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Ruth Mace

Ruth Mace Photo

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8845

Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 8632


Room: 221

DPhil, Zoology, University of Oxford, 1987
Elected Fellow of the British Academy, 2008
Visiting Professorship to Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 2014

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology
Convenor of the
Human Evolutionary Ecology Group
Tutor for the MSc in Human Evolution and Behaviour

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General Interests

Evolutionary demography and life history, particularly empirical studies focussing on traditional African populations

Phylogenetic approaches to culture and language evolution, including comparative methods for testing cross-cultural hypotheses, and understanding the origins of kinship, family and social systems

Co-operation and competition, within families and within wider groups

Cultural transmission and the establishment of social norms

Current Research Projects

The evolutionary ecology of reproduction in a rural, Gambian population, using historical demographic records

Phylogenetic approaches to linguistic, cultural and bio-cultural evolution in sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific and Europe.

Village-level studies of the impact of development initiatives on fertility and mortality in rural Ethiopia, including contraceptive uptake and social networks.

The evolutionary ecology of matriliny in China

The evolutionary ecology of prosocial norms in India

Family structure, parental investment and child development in the UK

Current PhD Students

  • Juan Du (China Scholarship Council), degree expected 2016
  • Mimi Guillon (self funded), degree expected 2014
  • Antonio Silva (Portugese FCT), degree expected 2014
  • Abram van Leeuwen (ERC), degree expected 2015
  • Matthew Thomas (ERC), degree expected 2015

Recent PhD Students

  • Caroline Uggla, degree awarded 2015
  • Emily Emmott, degree awarded 2015
  • Nicolas Montalva, degree awarded in 2014
  • Heidi Colleran, degree awarded in 2012
  • David Lawson, degree awarded in 2010
  • Shakti Lamba, degree awarded in 2010
  • Laura Fortunato, degree awarded in 2009
  • Tom Currie, degree awarded in 2009
  • Fiona Jordan, degree awarded in 2007
  • Eshetu Gurmu, degree awarded in 2005
  • Mhairi Gibson, degree awarded in 2002
  • Rebecca Sear, degree awarded in 2001
  • Clare Holden, degree awarded in 1999

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