Family, Demography and Health

The "Family, Demography, and Health" (FDH) research team is dedicated to unravelling the complex interconnections between family relationships, human life history, ecology, and health through an evolutionary lens. Drawing on expertise from disciplines such as evolutionary anthropology, biology, economics, and developmental psychology, the team adopts a multidisciplinary approach to explore three key research areas:

  • Family Relationships and Human Life-History: The team seeks to elucidate the role of family relationships in shaping distinct human life-history traits, including long childhood, large brains, extended post-reproductive phase, and extended lifespan. Specifically, we aim to disentangle the role of kin selection and developmental constraints on these traits.
  • Ecology in Human Life-History Evolution: The team aims to understand the feedback between ecology and human life-history. We are particularly interested in understanding how ecology drives demographic processes through subsistence strategies and the subsequent ramifications for life-history evolution. We also aim to understand the role of ecology in driving the demographic differences in different populations.
  • Family Relationships, Physiology and Health: We investigate how family dynamics and physiological factors linked to our life history affect human health. For instance, we are interested in the health implications of a prolonged post-reproductive phase and the impact of demographic transition on family structures, and their significance for mental and physical well-being.