As a medical and psychological anthropologist, I study the cultural dimensions and subjective experiences of illness, well-being, and healing. I am particularly interested in how people experience, understand, and derive meaning from misfortune, uncertainty, and disorder. My work also engages themes at the “beginnings” and “endings” of life. My academic work has generally focused on the following domains:

  • Global health and development studies
  • Spirit children and infanticide discourse and practice
  • Childhood, the life course, and aging
  • Anthropology of the “beginnings” and “endings” of life        
  • Euthanasia, bioethics, & medicalization in low income contexts
  • Family and intergenerational relations
  • Mental health and historical and intergenerational trauma
  • Misfortune, meaning, and disorder
  • Risk, uncertainty, and decision-making
  • Divination practices
  • I am comfortable working within phenomenological, symbolic/interpretive, narrative, critical (political-economic and ecological), cultural psychodynamic, and psychoanalytic methods and theories
  • Design thinking and research as a form of applied anthropology
  • Regional specialties include Ghana, Burkina Faso (and West Africa generally), North America (including First Nations peoples), and Australia

As an ethnographer and qualitative researcher, I don’t just consider what people say, I study what they do. I research human experiences and contexts, uncover patterns and assumptions, and synthesize findings to inspire programs, designs, and change. To do this, it takes both learning and telling the story.

I have 18 years of research expertise across culture, health, mental health, technology assessment, international development, evaluation, human experience, and field research projects. I have facilitated design research with farmers and engineers in West Africa, evaluated NGO programs, studied trauma in indigenous communities, researched Australian perceptions of the intersections between eating disordered behavior and obesity, explored the experience and context of infanticide in Ghana, and observed American physician and patient experiences with new technologies in the clinic. I am also an experienced program director/coordnator, author, and teacher.

Anthropologists deliver meaning-rich, contextualized findings. My ethnographic and psychocultural methods challenge conventional thinking and make sense of complexity. I ask nuanced questions and bring holism and humanity into the research process. In addition to executing all aspects of research design, data collection, analysis, and synthesis, I specialize in:

• A range of qualitative, mixed, and ethnographic methods (in any context)
• Participatory research and community-based projects
• Cross-cultural projects and sensitive or ambiguous topics
• International development, global health, and humanitarian engineering
• Program evaluation and impact analysis
• Theoretically grounded, nimble analysis and sensemaking that uncovers patterns and assumptions
• Methods that capture the unspoken, people’s perceptions, emotions, and experiences, and what is most at stake in their lives
• Design and systems thinking paradigms
• Program leadership and management. Multidisciplinary teams
• Writing and editing (technical, storytelling, proposal, and ethnographic)
• Translation and articulation of findings into actionable plans that can advance the human experience and inform design, health, or strategic goals

For a current list of my projects and other details, visit my Linkedin profile.