We are recruiting postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate researchers to join our lab! Get in touch to enquire about opportunities.
Research Assistant (2019)
Anthony joined our field team in summer 2019, and is a master of all trades. We hope to work again together soon!
Visiting Grad Student (2019)
Maria is a PhD student
at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, and collaborated with us on qualitative data analysis.
Working papers / in review
Lawson DW, Schaffnit SB, Kilgallen JA, Kumogola Y, Galura A & Urassa M. (in review). He for She? Understanding men’s support for women’s empowerment in northern Tanzania.
Urassa M, Lawson DW, Wamoyi J, Gurmu E, Gibson MA, Madhivanan P, Placek C. (in revision). Normalizing equitable collaboration in cross-cultural research.
Schaffnit SB, Urassa M, Wamoyi J, Dardoumpa M, & Lawson DW. (in review). “I have never seen something like that”: Discrepancies between lived experiences and the global health concept of child marriage in northern Tanzania.
2020 / in press
Schaffnit SB, Wamoyi J, Urassa M, Dardoumpa M, & Lawson DW. (in press). When marriage is the best available option: perceptions of opportunity and risk in female adolescence in Tanzania. Global Public Health.
Lawson DW, Schaffnit SB, Hassan A, & Urassa M. (in press). Shared interests or sexual conflict? Spousal age gap, women’s wellbeing and fertility in rural Tanzania. Evolution and Human Behavior.
Lawson DW, Lynes R, Morris A & Schaffnit SB. (in press). What does the American public know about 'child marriage'? PLOS ONE 15(9):e0238346.
Lawson DW. Parental care. (in press). In Koster J, Scelza B, Shenk M (Eds). Human Behavioral Ecology.
Lawson DW & Gibson MA. (in press). Evolutionary Approaches to Population Health: Insights on Polygynous Marriage, ‘Child Marriage’ and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. In Burger O, Lee R & Sear, R. (Eds). Human Evolutionary Demography.
Berg V, Lawson DW, Rotkirch A. (2020). Financial opportunity costs and deaths among close kin are independently associated with reproductive timing in a contemporary high-income society. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Schaffnit SB, Urassa M & Lawson DW. (2019). ‘Child marriage’ in context: Exploring local attitudes towards early marriage in rural Tanzania. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters. 27:1–13
Schaffnit SB, Hassan A, Urassa M & Lawson DW. (2019). Parent-offspring conflict unlikely to explain ‘child marriage’ in northwestern Tanzania. Nature Human Behaviour. 3:346-353.
>> Commentary: Stark L. (2019). Why daughters may choose early marriage. Nature Human Behaviour 3:325–326
>> Commentary: Lawson DW & Schaffnit SB. (2019). Distinguishing reality from stereotype in the end child marriage movement. Nature Behavioural and Social Sciences Forum.
>> Press: What if 'child marriage' means older teens making choices? Futurity.
Hedges S, Lawson DW, Todd J, Urassa M & Sear R. (2019). Sharing the load: the influence of co-resident children on the allocation of work and schooling in north-western Tanzania. Demography. 56:1931–1956
Hedges S, Sear R, Todd J, Urassa M & Lawson DW. (2019). Earning their keep? Fostering, children’s education and work in north-western Tanzania. Demographic Research. 41:263-292.
>> Commentary: Hedges S, Sear R, Todd J, Urassa M & Lawson DW. (2019). Earning their keep? Fostering, education and work in Tanzania. IUSSP online news magazine.
Hassan A, Schaffnit SB, Sear R, Urassa M & Lawson DW. (2019). Fathers favour sons, mothers don’t discriminate: sex-biased parental care in north-western Tanzania. Evolutionary Human Sciences. 1, e13.
Lawson DW& Gibson MA. (2018). Understanding ‘Harmful Cultural Practices.’ Anthropology News 59:3; e219-e222.
Hedges S, Sear R, Todd J, Urassa M, & Lawson DW. (2018). Trade-offs in time allocation: Mixed support for embodied capital models of the demographic transition in rural Tanzania. Current Anthropology 59: 644-654.
Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (2018). Population issues in development. International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology. Wiley.
Lawson DW & Gibson MA. (2018). Polygynous marriage and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa: What is the evidence for harm? Demographic Research 39:177–208.
Lawson DW, Núñez-de la Mora A, Cooper GD, Prentice AM, Moore SE, Sear R. (2017). Marital status and sleeping arrangements predict salivary testosterone levels in rural Gambian men. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology 3: 221-240.
Lawson DW, Schaffnit SB, Hassan A, Ngadaya E, Ngowi B, Mfinanga SGM, James S, Borgerhoff Mulder M. (2017). Father absence but not fosterage predicts food insecurity, relative poverty, and poor child health in northern Tanzania. American Journal of Human Biology 29 e22938.
Sear R, Lawson DW, Kaplan H, Shenk M. (2016). Understanding variation in human fertility: What can we learn from evolutionary demography? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371, 20150144
Lawson DW & Borgerhoff Mulder M. (2016). The offspring quantity-quality trade-off and human fertility variation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371, 20150145.
Lawson DW, Sear R, Shenk M, Stearns S & Kaplan H. (Editors). (2016). Understanding Variation in Human Fertility: What Can We Learn From Evolutionary Demography? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 371(1692).
Lawson DW, James S, Ngadaya E, Ngowi B, Mfinanga SGM, Borgerhoff Mulder M. (2016). Reply to Rieger and Wagner: Context matters when studying purportedly harmful cultural practices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113(13), E1771-E1772
Lawson DW, James S, Ngadaya E, Ngowi B, Mfinanga SGM, Borgerhoff Mulder M. (2015). No evidence that polygynous marriage is a harmful cultural practice in northern Tanzania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112(45), 13827-13832.
>> Interview: Polygynous marriage can benefit women and children. (2015). Capioca.
>> Press: Does poverty, not polygamy, harm women? (2015). Futurity.
Lawson DW& Hedges S. (2015). The costs and benefits of child labour. Current Anthropology 56, 545-568.
Hedges S, Borgerhoff Mulder M, James S & Lawson DW. (2015). Sending children to school: rural livelihoods and parental investment in child education in northern Tanzania. Evolution & Human Behavior 37:142-151.
Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (2015). Applying evolutionary anthropology. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News and Reviews 24(1): 3-14.
Lawson DW, Borgerhoff Mulder M, Ghiselli ME, Ngadaya E, Ngowi B, Mfinanga SGM, Hartwig K. & James S. (2014). Ethnicity and child health in northern Tanzania: Maasai pastoralists are disadvantaged compared to neighbouring ethnic groups. PLOS ONE 9: e110447.
>> Press: Lawson DW& James S. (2014). Maasai in Tanzania: World fame but empty stomachs. Improving Nutrition and Food Security: Guardian Global Development Professionals Network. Dec 2014.
Pound N, Lawson DW, Toma, A.M & Richmond, R. Penton-Voak, I. (2014). Facial asymmetry is not associated with childhood ill-health in a large British cohort study. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282:20141639.
Lawson DW & Uggla C. (2014). Family structure and health in the developing world: What can evolutionary anthropology contribute to population health science. In Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (Eds) Applied Evolutionary Anthropology: Darwinian Approaches to Contemporary World Issues. New York: Springer.
Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (2014). Applying evolutionary anthropology to a changing world. In Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (Eds) Applied Evolutionary Anthropology: Darwinian Approaches to Contemporary World Issues. Springer.
Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (Editors). (2014). Applied Evolutionary Anthropology: Darwinian Approaches to Contemporary World Issues. New York: Springer.
Lawson DW, Makoil A & Goodman A. (2013). Sibling configuration predicts individual and descendant socioeconomic success in a modern post-industrial society. PLOS ONE 8: e73698.
