UCL Anthropology


Ruth Mace

Ruth Mace Photo


Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8845

Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 8632

E-mail: r.mace@ucl.ac.uk

DPhil, Zoology, University of Oxford, 1987
Elected Fellow of the British Academy, 2008
Visiting Professorship Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 2014
Visiting Professorship  Lanzhou University, 2016-2019
Elected President European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) 2016-2019

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology
Convenor of the Human Evolutionary Ecology Group
Principal Investigator of EvoBias
Founding Editor-in-Chief of Evolutionary Human Sciences


General Interests

  • Evolutionary demography and life history, particularly empirical studies focussing on rural African and Sino-Tibetan 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

  • Cooperation, conflict and social networks in villages in rural China
  • Phylogenetic approaches to cultural evolution in sub-Saharan Africa, and in China
  • The evolutionary ecology of reproductive scheduling and menopause.
  • The evolutionary ecology of matriliny in China
  • Family structure, parental investment and child development in the UK
  • The cultural evolution of religion and witchcraft beliefs.

Current PhD Students

  • Erhao Ge (ERC), degree expected 2024
  • Yuan Chen (ERC) degree expected 2024
  • Olympia Campbell (ERC), degree expected 2023
  • Hanzhi Zhang (Graduate school funded), degree expected 2020

Recent PhD Students

  • Eva Brandl, degree awarded 2021
  • Megan Arnot, degree awarded 2021
  • Sarah Peacey, degree awarded 2019
  • Juan Du, degree awarded 2018
  • Antonio Silva, degree awarded 2016
  • Abram van Leeuwen, degree awarded 2016
  • Matthew Thomas, degree awarded 2016
  • 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