Portrait photo of the author with a transparent background.

Prior to giving up my university career, I specialised in the mathematical study of face-to-face human social networks. In particular, my focus was network formation (i.e., Where do networks come from?).

Much of my academic work is built upon sociological and evolutionary theories of cooperation (e.g., kin selection theory; structural balance theory; social exchange theory), ecological arguments around the interplay between one’s social/physical environment and their (relational) behaviour, and zoological research on the social networks of non-human animals. With regard to setting, I am especially interested in the emergence of networks that span small-scale, traditional human populations — i.e., microcosms wherein supportive bonds (e.g., friendship, advice, money lending, and food provision) facilitate day-to-day survival by offsetting the challenges of poverty, subsistence-based living, and limited access to protective institutions (e.g., state welfare).

For instance, in a paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, my co-author and I intentionally mix research from sociology and human evolutionary science to explore differences in cooperative behaviour between biological males and biological females in two villages in South India. And, in a paper in Scientific Data, I highlight synergies between the (mathematical) sociology of social networks and biological anthropology using an analysis of tangible supportive bonds in a village in Nicaragua.

In addition to my day job at Octopus Energy Group, I am a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) in the Department of Methodology, having taught in the department as a Fellow in Quantitative Research Methods over the course of 2022. Prior to joining the LSE, I was a Research Fellow and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and a Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. Before the OII, I served as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology at Oxford. And, prior to taking up my posts at Oxford, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

I received my PhD in Social Research Methods (i.e., applied statistics with a focus on social phenomena) from the LSE. In a previous life, I (foolishly) intended to make a career in print journalism, covering the intersection of protest movements and new information and communication technologies. This bygone interest coloured my earliest academic research and it led me to complete an MSc in Social Science of the Internet at St Cross College, Oxford as a Clarendon Fund Scholar and a BA in Communication Studies in America at the idyllic Clemson University.