I grew up in a small town in Iowa. For my undergraduate, I attended the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), initially pursuing a degree in Social Studies Education. But after I took an introductory Anthropology class, I was hooked and switched my major to Anthropology! UNI emphasized a four-field Anthropology education (cultural, biological, archaeology, and linguistic), and this diversity of thought influenced my approach to research.

I then entered the Integrative Anthropological Sciences PhD program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), working with Steve Gaulin as my advisor. At UCSB I continued to develop a cross-discipline approach to anthropology, taking classes in biology, statistics, geography, sociology, and Hindi. I also became a graduate student associate with the highly interdisciplinary Broom Center for Demography. I advanced to PhD Candidacy in 2020 and anticipate finishing my doctorate in June 2023.

My research interests include mate choice, marriage, parent-offspring conflict, and South Asia. My current research focuses on how parents and offspring navigate marriage decisions in cultures that traditionally practice arranged marriage, and what the costs and benefits of arranged and non-arranged marriages are in those contexts. My research uses a mixed methods approach that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative data, and I utilize existing databases as well as original data sources. I conduct ethnographic fieldwork and collect primary data in Nepal. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

At UCSB I served as the lead TA for Introduction to Biological Anthropology (a 300-500 student course) for six years, in addition to being the instructor for the course in Summer 2022. I also won the Carol Genetti Graduate Mentoring Award from UCSB’s Graduate Division for my mentoring of numerous undergraduates undertaking research in Anthropology.