My research focuses on how and why individuals choose particular mates. I am especially interested in how parents and offspring navigate spouse choice decisions in cultures with arranged marriage, and how arranged marriages and love marriages differ in reproduction, health, and wellbeing. I use qualitative and quantitative data and borrow methods from a variety of disciplines in my research, including cross-cultural ethnographic comparison, analysis of large demographic surveys, cross-species comparison, focus group discussions, experiments from psychology, and primary fieldwork. I collect data on spouse choice, life-history, fertility, and child health in Dhading District, Nepal.


Agey, E., Morris, A., Chandy, M., & Gaulin, S.J.C. (2021). Arranged Marriage Often Subverts Offspring Mate Preferences: An HRAF-Based Study. American Anthropologist, 123: 861-878. DOI:

Sznycer, D., Xygalatas, D., Agey, E., Alami, S., …, & Tooby, J. (2018). Cross-cultural invariances in the architecture of shame. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 115: 9702-9707. DOI:

Recorded Talks:

April 2022 Lunch & Learn