Current Issue

Facebook Icon  Twitter Icon  YouTube Icon

Caroline Uggla


Year of start: 2010
Subject: Biological Anthropology

Research Topic/ Provisional Dissertation Title

The Evolutionary Ecology of Health-related Behaviours


Prof. Ruth Mace (Primary)
Dr. David W Lawson (Secondary)


My interests are based around life history theory and understanding variation in health-seeking behaviours and reproductive decision-making. Since achieving or maintaining good health requires resources of some kind (time, money, skill etc.) investments in health have to be traded against other fitness generating activities, such as mating or parenting effort. Life history theory can thus make predictions about variation in health-seeking behaviour based on individuals’ real or anticipated returns to inclusive fitness.

For my PhD I am using data from two large-scale demographic surveys from both high and low mortality contexts (sub-Saharan Africa and Northern Ireland respectively), to examine individual and ecological effects on i) age at first birth, ii) risky and premature death, iii) maternal investment in child health.

Research interests

  • Health-seeking behaviours
  • Reproductive decision-making

Academic Background/Education

MRes Anthropology (Distinction) University College London (2010)
BA (Hons) Anthropology (1st Class) Durham University (2009)


Uggla, C. & Mace, R. Ecological effects on reproductive timing: local mortality rate, crime and female-biased sex ratio accelerate early reproduction in Northern Ireland, under review

Uggla, C. & Mace, R. Someone to live for: Effects of partner and dependent children on preventable death in a population wide sample from Northern Ireland, in press Evolution and Human Behavior

Lawson, D. W., & Uggla, C. (2014). Family Structure and Health in the Developing World: What Can Evolutionary Anthropology Contribute to Population Health Science? In M.A. Gibson & D.W. Lawson (Eds.), Applied Evolutionary Anthropology: Darwinian Approaches to Contemporary World Issues. (pp.1-31). Springer.


UCL IMPACT studentship and European Research Council

Request page update
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633