EDG Seminars 2018-2019
July 22nd 2019 – 13.00
Dr Emma Pomeroy (Dept. of Archaeology, University of Cambridge) Evidence for the ancient origins of low lean mass and heightened chronic disease susceptibility among contemporary South Asians
June 3rd 2019 – 13.00
Hanzhi May Zhang (UCL Anthropology) Cultural extinction: lessons from population history and life history
May 3rd 2019 – 13.00
Thomas Pollet (Northumbria University, Newcastle) Exploring individual differences in egocentric social networks
March 18th 2019 – 17.00
Lia Betti (University of Roehampton) Women’s birth canal variation and implications for human evolution and obstetrics
February 28th 2019 – 17.00
Sarah Peacey (UCL) The evolution of supernatural beliefs
January 25th 2019 – 12.45
Laura Brown (LSHTM) Understanding socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding in the UK: exploring the role of environmental quality
November 28th 2018 – 17:15
Piotr Fedurek (University of Roehampton) Social network integration and physiological stress in a small scale society
October 4th 2018 – 12:45
Sophie Hedges (LSHTM) Children’s work and parental investment in education in north-western Tanzania
June 23rd 2018 – 13.00
Daniel Smith (University of Bristol): Cooperative breeding, kin selection, and the evolution of human childhood
June 15th 2018 – 13.00
Daniel Redhead (University of Essex): It’s talking time: Assessing the temporal dynamics of human social hierarchy.
May 23rd 2018 – 17.30
Caroline Allen (Newcastle University): Impulsivity, hunger, and early life deprivation.
April 19th 2018 – 12.45
Elly Power (LSE): Building Bigness: Reputation, Prominence, and Social Capital in Rural South India.
February 21st 2018 – 12.45
Sian White (LSHTM): Applying evolutionary theory to hygiene behaviour in emergencies.
Conference and workshop hosting
EDG’s Abbey Page co-organised a workshop ‘Who cares? Introducing evoluionary approaches to caregiving and mother-infant health on Monday 11th February at UCL
Description: Different disciplines approach social support different, each emphasising different ‘key’ supporters or care providers. How we conceptualise support and who we define as necessary in bringing up infants as large implications for maternal and infant health as its shapes the research questions we ask and ultimate the policy suggestions or implementation which arises from this research.
In evolutionary anthropology, the importance of wide and diverse social support networks for maternal and infant health is widely acknowledged. However, in public health and non-evolutionary social sciences ‘support’ is often poorly defined, with a strong nuclear family bias regarding caregiving. This workshop will bridge this disciplinary gap by facilitating dialogue and collaboration between evolutionary anthropologists and those with overlapping interests in other fields.
The workshop will consist of a series of research presentations, discussions and activities focusing on caregiving and mother-infant health. From our experience, the greatest challenges in interdisciplinary settings are theoretical misconceptions and language barriers. By opening the workshop with theoretical overviews and defining key terminologies, we will establish common ground and ensure meaningful discussions. At the end of the workshop we will bring these discussions together to reflect on how the different issues highlighted over the course of the day compliment each other (or not), and how these can be reconciled into a ‘practical guide’ of interdisciplinary work on maternal and child health.
Following the workshop there will be a wine reception and a public lecture titled “Beyond the nuclear family: an evolutionary perspective on childrearing” by Professor Rebecca Sear of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This lecture will discuss how our species has evolved a cooperative form of childrearing, where women get help from others to raise their children, and the implications for support (or its lack) for childrearing on child and maternal health.
Click here for a write-up of the workshop.
Session on ‘Critical and theoretical perspectives in demography’ at BSPS Annual Conference 2017
With Wendy Sigle (LSE), Rebecca Sear co-organised a session at the 2017 British Society for Population Studies annual conference on ‘Critical and theoretical perspectives in demography’. This session explored the (potential) contribution of theoretical paradigms and frameworks in demographic research – demography is often described as a discipline without a theory; conversely it can be seen as a theory-rich discipline, since the lack of any overarching theory of its own means it has had to seek out theories from many other disciplines to inform its activity. We included papers which considered the utility of new theoretical perspectives as well as papers which offered a critical assessment of how particular theoretical perspectives have shaped the status of the discipline and its contributions to knowledge.
The BSPS conference was held in Liverpool, 6-8 September 2017.
More information on the conference is available on the BSPS website.
BSPS Day meeting on ‘Menopause, health and culture’
A key factor determining a woman’s experience of menopause is the culture in which she finds herself before, during, and after menopause. In our youth-idolizing Western culture, menopause can seem like an ending. However, in many cultures, menopause is a time of new respect and freedom for women. Even though hormonal changes after menopause produce similar symptoms in many women, cultural differences can still shape how people experience this stage of life. These may arise from variation in a wide range of factors, including stigma (or lack of it) within cultures, access to health services and gender inequalities.
Considerable research shows significant variation across populations in the menopausal experience. Biological, psychological, social and cultural factors are associated with either positive or negative attitudes, perceptions or experiences of menopause in various cultures. Comparative international literature shows that neither biological nor social factors alone are sufficient to explain the variation in experiences of the menopausal transition.
The aim of this workshop is to gather current research on the menopause and its cultural and socio-economic aspects. The objectives are to get a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, including both qualitative and quantitative work. Ultimately we want to highlight a variety of issues surrounding this neglected topic which can have repercussions on health in later life.
Programme is available here: BSPS meeting on Menopause.
European Human Evolution and Behavior (EHBEA) 10th annual conference
5-8 April 2016: The EDG hosted the 10th annual European Human Evolution and Behavior (EHBEA) conference at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Photos are now available from the conference here and here
EDG has hosted several international visitors, including some long-term collaborators of the Group:
Alejandra Nunez-de-la-Mora, Veracruz University, Mexico
David Coall, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
Mary Shenk, University of Missouri, US
Masahito Morita, Kyoto University, Japan
Past EDG Seminars
Joanna Marczak, London School of Economics
Sarah Myers, University of Canterbury, Kent
Lesley Newson, University of California, Davis
Laura Fortunato, Oxford University
Michael Muthukrishna, London School of Economics
Emma Cohen, Oxford University
Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington, London School of Economics
Alejandra Nunez-de-la-Mora, Veracruz University, Mexico
Gül Deniz Salalı, University College London
Janet Howard, Bristol University
Felix Tropf, University of Groningen & Oxford University
Abigail Page, University College London
Matthew G. Thomas, University College London
Colette Berbesque, University of Roehampton
Meghan Shirley, University College London
Emily Emmott, University College London
Laura Brown, LSHTM
Sarah Myers, University of Kent
Karthik Panchanathan, University of Missouri
Gillian Pepper, University of Newcastle
Gert Stulp, LSHTM
Sandra Virgo, LSHTM
Mary Shenk, University of Missouri
Caroline Uggala, University College London
Oskar Burger, University of Kent, Canterbury
James Holland Jones, Stanford University