I am a human behavioural ecologist with an interdisciplinary background in ecology/evolution and environmental sciences. I have developed a keen interest for the study of behavioural changes according to access of different type of resources such as material (i.e.: land size, herd size) and social resources (i.e.: everyday support network, kin network and investment). My research focuses on variation of individual and family livelihood strategies in answer to a modification of their socio-economic and demographic environment. Specifically, I look at communities facing recent changes in developing countries. I am currently working on two sets of data I collected in Ethiopia and in Uganda.
The first one, which was also my PhD subject, is about low-skilled labour migration from the countryside to the urban centres in Ethiopia. I try to understand patterns of resource allocation in households and communities and their importance for risk evaluation and decision for moving.
The second one is about school education of children in a rural community in Uganda. There, I focus on the power balance between the child’s parents in terms of potential conflicts between maternal and paternal interests. In this community, some children are not going to school, others are dropping very early. I am trying to understand how decision of school education is made at the parents’ level and which children are at disadvantage (for example, in terms of gender, birth order and according to family resources).
These two topics involve populations relying traditionally on a subsistence economy and that currently know some greater influence from a skills-based economy. For both studies, I use an interdisciplinary approach mixing life history theory and economics in an evolutionary framework. I employ the notion of kin selection, parental investment, co-operation and aim to define the main resources that might influence individual fitness. These include human and social capital (such as education, social status, support network), and different types of material wealth. My research uses a mixed-method data collection with qualitative anthropological data and quantitative demographic and socio-economics data.