Research Interests

My research focuses on why people choose certain individuals as mates and how that influences reproduction, health, and wellbeing. I am especially interested in differences between partner choice in arranged marriages, where parents choose a spouse for their child, and so-called “love marriages” where individuals choose their own spouses. I investigate these dynamics from data I’ve collected at a field site in Nepal.

Mentoring Experiences

I have worked with undergraduates on lots of different projects from data collection to analysis; I even had a student join me for a field season in Nepal! The biggest challenge is usually getting them started on a project because many of the students I’ve worked with had never done formal research before. When I first start working with students, I give lots of guidance and instruction, but by the end of the project the students are contributing heavily to the research design and interpretation as coauthors. I think I learn just as much from the undergraduates as they do from me!

Meaning of the Award

Winning this award is a huge honor because mentoring undergraduates is something I’ve really poured my heart into at UCSB. The undergraduates I’ve worked with have all been exceptional and they’ve been a big part of my research as well. I am grateful for all the wonderful mentors I’ve had in my life, and this award really motivates me to keep trying to be an exceptional mentor for undergraduates at UCSB and beyond.