424 Hesler Biology Building
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37996
Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
Social Behavior, Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, and Agent-based Modelling
Dr. Alex PritchardPost Doctoral Researcher
I am an evolutionary anthropologist focused on how individuals approach decision-making within a variety of social organisms, inclusive of humans. Variation in the outcomes of decisions often reflect internal assessments of risk versus reward; importantly, external social factors can affect individual's perceived costs and benefits. In other words, social structure exerts an influence on the expression of individual traits and decision making, but relationships themselves are also influenced by individual states and traits. I have prior experience collecting measures from field experiments, survey-ratings, animal behavior, as well as biomarker sampling, which I interpreted via social network analyses to understand the social as well as physiological consequences of individual differences in how wild baboons respond to stress. Understanding the temporal, spatial, and trait dynamics of these interactions is pivotal for determining the process of how disease or information move through a social network. Due to the complexity of such questions, however, in silico models provide a robust method to develop testable hypotheses. I am very fortunate to be able to expand my skill set into incorporating such approaches within Dr. Fefferman's lab group. I aim to develop a greater understanding of how decision making, uncertainty, and variation in the assessment of risk-reward interplay with social interactions, as well as the emergent social structure. Additionally, I will explore how such a complex interplay constrains or facilitates behavior and information as well as disease transmission.