Centre for Research in Evolutionary, Social and Inter-Disciplinary Anthropology (CRESIDA)

Image -  Centre for Research in Evolutionary, Social and Inter-Disciplinary Anthropology (CRESIDA)

Research in the Centre for Research in Evolutionary, Social and Inter-Disciplinary Anthropology (CRESIDA) covers a diverse range of topics, including health and well-being, human-animal relations, tourism, human ecology, primate morphology and behaviour. In addition to work situated within evolutionary or social anthropology and at the interface of these sub-fields, our research projects transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries - bringing new anthropological approaches and thinking to areas such as public health, wildlife conservation, astrobiology, linguistics and psychiatry. Our work has significant impacts within and outside academia, and we are committed to ensuring that the benefits of our research are realised in the wider world. CRESIDA has a strong and vibrant research environment, and we warmly welcome enquiries from prospective research students and postdocs.

For more information on the Centre, please check out our Anthroehampton blog.

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Linguistic laws in chimp gestural communication

Old ChimpanzeeProfessor Stuart Semple has co-authored a new publication providing evidence that chimpanzees’ gestural communication follows the same mathematical patterns – known as linguistic laws - as are seen in human language, indicating that the gestures of our primate cousins may be more similar to our own language than previously thought. 

Lead author of the study, Raphaela Heesen, said: “Primate gestural communication is, of course, very different to human language, but our results show that these two systems are underpinned by the same mathematical principles. We hope that our work will pave the way for similar studies, to see quite how widespread these laws might be across the animal kingdom.”

The study has been widely covered in the press, including a live interview on BBC's Today programme and articles in New Scientist, the Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, Yahoo News, The Sunday Post, the Metro, Irish News and the Royal Society Blog.

 

Geographic variation in the human birth canal

Childbirth Wellcome Trust.jpgDr Lia Betti has co-authored a recent publication showing that there is substantial geographic variation in the shape of the female pelvis across human populations, and that most of the differences can be best explained by migration of humans across the globe (and genetic variation accumulated along the way). These results are important for our understanding of human evolution, especially in challenging the leading obstetrical dilemma theory. The results are also important for obstetric training and practice in modern multiethnic societies and suggest that a revision of textbooks and guidelines might be needed to include the wider spectrum of pelvic shape diversity shown by this paper. The study has been widely covered in the press, including: Science, Agence France Presse, The Guardian, The Scientist and The New York Times. It also featured as one of Science’s favourite new stories of 2018, where the coverage states that “Far from just a paradigm shift, the work could improve practices surrounding childbirth.”