MUTHUKRISHNA LAB

Postdoctoral Fellows

TommasoTommaso Batistoni

Tommaso is a former visiting PhD student and current postdoctoral researcher. His research explores (i) the role of reputation in the production of large scale public goods and (ii) the dynamic of contributions in non-linear social dilemmas. He uses empirical tools (e.g. economic experiments) and mathematical modelling. [website]

Helen Elizabeth Davis

Helen is a postdoctoral fellow co-supervised with Joseph Henrich in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University. She uses the theoretical perspectives of evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology to better understand cognitive development and cognitive decline in humans. In particular, she is interested in how variable access to resources, different learning environments, and ecological variation can affect cognition across the lifecourse. She works with the Tsimane of Bolivia and the OwaTwa & Himba of northern Namibia and is the founder of the OnePencil non-for-profit. [website]

Rachel Spicer

Rachel is a postdoctoral fellow working primarily on the Database of Religious History project. She has a background in bioinformatics,  completing her PhD at the European Bioinformatics Institute at the University of Cambridge in 2019. During her PhD she investigated whether open metabolomics data was sufficiently annotated to enable data reuse and meta-analysis. She has expertise in R and Python, Data science, open science methods, and metascience


Graduate Students

RyuRyutaro Uchiyama

Ryutaro is a PhD student in Psychological and Behavioural Science at the LSE. His overall interest is in how mental processes and cultural/collective processes mutually shape each other. His current research focuses on the co-evolution of the nervous system and culturally transmitted knowledge, as well as other topics related to cultural learning and cultural psychology. Ryu’s background is in neuroscience, behavioral biology, and cognitive psychology. He is currently training in methods and theory from cultural evolution in order to better analyze problems that slip through the boundaries that define the natural, social, and cognitive sciences. [website]

Max Winkler

Max is a visiting PhD student in Economics at the University of Zurich and affiliated researcher at the Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab at Harvard University. His research interests lie at the intersection of Development Economics, Political Economy, Economic History, and Cultural Economics. He studies the determinants and implications of cultural beliefs, norms, and social networks, using novel longitudinal data sets and innovative empirical methods – including machine learning and natural language processing. He is particularly interested in the application of research in cultural evolution to public policy and the private sector. [website]


Research Assistants / Research Engineers

Eric Schnell

Eric recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in Cognitive Science and Mathematics, with a minor in Religious Studies. He is currently working on projects related to human social network dynamics, cooperation, and competition.


Former Lab Members

Graduate Students

Former Graduate Students

XuehengXueheng Li

Li completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Nottingham in 2018 and accepted a job as an Assistant Professor at Nanjing Audit University in his native China. His research interests include social and economic networks, behavioral and experimental economics, and applied game theory. [website]

RobinRobin Schimmelpfennig

Robin completed an MSc in the Psychology of Economic Life at LSE in 2018. Prior to his arrival at the LSE, Robin worked at the Grantham Research Institute and in a field project in Eastern Africa. He went on to work at Fehr Advice, the Behavioral Economics Consultancy Group and then accepted a PhD studentship at the University of Lausanne working with Charles Efferson. His research interest is in studying economic behavior and social psychology to explore topics such as zero-sum beliefs and antisocial actions.

DianaDiana Stimmler

Diana completed an MSc in the Psychology of Economic Life at LSE in 2018. She went on to accept a PhD studentship and Research Assistantship at the Chair of Economic Psychology and Leadership Ethics based at the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen. Her research interests include various topics in the fields of social psychology and behavioral economics.

Research Assistants

Former Research Assistants

RachelRachel Service

Former Role: Lab Manager
Rachel worked as a Lab Manager. She also worked on a variety of projects related to culture, cultural distance, and education.

Emma Carta

Former Role: Research Assistant
Emma worked on a project looking at psychological differences caused by exposure to multiple cultures during childhood. These individuals are sometimes referred to as “Third Culture Kids (TCKs)”.

GoelOjasvi Goel

Former Role: Research Assistant
Ojasvi (OJ) worked on a project looking at psychological differences caused by exposure to multiple cultures during childhood. These individuals are sometimes referred to as “Third Culture Kids (TCKs)”.

colinColin Xu

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Colin began as a Research Assistant in 2014 and worked on several projects till he graduated in 2015. In September, 2015, he began work as a Graduate Student in the Psychology Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

ShayanShayan Pourahmadi

Former Role: Honours Student
Shayan began as both a Research Assistant and a Research Engineer in 2014. He primarily worked on a project focused on cooperation and corruption, but also assisted with a project focusing on testing formal models of human social learning. In September, 2015, he began work as a Graduate Student in the Economics Department at Columbia University.

anitaAnita Schmalor

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Anita worked as a Research Assistant in 2015 on several projects, including a project focused on cooperation and corruption, and a project focused on overconfidence. In September 2015, she began work as a Graduate Student in the Psychology Department at The University of British Columbia.

brookeBrooke McDonald

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Brooke began as a Research Assistant in 2013 and worked on several projects. She primarily focused on a project looking at how social learning cues change physiology and behavior. She will graduate in 2017.

gabrielaGabriela Freitas

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Gabriela (Gabby) began as a Research Assistant in 2013 and worked on several projects till she graduated in 2015. She is currently deciding on her next steps after graduation.

jonathanJonathan Zajonc

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Jonathan (Jon) began as a Research Assistant in 2014 and worked on several projects, but primarily on a project looking at cross-cultural differences in cognition and attention. He is currently studying biology at The University of British Columbia and will graduate in 2018.

sarahSarah MacDonald

Former Role: Directed Studies Student / Project Leader
Sarah began as a Research Assistant in 2013 and worked on several projects till she graduated in 2015. She then accepted an industry position in a technology company.

