I am a (comparative / ethno / cognitive) musicologist. I have been a leader in reviving the comparative study of the world’s music, through which I hope to better understand not only music itself, but also its broader relationship to cultural and biological diversity. To that end, I am currently exploring the role of ritual and religion in the evolution of social complexity as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology as part of the Seshat: Global History Databank project.
I defended my Ph.D. dissertation in Musicology at the Tokyo University of the Arts on September 23, 2016 (official graduation: March 27, 2017). I received an M.Sc. in Psychology from McMaster University (Canada) and a B.A. in Music Composition from Amherst College (USA). In 2017, I became the fifth non-Japanese to receive the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Ikushi Prize, awarded by the Emperor to outstanding doctoral students throughout Japan.
I have published on a variety of topics including musical universals, music and genetic anthropology, and automated methods for reconstructing folk song evolution. My research has been published in diverse academic journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Ethnomusicology, and has been covered by media including Quartz, NPR, and NBC News.