I am currently EURIAS fellow with the Collegium de Lyon, France (2017—2018) and Executive Editor of the Journal of Language Evolution (since 2015). Previously I was Senior Researcher (2012—2017), NWO VIDI group leader (2012—2017) and Researcher (2008—2012) with the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and ESRC (UK) Postdoctoral Fellow (2007—2008) with the University of Edinburgh, UK. I hold a PhD in Linguistics (2004—2006) from the University of Edinburgh, UK, an MSc in Neurobiology and Behaviour (2000—2002) and a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science (1993—1997) from the University of Bucharest, Romania, where I also studied Psychology (1996—1998). Between 1997 and 2004 I worked in the software industry as software developer, project manager and technical leader. For details please see here.
At the most general level, my research concerns what makes us human and how we evolved to be the way we are, and in particular the origins, evolution and properties of language. I study the complex relationships between language and genes at several scales, from the molecular and developmental, through inter-individual variation, and up to inter-population and evolutionary levels. I use a variety of methods, especially advanced statistical analyses of large databases, computer simulations, phylogenetic approaches and experiments to probe the genetic bases of language and speech, and their interaction with cultural and evolutionary processes. My work is intrinsically inter-disciplinary, drawing on the language sciences, psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, genetics, evolutionary biology, mathematics and computer science. For details concerning my research please see here, and for publications, talks, teaching and software, please see here.