I have always been intensely curious about other cultures and religions. I spent much of my early 20s exploring the world, travelling to different continents, and immersing myself in new cultural experiences. In my academic career, I have put my curiosity to the new task of understanding the origin and foundations of culture and how it related to religious beliefs. Religion and supernatural thought play a central role in the lives of billions of people around the world. It  affects their decisions about life, work, food, health, and morality. Yet the scientific study of it is still only in its infancy. 

My academic and methodological interests span beyond the boundaries of traditional psychological research. I borrow liberally from anthropology, sociology, and economics in my research. I also have a strong interest in statistics, and quantitative methods. I believe that solving problems complex cultural and cognitive systems requires collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and cross cultural research. 

My CV is here


School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, Oxford

Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab, UT Austin

Culture, Evolution and Religion Consortium, UBC 

Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture, UBC 
Culture and Cognition Lab, UBC
Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab, UBC

 If my research had a theme song, it would be Howl, by Junip:

Aiyana Koka Willard, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

in Cognitive Anthropology
School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford

51-53 Banbury Road,

Oxford, UK, OX2 6PE 


twitter: @aiyanakoka