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A Biological Anthropology Research Network at the University of Oxford

At its core, biological anthropological research aims to understand what makes us humans. It is a scientific discipline concerned with morphological, behavioural, physiological, genetic, cultural and developmental variation in modern humans, their related non-human primates and their extinct hominin ancestors.

Current research in the University cuts across the Departments/Schools of Anthropology, Archaeology, Zoology, Experimental Psychology and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. There are also strong links with other institutions such as Oxford Brookes University.

Oxford University has a long tradition in Biological Anthropology, first in the Department of Anatomy and from 1976-2002, in the Institute of Biological Anthropology (IBA). Read Oxford and Biological Anthropology by former IBA director Prof. Geoffrey Harrison to find out more.

While the institute formally closed down in 2002, researchers have remained highly active within the University. This combined with the appointment of new faculty, Biological Anthropology is now launching itself in the form of a research network.

Launch date: 3rd of November 2016

A postgrad-led Oxford Bioanth Initiative runs social events. Visit our News & Events or Facebook pages for upcoming events. If you’re new to Oxford and are interested to join in, please do get in touch.

We are also open to enquiries from potential students and academic visitors.


 Latest Projects

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    Contraceptive Discontinuation in Ethiopia

    Most research on the adoption of contraception in sub-Saharan countries focuses on why modern contraception is not adopted more widely. However, previous research suggested that attention should be directed to individuals who do adopt modern contraception but then later decide to switch method or abandon it altogether. Indeed, a significant number of women experience side effects […]

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    Cultural Transmission Dynamics in Small-Scale Societies

    This project examines the relevance of evolutionary theoretical frameworks for understanding how innovations may or may not spread in small-scale populations of India without adequate services. It uses data data on multiple networks (friends, kinship, knowledge, prestige, spatial) in multiple populations in two Indian societies with contrasting socio-economic structures (the patrilocal Korwa and the matrilocal Khasi). This research […]

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    Deciphering dog domestication through a combined ancient DNA and geometric morphometric approach

    Research into early animal domestication has now broadly established the geographic and temporal origins of the major livestock species. Dogs remain an enigma, however, not only because they were the first domestic animal and the only domesticate whose appearance precedes the emergence of settled agriculture, but also because decades of archaeological and genetic research have […]

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    Community Size, Shared Culture, and Moral Partiality

    Besides simply knowing who your friends are, sociality depends on a sense of mutual trust and obligation. In traditional societies, community cohesion is in large part generated by a sense of shared common purpose, of being signed up to the same grand project that entails obligations towards, and expectations of appropriate behaviour from, fellow community […]