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Dustin Eirdosh

Doctoral Student and Education Development Coordinator

Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology 
Deutscher Platz 6 
D-04103 Leipzig 

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 410
email: dustin_eirdosh@~@eva.mpg.de


Research Interests

  • Evolution education
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Teaching for transfer of learning and conceptual understanding
  • School culture
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • School improvement
  • Cooperation science as content and context for educational innovations

Thesis work and research context

Focus of PhD
Teaching Evolution as an Interdisciplinary Science
A Design-Based Research Model for Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science Education

Advancing evolutionary theory in the 21st century is a robustly interdisciplinary, if not transdisciplinary scientific endeavor. From biology and anthropology, to medicine, psychology, economics, sustainability science, computer science, and many more, the core concepts of heritable variation and selection have been utilized by scientists across academia to understand the natural and social world. Evolution education, however, remains largely a disciplinary endeavor of biology education, and educators are left with little guidance on interpreting the broader interdisciplinary applications of modern evolution science discourse. In fact, current representations of evolutionary concepts in evolution education may prove challenging for the integration of newer and interdisciplinary perspectives on evolution. This thesis engages a multilevel design-based research perspective on the systems, practices, and resources that could support or hinder the emergence of teaching evolution as the interdisciplinary science that it is. 

Long-term research context
Networked Improvement Communities for Understanding the Human Condition

Schools around the world almost universally seek to cultivate in students an understanding of the human condition that is both practically realistic for the world they are to enter, and factually realistic in accordance with modern disciplinary perspectives. Teaching the science of evolutionary anthropology offers significant learning opportunities in this regard, yet the interdisciplinary nature of the field, combined with a complex conceptual landscape across the human sciences conspire to create unique challenges in advancing educator competence and communities of practice in this space. This is a knowledge synthesis and research infrastructure project, working within the model of Networked Improvement Communities to advance a flexible framework for international collaboration on the design and implementation of teaching materials and strategies for engaging students in reflecting on the everyday experience of human behavior in the light of evolution and sustainability sciences. 

Projects and Partners

I am the coordinator of the educational development, outreach, and research coordination efforts of our department. 

More here...


Together with Dr. Susan Hanisch, I am a co-founder of the US-based non-profit organization, Global ESD (Education for Sustainable Development). Global ESD works internationally to support sustainability education initiatives that connect concepts in human evolution, behavioral ecology, and sustainability science. By linking scientific perspectives on social change with students and classrooms seeking to make the world a better place, our aim is to foster a more global discussion about where we are going in the light of where we all have come from. 

www.EvoLeipzig.de (in German)

EvoLeipzig is a place-based initiative working to bring the Global ESD design concept to schools and education partners in Leipzig.


Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2021). Are humans a cooperative species? Challenges & opportunities for teaching the evolution of human prosociality. The American Biology Teacher, 83(6), 356-361.
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Hanisch, S., Eirdosh, D., Schaefer, M., & Haun, D. B. M. (2021). What is “fair” is not the same everywhere. Frontiers for Young Minds, 9: 580435.
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Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2021). Evolving Schools in a Post-pandemic Context. In W. Leal Filho (Ed.), COVID-19: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable World (pp. 465-480). Springer.
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Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2021). Opportunities and challenges in qualitative data synthesis for school culture research. Talk presented at Workshop "Human Research Data in Practice". Munich. 2021-04-20 - 2021-04-20.
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Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2021). The music and social bonding hypothesis does require multilevel selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 44: e69.
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Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2021). Causal mapping as a teaching tool for reflecting on causation in human evolution. Science & Education, 30, 993-1022.
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Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2020). Can the science of Prosocial be a part of evolution education? Evolution: Education and Outreach, 13: 5.
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Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2020). Conceptual clarification of evolution as an interdisciplinary science. edarxiv.
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Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2020). A teacher's guide to evolution, behavior, and sustainability science. 2nd Edition. GlobalESD.
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Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2020). Educational potential of teaching evolution as an interdisciplinary science. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 13(25).
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Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2019). The role of evolutionary studies in education for sustainable development. In D. Sloan Wilson, G. Geher, H. Mativetsky, & A. C. Gallup (Eds.), Darwin's roadmap to the curriculum: Evolutionary studies in higher education (pp. 249-272). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Hanisch, S., & Eirdosh, D. (2019). A teacher's guide to evolution, behavior, and sustainability science. GlobalESD.
Open Access    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eirdosh, D., & Hanisch, S. (2017). Cultural Evolution in the Biology Classroom: A Design-Based Research Model in Education for Sustainable Development. Poster presented at Inaugural Cultural Evolution Society Conference, Jena.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote