I am an Oakland-based ethnographer, researcher, and writer. I specialize in qualitative research, communications, and content production.
My dissertation was on amateur applied mycology. An obscure corner of the cultural universe, yes, but like fungi itself, amateur applied mycology connects meaningfully to its world. In this practice, we find familiar patterns: the ascendent ecological paradigm, popular understandings of science, popular engagements with technology (as both users and “misusers“), emergent forms of applied mycology, and the mycophilia generated by this unique interspecies relationship. My dissertation describes, in short, how fungi become meaningful for practitioners. I completed my PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara in September 2018. So far, I’ve published one chapter on this research; I hope to publish more soon. (You can watch me present on the topic here.)
Before pursuing a PhD, I completed an MA in Cultural Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. My thesis was on a mystical religious revival among North American ex-pats. I drew on two years of field work (2004-2006) in Neo-Hasidic yeshivot in and around Jerusalem. (You can read an article I published on this research here.)
Since finishing my Ph.D., I have been doing research as a consultant. Most recently, I’ve been working as a researcher for Dovetail Labs, a consulting company founded by two anthropologists. Dovetail specializes in ethical questions and concerns related to emergent technologies with a focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence. (Check back for links to summaries of this research.) Since May 2018, I’ve also been working as an on-call researcher for the Exploratorium’s Visitor Research & Evaluation department. From early-2016 to late-2017, I was a communications consultant at MycoWorks, a San Francisco-based biomaterials company making new materials out of fungi, where I helped build social media presence and community engagement.