I am an evolutionary anthropologist with interests in the family, childhood and human well-being, particularly in the context of the social and demographic changes that accompany economic development. This website provides information on my research and teaching activities, including the ‘Lawson Lab’ research group. I am an Assistant Professor in Integrative Anthropological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Active research topics include: (i) the well-being implications of early marriage and polygynous marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa, (ii) evolutionary perspectives on variation in parental care and fertility, and (iii) the role of men in supporting women’s empowerment in low-income settings. My research combines field studies in rural Tanzania with analyses of existing large-scale demographic and health surveys from both African and European contexts.