Paul Smaldino is Associate Professor of Cognitive and Information Sciences and faculty in the Quantitative and Systems Biology graduate group at the University of California, Merced. His research is focused on social dynamics and cultural evolution, with emphases on cooperation, communication, social identity, and scientific institutions. He is a leading expert on mathematical and agent-based modeling of social behavior. A deeply interdisciplinary scientist, Smaldino received a B.A. in Physics from Wesleyan University in 2002, an M.A. in Psychology from the New School for Social Research in 2007, and a Ph.D. in Psychobiology from the University of California, Davis in 2011. He then held postdoctoral appointments at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and in the departments of Anthropology, Political Science, and Computer Science at UC Davis, before joining the faculty at UC Merced in 2016. He is currently learning to play the banjo.