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Emily Emmott

Emily Emmott


Room: G12 (Office Hours Thursday 3-5pm)

Teaching Fellow in Biological Anthropology

Teaching for 2015/2016:

  • ANTH1004 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (Organiser)
  • ANTH1003 Research Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology (Organiser)
  • ANTH3050 Evolution and Human Behaviour (Organiser)
  • ANTH2008 Being Human

Previous Teaching:

  • ANTH7018 Human Behavioural Ecology
  • ANTHGH14/01 Human Behavioural Ecology

Research Interests

Summary of Interests:

  • Social Support and Child Development
  • Social Support and Parenting Behaviour
  • Social Support and Later-Life Outcomes

Academically, I am interested in exploring the impact of the social environment on life history outcomes in contemporary developed populations. So far, my research has progressed with theoretical ideas from human behavioural ecology at its foundation.

In my PhD project, I focused on the influences of individual family members (fathers, stepfathers and grandparents) on child development in the UK. With a rising interest in cooperative breeding and its significance for human evolution, the influences of allomothers (i.e., anyone who provides investments to children other than the mother) on child outcomes are under increasing attention. Previous research within human behavioural ecology has focused on high fertility, high mortality populations where allomothers are generally found to have positive influences on child survival, though who matters vary between populations. With this as the background, my aim was to investigate whether allomaternal carers are important in a modern developed setting, where societal shifts such as smaller kin networks and state welfare may influence how much mothers are dependent on others for successful childrearing.

Methodologically, I have focused on secondary data analyses of large, longitudinal datasets. So far, I have worked with the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), the UK Millenium Cohort Study (MCS) and the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS). My current research interests are to build on my PhD by continuing to investigate the impact of social support on different aspects of behaviour and well-being.


E. Emmott & R. Mace (2014) Direct investment by stepfathers can mitigate effects on educational outcomes but does not improve behavioural difficulties. Evolution and Human Behavior 35:5:438-444

Emmott, E. H. & R. Mace (2015) Practical support from fathers and grandmothers is associated with lower levels of breastfeeding initiation and duration in the UK Millennium Cohort Study. PLoS ONE 10:7:e0133547

E. Emmott & R. Mace (in prep) The importance of fathers: Paternal caregiving is associated with better child development in the UK, with sex-dependent effects on educational achievement.

Academic Background/Education

PhD Anthropology (pending minor corrections)
University College London
Thesis: Allomaternal Investments and Child Outcomes in Modern Britain

MSc Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (Distinction) (2010)
University of Oxford
Thesis: Marital Stability in Modern Market Economies: An Evolutionary Approach

BSc Human Sciences (2:1) (2009)
University College London
Thesis: Is Consanguinity an Adaptive Strategy? The Costs and Benefits of Marrying Your Cousin


PhD: Medical Research Council / Economic and Social Research Council / European Research Council

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