Primate evolutionary biologist and geneticist at the University of Texas at Austin
I conduct long-term behavioral and ecological field research on several species in the primate community of Amazonian Ecuador to investigate the ways in which ecological conditions (such as the abundance and distribution of food resources) and the strategies of conspecifics together shape primate behavior and social relationships and ultimately determine the kinds of societies we see primates living in. This is a crucial and central focus in evolutionary anthropology, as understanding the ways in which behavior and social systems are shaped by environmental pressures is a fundamental part of the discipline.
I complement my field studies with molecular genetic laboratory work and agent-based simulation modeling in order to address issues that are typically difficult to explore through observational studies alone, including questions about dispersal behavior, gene flow, mating patterns, population structure, and the fitness consequences of individual behavior. In collaboration with colleagues, I have also started using molecular techniques to investigate a number of broader questions concerning the evolutionary history, social systems, and ecological roles of various New World primates.
ABM modelling of molecular and cellular interactions in Lymph Nodes
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.
My research focuses on applied marine ecology and environmental management, particularly with coastal fish assemblages. Research interests include fish ecology, environmental monitoring and assessment methodology and individual-based models.
Aquatic ecology, Socio-ecological fisheries systems
Human behavioral ecology, marine ecology, cognitive sciences, decision making under uncertainty
Using modeling and simulation to support the development of resilient infrastructures
B.S. in Fish and Wildlife from Michigan State University in 1996. M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine - Orono in 2001. Employed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources since 2003, first as a field biologist (2003-2008), then statewide endangered species coordinator (2008-2012), and currently as the statewide (climate) adaptation program lead (2012-present). Also currently a graduate student in the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center at Michigan State University (2015-present). Father, gardener, hiker, and amateur myxomycologist.
Human-wildlife social-ecological systems, resilience and learning in complex adaptive systems, climate change, disturbance ecology, and historical ecology
Positions held today:
• Associate Professor for Geoinformatics and Ecology at the University of Salzburg (since 2017)
• UNIGIS Program Director (since 2020)
• Head of the Research Group “Spatial Simulation” (since 2013)
Major academic milestones:
• Assistant Professor, Department for Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg (2013-2017)
• Associate Faculty in the FWF Doctoral College “GIScience” (2013-2017)
• Director of Studies UNIGIS MSc distance learning programs, University of Salzburg (2012-2020)
• PhD at the University of Innsbruck on ecological modelling (2011)
• Research Assistant Austrian Academy of Sciences, GIScience Institute (2007-2011)
• Magistra in Ecology, Univ. of Innsbruck (2001) and MSc in GIS, Univ. of Edinburgh (2006)
Spatially-explicit simulation modelling of complex, ecological systems: * the added value of spatially-explicit modelling * Hybrid agent-based and system-dynamics modelling in ecology * Agent-based models, Cellular Automata