Helen in the field.jpg


I began a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab at Harvard University in 2018. I also collaborate with the Spatial Cognition and Navigation (SCAN) Project at the University of Utah, and the Tsimane Health and Life History Project (THLHP). 

My work uses theoretical perspectives of evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology to better understand cognitive development and cognitive decline in humans.

Cognitive development: I focus on how (i) the transmission of knowledge, (ii) pedagogical shifting, (iii) access to resources, and (iv) parental investment affect cognitive development during middle childhood and adolescence. 

Cognitive decline: I am also interested in how cultural and ecological variation can buffer against age-related declines in spatial cognition, working memory, and executive function.  

I conduct fieldwork among transitioning populations in lowland Bolivia and in the Kunene region of Namibia. I am also the co-founder and CEO of One Pencil Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on long term funding for school construction and school supplies in both regions.

To email me: helenelizabethdavis@gmail.com

To email One Pencil Project: info@onepencilproject.org