Graduate Students

 Current Graduate Students

Dylan Benkley Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisors: Leda Cosmides, John Tooby). Dylan studies the psychology of cooperation, with a special focus on cognitive adaptations for collaboration.

Ronnie Bailey-Steinitz   Anthropology. (Advisors: Michelle Brown, Michael Gurven). Ronnie studies the effect of interspecific competition on energy gain and reproduction in several species of monkeys in Uganda, merging classic ecological methods with novel tools in endocrinology and geospatial analysis.

Katy Walter  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Dan Conroy-Beam)

Ben Gelbart  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Dan Conroy-Beam)

Carlos Sosa Colindres  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Dan Conroy-Beam)

Tikal Cateña  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Jim Roney)

Goirik Gupta  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Jim Roney)

Ashley Coventry  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Tamsin German)

Oya Serbest  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Zoe Liberman)

Bailey Immel  Psychological & Brain Sciences. (Advisor: Zoe Liberman)

 Past Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Scholars

Sakura Arai, Ph.D. 2022, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB.

Dissertation: “Motivational Systems in Dyadic Cooperation Are Designed for Reputation-Based Partner Choice.” (Advisors: Cosmides & Tooby). Tamagawa University, Japan.

Jack Strelich, Ph.D. 2022, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB.

Dissertation: “Modulation of Mental State Inference by Group Membership.”
(Advisor: Tamsin German)

Tadeg Quillien, Ph.D. 2021, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “A Computational Framework for Social Valuation Inference.” (Advisors: Cosmides & Tooby) Edinburgh University, Scotland.

Spencer Mermelstein, Ph.D. 2021, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “The Mind’s Meta-Data: Cognitive Mechanisms for Monitoring the Source and Content of Communication.” (Advisor: Tamsin German)

Erin Horowitz, Ph.D. 2018, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “Facial Information as a Minimal Cue of Animacy” (Advisor: Tamsin German). Technology Services Industry Association and UCSB.

Michael Barlev, Ph.D. 2017, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB.

Dissertation: “How the mind builds evolutionarily new concepts.” (Advisors: Tamsin German & Leda Cosmides). Arizona State University.

Adar Eisenbruch, Ph.D. 2017, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “Evidence of Human Adaptations for Cooperative Partner Choice in a Biological Market” (Advisor: James Roney). SUNY Purchase.

Lisa McAllister, Ph.D. 2017 Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “The determinants and consequences of women’s fertility preferences and fertility in a rapidly acculturating Amerindian population” (Advisor: Michael Gurven). Penn State University.

Randy Corpuz, Ph.D.  2016, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “The Enduring Impact of a Male’s Early Environment on his Neuroendocrine and Behavioral Response to Becoming a First-time Father” (Advisor: Daphne Bugental). University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Rachel Grillot, Ph.D. 2016, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “Hormonal and morphological predictors of women’s body attractiveness” (Advisor: James Roney). Copperleaf.

Sangin Kim, Ph.D. 2016, Anthropology, UCSB

Anne Pisor, Ph.D. 2016, Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “The Perfect Stranger : Resource Access and the Evolution of Out-Group Relationships” (Advisor: Michael Gurven). Washington State University.

Melanie Martin, Ph.D. 2015, Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: Optimal exclusive breastfeeding duration : Evidence of conflict and congruence in Tsimane mother-infant pairs (Advisor: Michael Gurven). University of Washington.

Katherine Sobraske, Ph.D. 2015 Anthropology, UCSB.

Dissertation: “Threats to romantic relationships : How they are perceived and how they are guarded against in an uncommon mate market” (Advisor: Steven J. C. Gaulin)

Aldo Cimino, Ph.D.  2013 Anthropology UCSB

Dissertation: “Hazing as a Manifestation of Evolved Psychology” (Advisor: Steven J. C. Gaulin). Kent State University.

