Department of Anthropology
+44 (0) 20 7679 8652
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2014-2017)
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, UCL (2013-2014)
Anthropology, University of Oxford
MSc Human Evolution and Behaviour, UCL
BA Economics, University of Sussex
My interests are in the evolution of social behaviour in human and non-human primates. I use Bayesian phylogenetic methods developed in evolutionary biology to explore the evolution of social systems, mating systems, marriage and kinship and investigate the causes of changes in those traits. My work has focused on the evolution of social organisation and the causes of the emergence of monogamy in primates on the one hand, and the causes of the evolution of kinship and marriage among Bantu cultures in sub-Saharan Africa on the other.
La Ciudad de las Ideas – Dangerous Ideas Debate
- Ian Sample Guardian Science Podcast
- Jon Sopel BBCTV World News
- Red Symons ABC Melbourne Radio
- Sean Duke RTE radio1
- Scott Craig Sputnik Radio
Brindle M, Opie C (2016). Postcopulatory sexual selection influences baculum evolution in primates and carnivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283(1844).
Opie C, Shultz S, Atkinson QD, Currie T, Mace R. 2014. Phylogenetic reconstruction of Bantu kinship challenges Main Sequence Theory of human social evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(49):17414-17419.
Opie C, Atkinson QD, Dunbar RIM, & Shultz S (2014). Reply to Lukas and Clutton-Brock: Infanticide still drives primate monogamy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111(17):E1675.
Opie C, Atkinson QD, Dunbar RIM, & Shultz S (2013) Reply to Dixson: Infanticide triggers primate monogamy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(51):E4938-E4938
Opie C, Atkinson QD, Dunbar RIM, & Shultz S (2013) Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(33):13328-13332.
Opie, C., Q. D. Atkinson, and S. Shultz. (2012). The evolutionary history of primate mating systems. Communicative & Integrative Biology 5:1-4.
Shultz, S., C. Opie, and Q. D. Atkinson. (2011). Stepwise evolution of stable sociality in primates. Nature, 479(7372), 219-222.
Shultz, S., C. Opie, E. Nelson, Q. D. Atkinson, and R. I. M. Dunbar. (2014). "Evolution of primate social systems: implications for hominin social evolution," in Lucy to Language: Benchmark Papers. Edited by R. I. M. Dunbar, C. Gamble, and J. A. J. Gowlett. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Opie, K. & C. Power. (2008). Grandmothering and Female Coalitions: A Basis for Matrilineal Priority? In Allen, N.J., Callan, H., Dunbar, R. & James, W. (eds). Early Human Kinship: From Sex to Social Reproduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Opie (2013). Why mammals prefer to have just one partner. The Conversation.
K. Opie (2014). Is monogamy natural for humans? Anthropolitan 10