Current Issue

Facebook Icon  Twitter Icon  YouTube Icon

Heidi Colleran

Heidi Colleran

Room 229

+44 (0) 20 7679 8781

Postdoctoral Research Associate (2013-2015)

PhD Evolutionary Anthropology (2013), UCL
MRes Anthropology (2008), UCL
MSc Human Evolution and Behaviour (2005), UCL
Graduate Certificate in Psychology (2007), London Metropolitan University
BA Philosophy & Russian (2004), Trinity College Dublin

Research interests

I’m interested in how cultural and socioeconomic structures constrain and facilitate the evolution of human behaviour. In particular, I’m interested in the interactions between cultural and economic change, individual decision-making and information diffusion in populations.

I study the process of demographic transition to low fertility to help answer aspects of these questions, based on fieldwork in 22 communities in rural Poland. My work combines theory and methodology from cultural evolution and human behavioural ecology, while drawing on insights from across the social sciences, particularly from demography, socio-cultural anthropology, economics, sociology and social/evolutionary psychology.


Journal Articles

Colleran H., Jasienska G., Nenko I., Galbarczyk A. & Mace R. (2014) Community-level education accelerates the cultural evolution of fertility decline, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Colleran H. (in press) Farming in transition: Land and property inheritance in a rural Polish population, Society, Biology and Human Affairs

Mace R. & Colleran H. (2009) Measuring kin influence on the decision to start using modern contraception: a longitudinal study from rural Gambia, American Journal of Human Biology, 21(4), 272-277

Book Chapters

Colleran H. & Mace R. (2011) Contrasts and conflicts in anthropology and archaeology: the evolutionary/interpretive dichotomy in human behavioral research, in Cochrane E. & A. Gardner (editors), Interpretive and Darwinian Archaeologies: a discussion, Left Coast Press

Colleran H. & Mace R. (2010) Evolutionary Approaches to Human Behavior in Anthropology: A general overview and application to the KASS project, in Heady P. & P. Schweitzer (editors), Kinship and Social Security in contemporary Europe, Volume 3, Campus Verlag

Science communication

Colleran H. (2008 – 2012) Science reporting for BioNews, a free online source of news and comment on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas, launched by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) in 1999. My articles can be found at

Bookmark and Share

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