I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University. My research interests are primarily in the field of comparative politics, and focus on the ways in which politics and culture are interrelated. My current research evaluates the political causes and consequences of identity change in two very different contexts. The first focuses on the political logic of an ongoing cultural revival among the Lhomwe of southern Malawi, and the other on racial identity formation and its political implications among Somali immigrants to the US. Past research evaluated the micro-foundations of nationalism and ethnicity, the political psychology of group identities, and the role of group identity in cooperation, collective action, and conflict. My primary region of interest is Sub-Saharan Africa, and I have conducted research in Malawi, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. I employ a variety of methods in my research, including original survey data collection, qualitative interviews and oral histories, field experiments, lab in the field experiments, and GIS analyses.
Before joining OSU in 2013, I completed a PhD in Political Science at Stanford University (2013) and a BA in Biology from Appalachian State University (2005). During the 2017-2018 academic year, I will serve as the interim director of OSU’s Decision Sciences Collaborative.