My work concerns the origin and evolution of language, and the unique ways that culture and biology interact in our species. I have pioneered a new approach to understanding cultural evolution of behaviours such as language which we call Iterated Learning. A number of research groups around the world - in addition to my own - are now studying Iterated Learning using techniques as diverse as mathematical modelling, computational simulation, and psychological experiments. My view is that a complete understanding of human nature requires an account of the complex interactions between individual learning, cultural transmission and biological evolution in human populations.

In addition, I pair my scientific research with artistic output by collaborating with sculptors and musicians to create interactive installations exploring issues of communication and cultural evolution in a socially and informationally promiscuous world. So far, I have exhibited six such artworks nationally, including the BAFTA winning Cybraphon, now part of the permanent national collection, housed at the National Museum of Scotland.

In 2012, I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

You can read an interview I gave about the connections between Science and Art here.

My office is room 1.09 in the Dugald Stewart Building.