UCL Anthropology


Gul Deniz Salali

Post-doctoral Research Associate, Hunter-Gatherer Resilience Project, UCL
Website: https://guldenizsalali.wixsite.com/deniz
Blog: https://congokongo.wordpress.com

Research Topic

Plant knowledge, social learning and childhood, diet and health in Mbendjele (BaYaka) hunter-gatherers

Research Interests

I study social evolution in humans. Broadly, I'm interested in cultural evolution, life history theory and evolutionary medicine. My current research is about social learning and interaction networks, time preferences and plant uses in hunter-gatherers. For this, I do fieldwork in Congo-Brazzaville living with the Mbendjele BaYaka Pygmies.


PhD, Biological Anthropology (2017), University College London, UK

MSc in Evolutionary Biology (2012), MEME (Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology)

  • University of British Columbia, Canada (4th semester)
  • University of Montpellier II, France (2nd and 3rd semesters)
  • University of Groningen, Netherlands (1st semester)

BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics (2010), Istanbul Technical University, Turkey


For PDF copies please go to my ResearchGate page

Mesman, J., Minter, T., Angnged, A., Cisse, I., Salali, G.D., Migliano, A.B. in press. Universality without uniformity: A culturally inclusive approach to sensitive responsiveness in infant caregiving. Child Development.

Page A., Chaudhary N., Viguier, S., Thompson J., Smith D., Salali G.D., Dyble M., Mace R., Migliano A.B. 2017. Social network centrality and hunter-gatherer reproductive success. Scientific Reports. 7:1153

Migliano A.B., Page A., Gardenes, J.G., Salali G.D., Viguier, S., Dyble M., Latora, V., Chaudhary N., Thompson J., Smith D., Strods, J., Vinicius L., Mace R. 2017. Characterisation of hunter-gatherer networks and implications for cumulative culture. Nature Human Behaviour. 1: 0043 (cover story of the February 2017 issue)

Salali, G.D., Chaudhary N., Thompson J., Grace, O., van der Brugt, X.M., Dyble M., Page A., Smith D., Lewis, J., Mace R., Vinicius L., Migliano A.B. 2016. Knowledge sharing networks in hunter-gatherers and the evolution of cumulative culture. Current Biology. 26:1-6

Chaudhary N., Salali G.D., Thompson J., Rey, A., Gerbault, P., Stevenson, E., Dyble M., Page A., Smith D., Mace R., Vinicius L., Migliano, A.B. 2016. Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers. Scientific Reports. 6: 29120

Dyble M., Thompson J., Page A., Smith D., Chaudhary N., Salali G.D., Vinicius L., Mace R., Migliano A.B. 2016. Networks of food sharing reveal the functional significance of multilevel sociality in two hunter-gatherer groups. Current Biology. 26:1-5

Smith, D., Dyble, M., Thompson, J., Major, K., Page, A., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A., Mace, R. 2016. Camp Stability Predicts Patterns of Hunter-Gatherer Cooperation. Royal Society Open Science. 3: 160131

Page A., Viguier, S., Dyble M., Smith D., Chaudhary N., Salali G.D., Thompson J., Vinicius L., Mace R., Migliano A.B. 2016. Reproductive trade-offs in extant hunter-gatherers suggest adaptive mechanism for the Neolithic expansion. PNAS. 113(17):  4694-4699

Salali, G.D., Migliano A.B. 2015. Future discounting in Congo basin hunter-gatherers declines with socio-economic transitions. PLoS ONE. 10(9): e0137806

Salali, G.D., Whitehouse H., Hochberg, M. E. 2015. A life-cycle model of human social groups produces a U-shaped distribution in group size. PLoS ONE. 10(9): e0138496

Dyble M., Salali G.D., Chaudhary N., Page A., Smith D., Thompson J., Vinicius L., Mace R., Migliano A.B. 2015. Sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands. Science. 348: 796-798.

Chaudhary N., Salali G.D., Thompson J., Dyble M., Page A., Smith D., Mace R., Migliano, A.B. 2015. Polygyny without wealth: popularity in gift games predicts polygyny in BaYaka Pygmies. Royal Society Open Science. 2: 150054.

Salali, G.D., Juda, M., Henrich, J. 2015. Development and imitation of costly punishment in children. Evolution and Human Behaviour. 36(2): 86-94

Tanner, C.J., Salali, G. D. & Jackson, A.L. 2011. The ghost of social environments past: dominance relationships include current interactions and experience carried over from previous groups. Biology Letters. 7: 818-821.

Tanner, C.J., Salalı, G.D. & Jackson, A.L. 2011. Feeding and non-feeding aggression can be induced in invasive shore crabs by altering food distribution. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 65(2): 249-256.


In addition to my academic work, I am passionate about telling stories of human interest and making documentaries. You can watch some of my short video documentaries here on YouTube.

Popular Science Writings (English and Turkish)

Türkçe (In Turkish)


The Leverhulme Trust