I studied Molecular Biology and Genetics at Istanbul Technical University. During my undergraduate studies I became interested in the field of Ecology and Evolution and did internships on animal behaviour in Switzerland and Ireland. I then went on to pursue a 2-year research Master’s in Evolutionary Biology (MEME) funded by the European Union. I worked on projects using computer simulations to investigate evolution of social complexity and human cooperation. I also did behavioural economics experiments on how children learn social norms by copying others. After my Master’s, I pursued my dream of doing fieldwork and investigating human societies. I did my PhD at UCL, researching cultural evolution and behavioural adaptations in Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Congo. During my PhD, I was part of an inter-disciplinary Hunter-Gatherer Resilience team funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I obtained a postdoctoral research fellowship from British Academy after my PhD. I am currently working as a British Academy research fellow and lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology and Evolutionary Medicine at UCL.
I am interested in the evolutionary, cultural, and psychological processes through which complex human organizational patterns emerge. My approach consists largely of developing and analyzing mathematical and computational models of dynamic populations, which are informed by research across many disciplines. Some areas of study closely related to my work include social and cultural evolution, social identity and group formation, mate choice, institutional mechanisms for cooperation, social and cultural constraints on decision making, cognition, biological pattern formation, agent-based modeling, and the philosophy of modeling.
I am interested in the dynamics of cultural transmission, especially in diffusion of religious innovations (concepts and practices) across a population. In my dissertation, I am targeting this issue while studying and modelling the development of Christian meal practices in the first four centuries CE across the Roman Mediterranean.
Prehistoric archaeology of hunter-gatherer societies in Mesoamerica and American Southeast; comparative analysis of urban form and service provision; social inequality; complex adaptive systems; cultural evolution.
I study human culture and cooperation in relationship to the environment. In particular, I study how social norms, institutions and societies evolve, and how they are influenced by ecological and social forces. I strive to use this research to learn how to better build durable, sustainable and just institutions and societies. I use experimental economics and agent-based modeling to explore these connections, and work with lot of wonderful people.
I am a multidisciplinary researcher (PhD Candidate) at the University of Helsinki. My research interests include sustainable behaviour change, ecological psychology, cognitive science and cultural evolution. I have a soft spot for complex systems and philosophy of science.
Philosophy of Science
Science & Society
Business model innovation on markets for digital cultural goods.