Current Team Members



Coren Apicella is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Social Psychology and Behavioral Biology of Women.

She received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in evolutionary psychology from the University of Liverpool. She studies both hunter-gatherers and Westerners to explore the cultural and evolutionary origins of social behavior.

Her work specializes in mate selection and attraction, behavioral endocrinology, behavior genetics, sex differences, behavioral economics and social networks, and the evolution of cooperation.

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Kris is a Postdoc in the Social Behavioral Science Initiative University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the evolution of social behavior, and in particular, cooperation. Much of his research is conducted among the Hadza of Tanzania, examining how they navigate decisions of with whom and in what situations to cooperate. He received his PhD in 2019 in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Christopher Kovel

Research Associate

Chris is a member of the HBO Lab researching topics in behavioral science and economics. His research interests include (1) how moral emotions like shame and guilt evolved and connect to social norm adherence and human cooperation and (2) the origins of technology and how innovations diffuse within populations. Aside from his academic interests, Chris has over 6 years industry experience working in R&D labs specializing in research methods. He has worked on innovation projects for companies including Best Buy, Google, Nike, and Medtronic and was former Head of Research of First Abu Dhabi Bank, the biggest bank in the MENA region.


PhD student

Megan is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Human Behavior and Origins Laboratory. Her research explores the involvement of olfaction in human decision-making. For example, what information is conveyed via body odor and how does that information affect mate value assessments? In addition to laboratory experiments, Megan is also involved in fieldwork with the Hadza, a population of hunter-gatherers living around Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania.


Keana Richards

PhD student

Keana Richards uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine how decision-making is affected by an individual's personal characteristics, with a focus on gender within the context of competition. She ultimately hopes to use her research to counteract some of the negative outcomes of our dependence upon social categorization, like backlash against women's agentic behavior. She also seeks to understand how these social categorization processes otherwise manifest themselves in educational and organizational contexts.


Karen Pan

Research Assistant

Karen is a junior majoring in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is particularly interested in the role gender may play in the enduring gender gaps within many societal domains. Her long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology to teach on the institutional level.


Tiffany Schell

Research Assistant

Tiffany is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Neuroscience. Her research interests include social influence and decision-making. Currently, her research focuses on designing lower-risk competitive environments, which are aimed at closing the gender gap in competitiveness in the workplace.

Former Lab Members


Yevgeniy (Eugene) Olkhov


Eugene received his B.A. in psychology from Arcadia University in May 2014. He joined the HBO lab in January 2015 where he started working with Coren as a research assistant on a variety of projects, including the relationship between testosterone, competition, and economic risk. Eugene is interested in the evolutionary aspects of decision making, consumer behavior, cognitive biases, organizational behavior, and more. He is now pursuing an MS in Business Analytics at Drexel's LeBow College of Business.


Victoria Tobolsky

Lab Manager

Tory received an A.B. in anthropology from Princeton University and a master of philosophy in human evolutionary studies from the University of Cambridge, after which she took a detour examining primate cognition with the University of Oxford. She joined the HBO lab as a research assistant in late 2014. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.


Ibrahim Mabulla

Field Research Specialist

Ibrahim Audax Mabulla has a wide experience in the field of prehistory archaeology, anthropology and natural resources management. He has a Masters degree in Prehistory Archaeology and Rock Art from the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal and a Masters degree in Natural Resources Assessment and Management and BA in Archaeology from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  He started to work with Dr. Apicella in 2010 as a field research assistant and has been involved in various projects in Lake Eyasi Basin, Northern Tanzania. He is both a natural and cultural heritage specialist.

Field Teams


2016 research team

Ibrahim Mabulla, Kris Smith, Endeko Endeko, Deus Haraja

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2013 research team

Ibrahim Mabulla, Deus Haraja, Charles Endeko, Coren Apicella

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