Carolyn Hodges-Simeon, Ph.D. 2013 Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Ultimate and Ontogenetic Origins of Human Vocal Sexual Dimorphism” (Advisor: Steven J. C. Gaulin. Boston University

Zach Simmons, Ph.D. 2012, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “Androgens and energy allocation: How variation in androgen levels can promote fitness-enhancing behaviors” (Advisor: James Roney). University of Portland.

Adam Cohen, Ph.D. 2012, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “Specialized mechanisms for theory of mind: Evidence for a co-option theory” (Advisor: Tamsin German) Unversity of Hawaii, Manoa.

Julian Lim, Ph.D. 2012, Anthropology, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist, 2012-2016.

Dissertation: “Welfare Tradeoff Ratios and Emotions: Psychological Foundations of Human Reciprocity” (Advisors: John Tooby & Leda Cosmides).

Joel Thurston, Ph.D. 2012, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB. Executive Director, CEP (2013-2017).

Dissertation: “Exploring Group Perception: The Relationship Between the Perception of Entitativity and Assessments of Cohesion” (Advisor: David Hamilton). University of Virginia.

Anthony Lopez, Ph.D. 2012 Political Science (Brown University/UCSB)

Dissertation: “The Risk Contract of War: Offense and Defense in the Adapted Mind” (Advisor: Rose McDermott). Washington State University.

Theresa E. Robertson, Ph.D. 2011 Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist (2011-2014).

Dissertation: “A complex and dangerous world: Two sets of evidence for the recalibrational theory of exclusion response” (Advisor: Stanley Klein). Stony Brook University.

Adrian Jaeggi, Ph.D. 2010 Physical & Biological Anthropology, University of Zurich.

CEP Postdoctoral Scientist (2011-2015, with Michael Gurven). University of Zurich.

Daniel Sznycer, Ph.D. 2010 Anthropology, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist (2011-2016)

Dissertation: “Cognitive adaptations for calibrating welfare tradeoff motivations, with special reference to the emotion of shame: (Advisors: John Tooby & Leda Cosmides). Oklahoma State University.

Andrew W. Delton, Ph.D. 2010 Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist  (2010-2014)

Dissertation: ” A psychological calculus for welfare tradeoffs” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Stony Brook University.

Max Krasnow, Ph.D. 2010 Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist, 2010-2012.

Dissertation: “Gathering navigation theory : adaptations for gathering-related spatial cognition in humans” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Harvard.

Danielle Truxaw, Ph.D. 2010 Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist and CEP Manager, 2010-2012.

Dissertation: “Empirical exploration of a social-mechanical model of tool reasoning” (Advisor: Tamsin German). Harvard.

Aaron Lukaszewski, Ph.D. 2010 Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Dissertation: “The origins of individual differences in extraversion an evolutionary psychological approach” (Advisor: James Roney). California State University, Fullerton.

Aaron Blackwell, Ph.D.  2009 Biological Anthropology, University of Oregon.

Postdoctoral Scientist, CEP 2010-2012 with Michael Gurven. CEP faculty 2012-2019. Washington State University.

David Pietraszewski, Ph.D.  2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Erasing race with cooperation : evidence that race is a consequence of coalitional inferences” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). MPI & UCSB.

Annie Wertz, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: ” Mapping the design of theory of mind : simple actions are used to create mental state representations” (Advisor: Tamsin German). MPI & UCSB.

Brandy Burkett, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “” Friendship, jealousy, and the banker’s paradox” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). College of William & Mary.

Alex Schwartz, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Selective attention, processing, and memory related to RHP-relevant variables in humans” (Advisor: Daphne Bugental). Santa Monica College.

Eyal Aharoni, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Why do we punish? studies of lay judgments against criminal offenders” (Advisor: Alan Fridlund). Georgia State University.

Jessica Hehman, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Costs and potential mitigating factors of the stigmatization of older adults.” (Advisor: Daphne Bugental). University of Redlands.

Eric Schniter, Ph.D. 2009 Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Why Old Age: Non-material contributions and patterns of aging among older adult Tsimane” (Advisor: Michael Gurven). Chapman, California State University at Fullerton.