Nettle D, Gibson MA, Lawson DW& Sear, R. (2013). Human behavioural ecology: Current research and future prospects. Behavioural Ecology 24: 1031-1040.
Nettle D, Gibson MA, Lawson DW, & Sear R. (2013). How much you need to engage with mechanism depends on what you are trying to do. Behavioral Ecology 24: 1046-1047
Alvergne A. Lawson DW, Clarke P & Mace, R. (2013). Fertility, parental investment and the early adoption of modern contraception in rural Ethiopia. American Journal of Human Biology 25: 107-15.
Lawson DW, Alvergne A. & Gibson MA. (2012). The life history trade-off between fertility and child survival. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279: 1748 4755-4764.
Goodman A, Koupil I & Lawson DW. (2012). Low fertility increases descendant socioeconomic position but reduces long-term fitness in a modern post-industrial society. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279:4342-4351.
>> Press: Macleod M (2013). Population Paradox. New Scientist.
Lawson DW& Mace R. (2011). Parental investment and the optimization of human family size. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366, 333-343.
Gibson MA & Lawson DW. (2011). ‘Modernization’ increases parental investment and sibling resource competition: evidence from a rural development initiative in Ethiopia. Evolution & Human Behavior 32, 97-105.
Lawson DW. (2011). Life history theory and human reproductive behaviour. In Swami, V. (Ed) Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction pp. 183-214. BPS: Blackwell.
Lawson DW.(2011). A review of ‘Animal homosexuality: a biosocial approach’ by A. Poiani. Animal Behaviour 81, 499.
Lawson DW& Mace R. (2010). Siblings and childhood mental health: evidence for a later-born advantage. Social Science and Medicine 70, 2061-2069.
Lawson DW& Mace R. (2010). Optimizing modern family size: trade-offs between fertility and the economic costs of reproduction. Human Nature 21, 39-61.
Lawson DW& Mace R. (2009). Trade-offs in modern parenting: a longitudinal study of sibling competition for parental care. Evolution & Human Behavior 30, 170-183.
Lawson DW& Mace R. (2008). Sibling configuration and childhood growth in contemporary British families. International Journal of Epidemiology 37, 1408-1421.
>> Press: How older siblings stunt your growth. (2007). BBC News.
Lawson DW, Jordan FM & Magid, K. (2008). On sex and suicide bombing: an evaluation of Kanazawa’s ‘Evolutionary Psychological Imagination’. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 6, 73-84.
Sear R, Lawson DW& Dickins T. (2007). Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 5 3-28.
Lawson DW. (2007). Frustrated felines and excited ungulates: a review of ‘Homosexual behaviour in animals – an evolutionary perspective’ Edited by V. Sommer and P. Vasey. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 5, 257-260.
Scott BE, Lawson DW& Curtis V. (2007). Hard to handle: understanding mother’s handwashing behaviour in Ghana. Health Policy & Planning 22 216-224
Applied Evolutionary Anthropology
This graduate discussion-based course explores the relevance of evolutionary anthropology to contemporary efforts to improve human wellbeing, particularly in low and middle-income countries. It also provides an opportunity to consider the potential policy implications and ‘broader impacts’ of your own current/planned research – often a requirement for grant applications. In the 2020/21 academic year, this course will be arranged around the theme of understanding and dismantling patriarchy.
Behavioral Ecology of the Family
In this course we utilize behavioral ecology as a theoretical framework to examine family relationships and global diversity in family structure. We will apply theoretical concepts such as life history theory, sexual selection and kin selection to different aspects of family life. Taking a broad comparative perspective, we also consider the application of behavioral ecology to non-human families.
International Development and Population Health
This course considers the distribution and determinants of wellbeing in human populations, with an emphasis on low-income nations and the actions of the international development sector. Focus is placed on cultural/social determinants of health, including issues of gender equality. We will take a critical perspective on the tools used to measure population health and the design and evaluation of development policy and interventions.