Bulletin Board

Who cares? Workshop on caregiving and mother-infant health

Who cares? Introducing evolutionary approaches to caregiving and mother-infant health

Join us for aninterdisciplinary workshop bringing evolutionary approaches to mother and infant health, with special focus on social support. Explore how different disciplines approach support and why it’s essential for maternal-infant health. Open to any interested researcher or professional from a range of academic and non-academic backgrounds.

In evolutionary anthropology, the importance of wide and diverse social support networks for maternal and infant health is widely acknowledged. However, in public health and non-evolutionary social sciences ‘support’ is often poorly defined, with a strong nuclear family bias regarding caregiving. This workshop will bridge this disciplinary gap by facilitating dialogue and collaboration between evolutionary anthropologists and those with overlapping interests in other fields.

The workshop will consist of a series of research presentations, discussions and activities focusing on caregiving and mother-infant health. From our experience, the greatest challenges in interdisciplinary settings are theoretical misconceptions and language barriers. By opening the workshop with theoretical overviews and defining key terminologies, we will establish common ground and ensure meaningful discussions. At the end of the workshop we will bring these discussions together to reflect on how the different issues highlighted over the course of the day complement each other (or not), and how these can be reconciled into a ‘practical guide’ of interdisciplinary work on maternal and child health.

Following the workshop there will be a wine reception and a public lecture titled “Beyond the nuclear family: an evolutionary perspective on childrearing” by Professor Rebecca Sear of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This lecture will discuss how our species has evolved a cooperative form of childrearing, where women get help from others to raise their children, and the implications for support (or its lack) for childrearing on child and maternal health.

The workshop is funded by a grant from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association and we will provide food and drinks throughout the day. We are charging a nominal fee to attend the workshop to encourage on-the-day attendance. Of the £4.32 fee £3 will be spent on food and drinks and the reminding £1.32 covers administration costs including VAT. Please follow the link to book: http://bit.ly/motherinfanthealth

Date and Time:
Mon, February 11, 2019
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

University College London,
188 Tottenham Court Road

Public lecture:

Join us for an cross-disciplinary public lecture titled “Beyond the nuclear family: an evolutionary perspective on childrearing” by Professor Rebecca Sear of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This lecture will discuss how our species has evolved a cooperative form of childrearing, where women get help from others to raise their children, and the implications for support (or its lack) for childrearing on child and maternal health.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception and snacks. This is a free event, open to any interested person from both academic and non-academic backgrounds. Please follow the link to book:  http://bit.ly/eveningmotherinfanthealth

The workshop is funded by a grant from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association and supported by UCL Anthropology.

Postdoc in Cognitive Psychology at Leiden University

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Institute of Psychology, the Cognitive Psychology Unit has available a Postdoc Position in Cognitive Psychology 

Project description

Research Project “Evolutionary insights into the production and perception of expressions of emotions”.
During social interactions, humans express and regulate their emotional states as well as process the emotions expressed by others. Importantly, most of these processes occur automatically, without conscious awareness. Although most emotional expressions in the human face are produced spontaneously, the existing literature has largely focused on posed or ‘artificial’ expressions’, which impacts the ecological-validity of the findings. Through a range of experimental studies involving different physiological measures the postdoc will gain insight into these issues. Focussing on explicit emotional signals (e.g. smiles) and implicit cues (e.g. pupil dilation, blush), we aim to identify emotion expressions produced and perceived by humans and systematically compare these to those of our closest living relatives, the bonobos. Bonobos are an ideal model species to reconstruct our last common ancestor and to identify uniquely human features. In addition, we will determine the extent to which culture influences human emotion perception. Combining novel techniques within a comparative multi-disciplinary framework, this project offers an evolutionarily-grounded approach to the origins of human emotion.

This project is supported by an NWO ORA grant to Dr Mariska Kret (Leiden University) and Dr Zanna Clay (Durham University). The project will run in parallel with ongoing projects in the CoPAN lab, directed by Dr Mariska Kret (www.mariskakret.com) ; see also our Copan Leiden Facebook page). The research group participates in the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), an interfaculty center for interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition (www.libc-leiden.nl). For the current position, Dr Kret is looking for a postdoc to be based in the Netherlands, who will focus on the human component predominantly (not necessarily exclusively). In parallel to this project, another project supervised by Zanna Clay will take place mainly in the UK, the Democratic Republic of Congo (studies with local people and bonobo’s) and Rwanda (local population). For further cross-cultural comparisons, the project is in collaboration with Akihiro Tanaka (Tokyo woman’s christian university) and Anthony Atkinson (Durham University). The two postdocs closely interact on various occasions and locations.