monaMona Sabzevari

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Mona began as a Research Assistant in 2013 and worked on several projects until she graduated in 2015. She then accepted an industry position and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology.

peterPeter Senften

Former Role: Directed Studies Student
Peter began as a Research Assistant in 2012. He primarily worked on a project looking at how social learning cues change physiology and behavior. Peter later began as a graduate student in Neuroscience at The University of British Columbia.

chanChan Jeon

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Chan began as a Research Assistant in 2014 and worked on a project looking at how social learning cues change physiology and behavior. Chan later began graduate school in Psychology at Memorial University.

jamesJames Pho

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
James began as a Research Assistant in 2014 and worked on a project looking at how social learning cues change physiology and behavior. He graduated in 2015 and accepted an industry position.

mariannaMarianna Pereira

Former Role: Visiting Research Assistant
Marianna was a visiting research assistant in 2013, studying Acturial Science at the University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She worked on a project looking at cultural change in the World Values Survey and on state-level measures of overconfidence.

negahNegah Mortazavi

Former Role: Honours Student
Negah worked on her honours project with me in 2013. She was recently accepted into graduate school at The University of British Columbia.

jeremyJeremy Lewis

Former Role: Project Leader
Jeremy began as a Junior Research Assistant in January 2013. He was involved in several projects, but primarily an acculturation project. He was later promoted to Project Leader and he led the project until its completion.

joedengJoe Deng

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Joe began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. He was involved in several projects including two cultural transmission studies, a cross-cultural study on overconfidence, and a cultural identification study. He was was later selected to assist in a literature review on cetacean cognition and social behavior, where he assisted in collecting quantitative data.  In 2013, Joe started work as a Lab Assistant in the Functional Neurogenesis Lab at UBC.

saniaSania Ahmed

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Sania began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. She was primarily involved in a cultural transmission project. Sania graduates in 2014, after which she is hoping to apply to graduate school.

jinseokJinseok Oh

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Jinseok began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. He initially worked on a cross-cultural study of overconfidence, but was later selected to assist in a literature review on cetacean cognition and social behavior, where he assisted in collecting quantitative data. Jinseok graduated in 2013 and is now applying to graduate schools in Cognitive Psychology.

rochelleRochelle Picardo

Former Role: Project Leader
Rochelle began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. After working on two projects, a cross-cultural study on overconfidence and a cultural transmission study, Rochelle began working on a large scale study on acculturation, which she eventually took over as Project Leader. Rochelle graduates in 2014, after which she will be applying graduate programs.

benshulmanBen Shulman

Former Role: Directed Studies Student
Ben began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2011. After working on a cultural transmission project, Ben worked as a Directed Studies student, where he ran a follow-up study based on his own ideas. Ben is a co-author on a paper based on his study. In 2013, Ben started work as a Graduate Student in Health Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

vladVlad Vasilescu

Former Role: Directed Studies Student
Vlad began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2011. After working on a cultural transmission project, Vlad worked as a Directed Studies student, where he ran a follow-up study based on his own ideas. Vlad is a co-author on a paper based on his study. In 2013, Vlad started work as a Lab Manager in the Social Cognition and Emotion Lab at UBC and will begin a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in September.

caitlynCaitlyn White

Former Role: Project Leader
Caitlyn began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. She worked on several projects on cultural transmission, acculturation, and overconfidence. She was quickly promoted to the project leader for an overconfidence project. In 2013, Caitlyn graduated and will be applying for jobs after returning from vacation.

helenHelen You

Former Role: Project Leader
Helen began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. She worked on several projects on cultural transmission, cultural identification,  acculturation, and overconfidence. She was quickly promoted to the project leader for a cultural identification project. In 2013, Helen began work as a Student Advisor in the UBC Arts Co-op Program.

setoSetrag Avakian

Former Role: Project Leader
Setrag began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. He worked on several projects on cultural transmission and overconfidence and was quickly promoted to the project leader for a cultural transmission project and later an acculturation project. In 2013, Setrag returned to his native Los Angeles, where he plans to work for a year and then apply to graduate school for 2014.

jameslokeJames Wai Chuen Loke

Former Role: Directed Studies Student
James began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2010. He primarily worked on a cultural transmission project, which he later took on as Directed Studies project. In 2012, James began work on a Directed Studies project at the Center for Infant Cognition at UBC.

jeninaJenina Singian

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Jenina began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2012. She worked on several projects on cultural transmission, acculturation, and overconfidence. In 2013, Jenina graduated from UBC and is currently working in industry in Vancouver.

jonpapezJon Papez

Former Role: Senior Research Assistant
Jon began as a Junior Research Assistant in 2011. He primarily worked on a cultural transmission project. In 2012, Jon began work as a Research Assistant in the Peer Relations Lab at UBC.


Research Engineers

Former Research Engineers

ShayanShayan Pourahmadi

Project Area: Institutional Punishment
Languages: HTML/JS/CSS
Shayan went on to graduate school in Economics at Columbia University.

OliverOliver Zhang

Project Area: Institutional Punishment
Languages: HTML/JS/CSS
Oliver went on to work for SAP.

DaisyDaisy Luo

Project Area: Institutional Punishment
Languages: HTML/JS/CSS
Daisy went on to work for SAP.

Emily Bird

Project Area: Social networks.
Languages: Python
Emily went on to work for SAP.

jenniferliuJennifer Lui

Project Area: Gene-culture coevolution.
Languages: C++
Jennifer went on to work for UBC’s web development team.

KevinKevin Lee

Project Area: Gene-culture coevolution
Languages: C++
Kevin went on to work for IBM