I am an MSc by Research student at Durham University; my research explores the influence that belief may have on the transmission fidelity of ritual content. I first encountered the field of cultural evolution during my undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology, also at Durham, and it was love at first sight. Since then, I have explored the cultural evolution of religion through my undergraduate dissertation and Master’s thesis.
I didn’t have the most ordinary of undergraduate experiences; having taken 6 years out after completing my A-levels and gaining experience working in hospitality and later in business administration, I came to university in 2019 as a 24-year-old, bringing my whole life (including my pet cat) to Durham with me and living here permanently ever since. I transitioned straight from a BA in anthropology to an MSc by Research, also in anthropology, and plan to complete a PhD in the near future, again in anthropology! I am particularly interested in the cultural evolution of imaginative aspects of culture; religion, music, arts, and fiction, but with a complementary interest in maladaptive aspects of imaginative and creative culture such as the risks of mis- and disinformation.
Throughout both of my degrees I have been especially passionate about communicating anthropological and cultural evolutionary knowledge to wider audiences through mentoring, outreach and research communications, and I am delighted to be able to pursue this further through my role as Assistant Manager for the Cultural Evolution Society Transformation Fund.