Apply here: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/vacancies/2018/wk41-52/18-508-5958-postdoc-in-cognitive-psychology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is looking for an Assistant Professor in Organizational Psychology

Are you a talented or a more experienced academic in Organizational Psychology , and would you like to work in a multidisciplinary team of professionals in an academic environment? Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Apply for the position of:


Location:                                AMSTERDAM
Hours per week:                  40 / 1 fte
Starting date:                       1 September 2019

Job description
The successful candidate is expected to do research, teach, and supervise Bachelor, Master and PhD students in the field of Organizational Psychology. You are expected to develop new ideas in research and education covering the main research themes of Organizational Psychology. You are expected (1) to acquire funding (independently or jointly with colleagues) for research, (2) provide excellent teaching, (3) show administrative skills, and (4) engage in professional service activities.
The ratio of research / teaching time is 50% / 50%. Acquisition of external research funding may lead to teaching time reductions.

More information 

PhD Opportunities in Brunel University

Brunel University has a number of ESRC-funded MSc+PhD or PhD-only studentships available on the broad topic of health and wellbeing. Students with an interest in the cultural evolution of medicine / health behaviour are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra or Matthias Gobel to discuss co-developing an application. We particularly interested in supervising projects examining health behaviour across cultures using theories from cognitive anthropology / cultural evolution. Methods may include laboratory studies, field work, transmission chain experiments, or natural language processing of health texts/corpuses. Illustrative topics include:
– How intuitions about biological processes shape health-related information sharing. (de Barra)
– How public trust in health care systems influences the cultural evolution of vaccine narratives. (de Barra)
– Health and well-being in organisational settings across cultures (Gobel)

Successful applicants would join the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies and the Centre for Culture and Evolution (CCE). The CCE is an expanding group with expertise in cross-cultural psychology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution. Centre members explore the psychology and evolution of religion, ritual, dance, leadership, relationships, as well as health/medicine: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Centres/Centre-for-Culture-and-Evolution

Some practicalities:

– This scheme is competitive and applicants without a first class degree and a strong skillset or relevant experience are unlikely to be successful.
– Candidates are required to be UK residents, but there are exceptions if the students have advanced quantitative methods and data skills.
– The deadline for Brunel applications is likely to be in mid January and candidates are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra (micheal.debarra@brunel.ac.uk) or Matthias Gobel (matthias.gobel@brunel.ac.uk) by mid December for an informal discussion about the applications.

Protolang 2019

The 6th edition of the Protolang conference series will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 9 to 12 September, 2019.

Protolang 6 is organized by the Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab and the Primate Cognition Research Group of the Center for Philosophy of Science of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon; the William James Center for Research of the University Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences (Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida); the Católica Research Center for Psychological, Family and Social Well-Being of the Catholic University of Lisbon (Universidade Católica Portuguesa); and the Portuguese Association for Archaeological Investigation (APIA – Associação Portuguesa de Investigação Arqueológica).

The Protolang conference series creates an interdisciplinary platform for scholarly discussion on the origins of symbolic communication distinctive of human beings.

The thematic focus of Protolang is on delineating the genetic, anatomical, neuro-cognitive, socio-cultural, semiotic, symbolic and ecological requirements for evolving (proto)language. Sign use, tools, cooperative breeding, pointing, vocalisation, intersubjectivity, bodily mimesis, planning and navigation are among many examples of such possible factors through which hominins have gained a degree of specificity that is not found in other forms of animal communication and cognition.

For more info click here: https://sites.google.com/view/protolang-6/home

Psychology Doctoral Studentship – funding available from the University of Essex

The Department of Psychology at the University of Essex is looking for research students to apply for one funded opportunity leading to a PhD.

The award is a full Home/EU fee waiver, or equivalent fee discount for overseas students, living costs of £14,777 per year, a departmental allowance of approximately £500 per year to support your studies, and a total of £2,500 to invest in training including conferences and travel. Funding will be paid each year for three years of study.


