news archive
What is the CECD? 
The CECD is an AHRC funded research group dedicated to examining the evolutionary underpinnings of human cultural behaviour, past and present. more>

Page Title - people
Principal Investigator Profile
Prof Ruth Mace
Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology; Convenor of the Human Evolutionary Ecology Group; Co-Editor Human Evolution and Behavior, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Gower Street
Tel: +44 20 7679 8845
Fax: +44 20 7679 7728

Image not available
Research and Teaching interests
Evolutionary ecology of human demography and life history, particularly empirical studies focussing on traditional African populations

Phylogenetic approaches to culture and language evolution, including comparative methods for testing cross-cultural hypotheses

Adaptive explanations for the demographic transition to low fertility

The evolutionary ecology of reproduction in a rural, Gambian population, using historical demographic records

Phylogenetic approaches to linguistic, cultural and bio-cultural evolution in sub-Saharan Africa and elsehere.

Village-level studies of the impact of development initiatives on fertility and mortality in rural Ethiopia

The evolutionary ecology of matriliny
Educational Background
1987: Dphil, Zoology, University of Oxford
Associated Links:

Associated AHRC CECD Projects (Phase 2):
Project B001
The rate of evolution of cultural traits on phylogenies
Project C002
The diffusion of cultural innovations, contrasting models of spread
Project B012
The Evolutionary Ecology of Human Cultural Group Diversity

Associated Continuing AHRC CEACB Projects (Phase 1):
Project 024
Cultural adaptation and transmission in the Pacific: A comparative phylogenetic approach.

Associated Publications - AHRC CEACB - phase 1:
Holden, C. J. and Mace, R (2005).
The cow is the enemy of matriliny' using phylogenetic methods to investigate cultural evolution in Africa.Mace, R., Holden, C. J. & Shennan, S. J. (eds.). The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. UCL Press: London. 217-234.
Mace, R., Jordan, F. and Holden, C (2003).
Testing evolutionary hypotheses about human biological adaptation using cross-cultural comparison.Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Vol Part A. 85-94.
Holden, C. and Mace, R (2003).
Spread of cattle led to the loss of matriliny in Africa: a co-evolutionary analysis.Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Vol 270. 2425-2433.
Holden, C. J., Sear, R. and Mace, R (2003).
Matriliny as daughter-biased investment.Evolution and Human Behavior. Vol 24. 99-112.