Short CV/Education and training

  • 1980 – 1983
    Major Open Scholarship in Biological Sciences, Wadham College, Oxford

  • 1983
    BA Hons in Zoology, Wadham College, Oxford

    1983 – 1986
    Science & Engineering Research Council Studentship, Wadham College, Oxford

  • 1987
    D. Phil. in Zoology (behavioural ecology), Wadham College, Oxford

  • 1987 – 1989
    Renewable Resources Assessment Group, Imperial College, London, NERC Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • 1989 – 1991
    School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia

  • 1991 – 1999
    Royal Society University Research Fellow & Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University College London

  • 1999 – 2004
    Reader in Human Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Anthropology, University College London

  • Since 2004
    Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

Selected publications


  • Bentley G. & R. Mace (Eds). Substitute parents: alloparenting in human societies. Berghahn Books (2010)

  • Mace R, Holden C. & S. Shennan. (Eds) (2005) The evolution of cultural diversity: a phylogenetic approach. UCL Press:London 291pp

  • Milner-Gulland E.J & R. Mace (1998) Conservation of Biological Resources. Blackwell Science. 419pp

Selected Recent Refereed articles in journals

  • Alvergne, A., Gurmu, E., Gibson, M., Mace, R. (2011). Social Transmission and the Spread of Modern Contraception in Rural Ethiopia. PLoS One 6(7), e22515

  • Lamba, S., Mace, R. (2011). Demography and ecology drive variation in cooperation across human populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108(35), 14426-14430

  • Lawson, D. W., Mace, R. (2011). Parental investment and the optimization of human family size. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 366(1563), 333-343

  • MACE, R., Jordan, F. (2011). Macro-evolutionary studies of cultural diversity: a review of empirical studies of cultural transmission and cultural adaptation. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 366, 402-411

  • Currie, T. E., Greenhill, S. J., Gray, R. D., Hasegawa, T., Mace, R. (2010). Rise and fall of political complexity in island South-East Asia and the Pacific. NATURE 467(7317), 801-804

  • Jordan,F.,Gray,R.,Greenhill,S. & Mace,R. (2009). Matrilocal residence is ancestral in Austronesian societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B

  • Lawson D & R Mace (2008) Sibling configuration and growth in contemporary British families. International Journal of Epidemiology 37(6), 1408-1421

  • Mace R. (2008) Reproducing in cities. Science 319, 764-766

Selected projects

Establishment of a new research group in Human Evolutionary Ecology

  • Human evolutionary ecology is the study of human ecology (human diversity, demography and behaviour) from an adaptive perspective. I have a special interest in the interaction between cultural and biological evolution. My main areas of study include the evolutionary ecology of human life histories and reproductive behaviour (including the evolution of menopause and reproductive scheduling, including fertility decline), and the evolution of bio-cultural diversity (particularly the co-evolution of subsistence, inheritance and marriage systems, and reproductive strategies) and the evolution of cultural norms and co-operation. My research group at UCL, HEEG (Human Evolutionary Ecology Group, is the largest concentrating on human evolutionary ecology in the UK, and includes researchers from Europe, New Zealand, India and Africa.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries


  • Co-Editor-in-Chief: Evolution and Human Behavior (Elsevier)

  • Associate editor: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: B, Human Nature, PloS ONE

Other roles and memberships

  • Head of Biological Anthropology, UCL, from 2010

  • Membership of Funded Research Networks: TECT (The Evolution of Co-operation and Trading) ESF funded (with Herb Gintis, Sam Bowles, Ernst Fehr, Robert Rowthorn, Eorz Szathmary and others), 2007 – 2010

  • ATACD (A Topological Approach to Cultural Diversity) EU funded (with Celia Lury, Luc Steels and others), 2007 – 2010

  • Member of BASIS committee, for the British Academy, from 2009

  • President (2006 – 2008) of the Anthropology and Archaeology Section Committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). Responsibilities include organizing sessions at BAAS meetings to promote Archaeology and Anthropology to the public, especially the BA Festival of Science in York 2007 and Liverpool 2008

Additional qualifications


  • Undergraduate courses: Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology (B2011), Introduction to Evolutionary Anthropology (B116), Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology (B203), Evolution and Human Behaviour (A050)

  • Graduate courses: MSc core course in Human Behaviour Ecology

  • Tutor: MSc in Human Evolution and Behaviour

  • PhD supervision: 6 current PhD students on working on behavioural and cultural evolution

Research & Enabling

  • Organisation and Hosting of meetings: HBES (Human Behavior and Evolution Society) 2001 international meeting, UCL,

    June 2001; Wenner-Gren conference on Alloparenting at UCL, May 2004; BA Festival of Science Archaeology and Anthropology Section York, 2007 and Liverpool 2008


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