I have a wide range of academic interests and training, having completed interdisciplinary PhD and postdoctoral research programs at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada and having worked as a guest researcher at the Centre for Biocultural History at Aarhus University (AU) in Denmark. My PhD, supervised mainly by Prof. Mark Collard (SFU) and Prof. Pablo Nepomnaschy (SFU), and secondarily by Assoc. Prof. Rachel Altman (SFU) and Prof. Daniel Sellen (University of Toronto) investigated ecological and social factors that influence variation in duration of lactation among species, among human populations, and within a single human population. The project straddled anthropology, evolutionary biology, health sciences, and biostatistics.
I am currently putting this highly interdisciplinary background to work as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University in Canada, with an additional affiliation to McMaster's Department of Anthropology. At McMaster, I am serving as an investigator and study co-lead on a project called Mothers to Babies (M2B), under the supervision of Prof. Deborah Sloboda (McMaster), Assoc. Prof. Tina Moffat (McMaster), and Prof. Mary Barker (Southampton). M2B seeks to translate the latest results from clinical and lab studies on pregnancy immunology and nutrition to expectant mothers and frontline health workers, with the aim of supporting well-balanced nutrition and promoting health equity for both pregnant people and developing fetuses.
In addition to my core dissertation and postdoctoral fellowship projects, I have also been involved in a number of other collaborative studies over the last several years encompassing: the ecology of pregnancy nutrition in Fiji, the geographic distribution of Neanderthals, the impact of the discovery of Australopithecus afarensis on the discipline of palaeoanthropology, the socio-economic drivers of the fertility transition in Chile, the pregnancy health experiences of gender minority women, and the study of living people from small-scale societies to validate bioarchaeological methods.
When I'm not running around studying nutrition in mothers, babies, or humans' fossil relatives, you can usually find me: playing outside with my partner and our two young daughters, doing mountains of laundry, or lying on my apartment or office floor in an exhausted heap. Before motherhood and research-mania, I used to also enjoy reading novels; playing the ukulele, guitar, and standup bass; hiking, camping, and traveling. Sometimes I also tell people that I surf but, honestly, I haven't actually been on a wave since ~2008.