I'm a postdoc at Harvard, where I study the origins and functions of music: in my research I ask what music is, how music works, and where music comes from.
With my collaborators, I address these questions with a variety of methods from cognitive science and evolutionary psychology. For instance, in behavioral experiments, we study how babies react to the songs they hear and to the people who sing them. In the Natural History of Song project, we investigate the universality of music in over 100 human societies. In studies of people with rare genetic conditions, we test music's relation to parent-offspring conflict.
Beginning June 1, I will be supported by the Harvard Data Science Initiative. In graduate school I was advised by Howard Gardner, Liz Spelke, and Steve Pinker. My studies take place in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies and, with Max Krasnow, in the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory.
I am an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, grew up in Cambridge and now split my time between there and Wellington, New Zealand. For more on my background, check out this profile.