Human Evolutionary Sciences (HES)

Denise Mercado

DeniseMercadoPhD Student
Advisor: Lee Cronk
Program: Human Evolutionary Sciences (HES)
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Research interests: human behavioral sciences, religion, cooperation theory, game theory, moral philosophy, cultural evolution

My dissertation fieldwork in Ifugao, Philippines looks broadly at how religious affiliation affects cooperative behavior, specifically with whom we cooperate and to what extent we do so. Rooted in cooperation theory, cultural evolution, and cognitive science, my work considers religious affiliation as a feature of our coalitional psychology and addresses the understudied property of flexibility in those coalitional affiliations. I received my B.A. in anthropology from Penn State and have previously participated in archaeology field schools in Luxor Valley, Egypt and Bicol, Philippines. Prior to joining Rutgers HES, I worked in the private sector in wealth management at Morgan Stanley.