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Current HSL members

The HSL is committed to training students and postdocs for positions inside and outside of academia, drawing on wide-ranging fields in the social sciences and sciences; to the well-being and flourishing of lab members; and to promoting a collaborative research environment that advances equity, diversity, and inclusion. For more about our commitments and priorities, see our lab manual.

Anne is accepting PhD students at Penn State for a Fall 2025 start, in dual-degree programs - like “Anthropology & Climate Science” or “Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment” - or in Anthropology. See here for details on the programs and how to apply.

Anne Pisor

Dr Anne Pisor; principal investigator

Anne Pisor (“pie-zur”) combines basic research and applied work to study social relationships (especially relationships that span distance and intergroup relationships); climate change adaptation, with implications for people’s well-being and livelihoods; and collective action for natural resource management. You can watch a talk of hers for a taste of her academic approach. In her non-academic life, she’s the co-founder, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer of startup Fortifyd, focused on helping people prepare for natural disasters before they happen; see the Fortifyd website for more details.

Anne has backgrounds in cultural and evolutionary anthropology, social psychology, behavioral economics, human biology, and applied statistcs. She’s conducted field research in the Bolivian Amazon (2010-2018) and in the Western US (2022-present) and is increasingly involved as a collaborator, consultant, and mentor on research projects in East Africa. She co-directs the Tanga Sociality and Fisheries Project with postdoc Dr Kris Smith and Dr Monique Borgerhoff Mulder.

Anne is currently an associate professor of anthropology at WSU, where she recently received an early-career faculty achievement award, and is moving to Penn State starting Fall 2024, where she will be accepting PhD students interested in climate adaptation and well-being.

Eleonora Zanetti

Eleonora Zanetti; PhD student

Eleonora is interested in studying climate change adaptations from a multidisciplinary perspective that overlaps cultural evolution, cultural anthropology and environmental psychology. Using ethnographic and quantitative methods, her focus is on the influence of social context on how candidate climate change adaptations spread through social learning, including who learns from whom, when, what and under which conditions learning leads to behavioural changes at the population level.

She has a research background in digital anthropology (online information spread), ethnography (amongst Italian paganic communities) and non-human primate social learning. She’s passionate about and has collaborated in research projects empowering first-generation students’ experiences.

Evan Leacox

Evan Leacox; PhD student

Evan’s interests lie in researching cultural adaptations to climate change - especially behavioral adaptations; their transmission within social networks; and their diffusion across disparate communities through a combination of cultural and evolutionary anthropology and collaborative, transdisciplinary research methods. Evan is particularly interested in how such behaviors and networks are influenced – informed or interrupted - by top-down approaches of donor-driven development interests and how, conversely, locally/culturally lead approaches to climate change related resiliency might better inform the process of developing and implementing global solutions. Evan is a trainee in WSU’s Rivers, Watersheds, and Communities program, where he has an NSF-funded graduate research fellowship.

Hope Jared

Hope Jared; research assistant

Hope is interested in the intersection of health care and anthropology, especially applied evolutionary anthropology. She graduated from WSU with a BA in Human Biology in 2023. Hope collaborates with Anne on research related to climate change adaptation and works full time as a research assistant at Principle Research Solutions.

Kris Smith

Dr Kris Smith; postdoc

Kris Smith is a postdoc in the Human Sociality Lab and director of the Tanga Sociality and Fisheries Project in Tanzania. He studies how evolution and culture shape cooperative relationships, and how cooperative relationships can help achieve collective action, such as natural resource management. Prior to joining the Human Sociality Lab, Kris received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and stayed on for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Social and Behavioral Science Initiative. During his time at Penn, he conducted field research with Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, studying how their decisions of whom to cooperate with are changing with increased integration with their neighbors.

Ollie Shannon

Ollie Shannon; PhD student

Ollie Shannon is focused on queering evolutionary anthropology. They apply Queer theory in their work, while at the same time focusing on concrete evolutionary questions and seeking answers through the scientific process. They received their MA in Anthropology from Boise State University in 2021. Their thesis focused on understanding cultural impacts on health in the Queer community with special attention paid to rural Queer communities. For their dissertation work, they are doing field research in collaboration with Queer communities in the Northwest US, studying the impacts of chosen kin on child outcomes, parent outcomes, and the chosen kin themselves.