I am interested in how group-living individuals regulate their social relationships, for example, how they manage aggressive conflict within the context of their various relationships, individuals' roles within their social networks and network changes over time. I have explored how individuals maintain their cooperative relationships through reciprocation and interchange of valuable social services. The complex cognitive skills that may underlie decisions regarding interchange can be evaluated by examining the patterning and timing of interchange. Much of my research has been carried out with non-human primates.
My research has extended to humans to include investigations of mate preferences. I am interested in the adaptive nature of human mate preferences and their plasticity and flexibility in today’s societies. This has involved projects examining the influence of feminist attitudes on traditional mate preferences and the manipulation of female clothing in response to increased mate competition.