To apply for PhD funding (for three years of study), you will need:

  • a high 2.1 or first-class undergraduate degree, or an MSc Psychology, or a related discipline, and
  • hold an offer of a PhD supervised by a member of staff in our Department of Psychology starting October 2019.

Application process and deadlines

To begin, get in touch with a potential supervisor to discuss your application. Once you have agreement from a supervisor, make a formal application for PhD study online:

The deadline for applying for PhD study is 15 January 2019.

In addition, to apply for funding, complete our online form online:

Applications for the University of Essex Psychology Doctoral Scholarship close on 4 February 2019.

More information » here.

Committee members required!

EHBEA does these things:

  • finds hosts for the annual EHBEA conference
  • awards the EHBEA New Investigator Award
  • fund workshops and student grants
  • act as info forum for the EHB research community in Europe
  • other useful things

In order to do these things EHBEA needs a committee. There are four steering committee members and four other committee members. Each committee member is elected for a three-year term.

Two positions are up for election this year, to take up their position in April 2019:

  1. President (SC) (outgoing: Ruth Mace)
  2. Secretary (SC) (outgoing: Ian Rickard)

Please do consider standing for one of these positions if you would like to support your society and have a say in its future directions. Or why not ask someone else if they have considered standing? You could nominate them. Either way, hard-working and dedicated people are needed to help EHBEA work and grow into the future, and perhaps you or someone you know could be one of them?

The nomination deadline is 30/11. Members have received a nomination form in their email a few weeks ago. If you have joined recently, get in touch to be sent a form. Any questions? Please email Ian on ehbea.secretary@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Research Collaboration Opportunity

We are 40+ researchers from varying institutions around the world (mainly Western Europe, some with access to non-WEIRD samples) who would be willing to collect data for a study that is relevant for the field of human behavior and evolution. The study could be a replication of an influential finding, or a novel study investigating a question that is of general interest to the field. It should be possible to run the study in the lab (max. 30 minutes) without any specialized equipment or software.

If you are interested in using our network to coordinate a collaborative multi-lab project, please contact Bastian Jaeger (b.jaeger@uvt.nl) with the following information:

(1)   a short description of the research question and hypothesis and why it is of special importance to the field,

(2)   the name of the original paper (in case it is a replication),

(3)   the expected length of the study, and

(4)   what materials would be required.

Let me know if you have questions about our participant pools or anything else. In case multiple researchers are interested in using the available capacities, we will try to combine the studies into one study package that is administered simultaneously. Otherwise, the participating researchers will vote on which project to carry out.

*** You can also contact me if you are interested in contributing to this project by collecting data for a study proposed by somebody else ***

Aleksandra­ Szymkow (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities), Bastian Jaeger (Tilburg University), Ben Jones (University of Glasgow), Christoph Schild (University of Copenhagen), Curtis Atkisson (UC Davis), Daniel Farrelly (Unicersity of Worcester), Daniel Nettle (Newcastle University), Dirk van Rooy (Australian National University), Emily Emmott (University College London), Emma Henderson (Kingston University), Eric Schniter (Chapman University), Florian van Leeuwen (Tilburg University), John Komar (Nanyang Technological University), Jonathan Schukz (Harvard University), Jordann Brandner (Kansas State University), Josh Ackerman (University of Michigan), Julia Jünger (University of Göttingen), Julie Driebe (University of Göttingen), Koko Ikeda (Chukyo University), Lars Penke (University of Göttingen), Lisa DeBruine (University of Glasgow), Manpal Bhogal (University of Wolverhampton), Meesha Warmington (University of Sheffield), Miguel A. Vadillo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Monica Koehn (Western Sydney University), Natalia Dutra (Durham University), Nathan Dhaliwal (University of British Columbia), Nicholas Grebe (Duke University), Olmo van den Akker (Tilburg University), Paula Sterkenburg (VU Amsterdam), Rhea Howard (Harvard University), Rita McNamara (Victoria University of Wellington), Ruben Arslan (Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Ryan Schacht (East Carolina University), Adil Saribay (Bogazici University), Shannon McCutcheon (Colorado State University), Simon Columbus (VU Amsterdam), Tanja Gerlach (University of Göttingen), Thomas Richardson (University of Manchester), Tobias Kordsmeyer (University of Göttingen), Victor Shiramizu (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte), Willem Sleegers (Tilburg University)