I am an anthropologist specializing in the study of adult development through the lifespan. I research play and depression. My mixed methods, community-based research makes an important contribution to anthropological theory on the subject of adult play, the risks and benefits of playing, and play’s role in adult development, transformative experiences, and depression.
I am currently working at the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society on a project about depression called Community Partners in Care. And I am teaching at UCLA in the Department of Anthropology: Anthro 157 Sexuality, Gender, and Relationships in the Fall 2016 and Anthro 135 Introduction to Psychological Anthropology in Winter 2017 .
I have conducted research on Burning Man participants. In the second edition of an anthology on American culture, you will find an ethnographic piece I wrote on ritual at a regional Burning Man event in California. Follow this link for recent blogs presenting mixed methods research on the Burning Man event in Nevada, the result of a collaborative partnership I established with the Burning Man community and various social scientists. These collaborations have produced to two peer-reviewed publications on emotional regulation at Burning Man, and we are currently working on several different papers about participant’s sexual experiences, their values, transformational experiences, and diversity. Click here to see a recent interview about the connection between ritual, art and play.