Jeffrey Niehaus, Ph.D. 2009 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: ” Animate monitoring by morphology and motion cues” (Advisor: Tamsin German). Christopher Newport University.

Michael Bang Petersen, Ph.D. 2007 Political Science, Aarhus University.

CEP Predoctoral (2006) and Postodoctoral Scientist (2008, 2014). Aarhus University, Denmark.

Elsa Ermer, Ph.D. 2007 Psychology, UCSB. Postdoctoral Scientist, CEP 2007-2008.

David Beaulieu, Ph.D. 2007 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Avoiding costly mating mistakes : the evolution of female reproductive safeguards” (Advisor: Daphne Bugental). Lone Star College.

Joshua New, Ph.D.  2006 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: ” Category-specificity in spatial and temporal attention” [Winner, 2006 Lancaster Dissertation Award for best dissertation in the Social Sciences.] (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Barnard College.

Nicole Hess, Ph.D. 2006 Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Informational Warfare: Female Friendship and the Coalitional Manipulation of Reputation” (Advisor: Donald Symons). Washington State University, Vancouver.

Aaron Sell, Ph.D. 2005 Psychology, UCSB. CEP Postdoctoral Scientist (2005-2010)

Dissertation: “Regulating welfare tradeoff ratios : three tests of an evolutionary-computational model of human anger” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Heidelberg University.

Debra Lieberman, Ph.D. 2003, Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Mapping the cognitive architecture of systems for kin detection and inbreeding avoidance: the Westermarck hypothesis and the development of sexual aversions between siblings” [Winner of the 2004 Lancaster Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the Social Sciences]. (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). University of Miami

Michael Price, Ph.D. 2003, Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Psychological adaptations for collective action participation” (Advisors: John Tooby & Leda Cosmides) Brunel University, London

Francis Steen, Ph.D.  2002 English, UCSB

Dissertation: “Cognitive play: The work of fiction in British print culture, 1656–1725” (Advisors: Paul Hernadi & William Warner). UCLA.

Mel Rutherford, Ph.D. 2000, Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “The role of illumination perception in color constancy” (Advisor: David Brainard). McMaster University, Canada.

H. Clark Barrett, Ph.D. 1999, Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Human cognitive adaptations to predators and prey.” (Advisors: John Tooby & Leda Cosmides). UCLA.

Edward H. Hagen, Ph.D. 1999, Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Two Studies of Differential Parental Investment: Child Nutrition and Health in a Yanomamo Village & The Evolutionary Psychology of Postpartum Depression” (Advisor: Donald Symons). Washington State University, Vancouver.

Larry Fiddick, Ph.D. 1998 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “The deal and the danger : an evolutionary analysis of deontic reasoning” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Lakehead University, Canada

Robert Kurzban, Ph.D. 1998 Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “The social psychophysics of cooperation in groups” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Garces Foundation.

Gary Brase, Ph.D. 1997, Psychology, UCSB

Dissertation: “Human reasoning about social groups : evidence of evolved mechanisms for a coalitional psychology” (Advisors: Leda Cosmides & John Tooby). Kansas State University.

Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Ph.D. 1997 English, UCSB

“Feminine nature: An evolutionary analysis of Hemingway’s women characters” (Advisors: Eloise Hay, Steven Allaback, Stephen Miko). Human Animal Lab, University of Oregon.

Lawrence S. Sugiyama, Ph.D.  1996 Anthropology, UCSB

Dissertation: “In search of the adapted mind: A study of human cognitive adaptations among the Shiwiar of Ecuador and the Yora of Peru.” (Advisors: Napoleon Chagnon & John Tooby). University of Oregon.

John Q. Patton, Ph.D. 1996 Anthropology, UCSB.

Dissertation: “Thoughtful Warriors: Status, Warriorship, and Alliance in the Ecuadorian Amazon” (Advisor: Napoleon Chagnon). California State University, Fullerton. In Memorium 2022.