I am based in the Centre for Language Evolution and affiliated with Wee Science. I study the evolution of language and the human capacity for language. I am particularly interested in how languages are shaped by their repeated learning and use, and how this cultural evolutionary process in turn shapes the cognitive capacities underpinning language learning. You can see my inaugural lecture for a brief summary.

My main areas of interest include:
Experimental models of language transmission (see papers in PNAS, Cognition, Phil Trans B)
Applying similar techniques to the evolution of other behaviours (see papers in Proc Roy Soc B and Psychological Science)
The effects of interaction on language structure (see papers in Cognition, JML, Cognition again)
Biological evolution of language learning biases/strategies (see papers in Phil Trans B and PNAS)
Plus more general questions related to language learning (see e.g. papers on the acquisition of noun class systems in JML, or socially-conditioned variation in Cognitive Psychology)

I am PI on the ERC-funded project The Evolution of Linguistic Complexity, which I work on with Dr Stella Frank, Dr Jia Loy, and Rachel Kindellan. Dr Olga Fehér, Dr Isabelle Dautriche, Dr Marieke Schouwstra, and Dr Carmen Saldana did postdocs with me.