USA to investigate competition effects on hormone change and variation during in- and out-group competition and how these responses are related to individual and team performance measures.
The second thread of my interdisciplinary foci emphasizes method and theory in Applied Biomedical Anthropology. I am interested in understanding how the timing of pubertal maturation and adrenarche are impacted by different inputs (e.g., ecological, socioeconomic status, stress).
Further, I work as an Applied Medical and Behavioral Scientist for Simply Rational GmbH – The Decision Institute since 2021, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, located in Berlin, Germany. We partner with some of the largest global medical device and biotech companies to evaluate the most effective evidence-based clinical treatments for patients. We then identify asymmetries in the decision-making process across German, USA, and Canadian healthcare markets and design intervention strategies to deliver the most effective long-term treatments to patients, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons.
bottom of page