Current Research

My current research can be encapsulated within several thematic areas:

Environmental Decision-Making, Climate Change Adaptation, and Intergroup Conflict

I am currently interested in the role of behavioral science in promoting adaptive responses to resource scarcity, conflict, and projected climate change impacts. In this domain I am interested in utilizing current research from the environmental and behavioral sciences to work on specific cases of environmental degradation and resource scarcity in ways that help promote effective resource management and local stakeholder engagement.

My current work in this context also explores the roles of perceived threat, the social construction of risk, and morality in motivating pro-environmental behavior and support for sustainable resource management.

As recent reports point to a growing relationship between climate change and dimensions of human conflict, one focus of this work is to develop frameworks of individual and group-level social processes related to adaptation, resource management, and the potential sources of conflict that may arise.

Given the scale, complexity, and multidimensional nature of these issues, I am actively engaging in and pursuing further interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in environmental conservation, sociology, political science, marine science, and other related fields.

Collaborative research I have been involved with in this domain include studies forming the basis for www.climatevisuals.org, the first evidence-based online library of climate change imagery for use by journalists and communicators.

International Humanitarian Response Efforts

I am also interested in dimensions of international response efforts following major natural and human-caused disasters. There is much still to be understood regarding individual, national, and international decision-making processes in the aftermath of disaster events. I am currently working on several projects examining psychological and political processes underlying individual and collective humanitarian aid decisions and how these are influenced by perceptions of the disaster victims and characteristics of the disaster events. I am also currently studying how cross-national disaster relief efforts impact future intergroup relations and cooperation.

Some of my recent research on links between natural disaster response efforts and climate change has been featured in Scientific American and Vice News.

Collective Emotions, Transitional Justice, and Reconciliation

I have additional interests in the domains of transitional justice, international law, and the role of collective emotions in intergroup conflict and reconciliation processes. In ongoing projects and those still in development, I am drawing upon various psychological mechanisms to help contribute to understanding domestic and international support for interventions aimed at reducing violence, increasing support for human rights, and promoting effective post-conflict justice mechanisms. This research has taken several directions including examining responses to the use of UAVs, as well as studying public perceptions of international justice mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court.