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H. Clark Barrett is an anthropologist who studies human thought and behavior from evolutionary, cultural, and developmental perspectives. He uses cross-cultural comparisons to examine universals and variation in how people think about the natural world, about the minds of others, and about morality. For 20 years he has conducted fieldwork in indigenous communities in southeastern Ecuador, and is currently co-PI on the Geography of Philosophy Project, a multi-site project that examines diversity and universality in philosophical concepts around the world.

Bret Beheim studies the diffusion of cultural and technological innovations using the framework of evolutionary ecology, including language change, the spread of milk consumption, and processes of market integration in the Bolivian Amazon. He also leads the Data Provenance Research Group at MPI-EVA and focuses on incorporating open science and reproducibility practices into field data collection.

(Associate professor, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University)

I study early social-cognitive development in children living in diverse social contexts. My research has three primary objectives. First, I examine current theories spanning psychology, anthropology and education, to determine whether they are western-biased, or generalizable to other contexts. Second, I examine how the first 7 years of life impact the developing mind. My past research has demonstrated a remarkable number of similarities across diverse contexts, such as early parenting behaviours. Yet, we also find striking differences in parental socialization goals and behaviour depending on context. Third, I aim to involve communities in the research process with the goal of having citizen-led research objectives. I am involved in several collaborative endeavors, all with objectives to better understand the developing mind and human social life.  

I’m an anthropologist working at the intersection of socio-cultural anthropology, demography and cultural evolution. My main area of interest is the relationship between reproductive behaviour, culture, and population dynamics. My work combines approaches from the humanities and social sciences and tries to bridge micro and macro levels of analysis.

I maintain two field-based research projects in rural Poland and Vanuatu. I also collaborate with colleagues across the social sciences and humanities. Between 2016 and 2019 I managed the Vanuatu Languages and Lifeways project at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. I now lead the BirthRites independent research group, which focuses on the anthropology of reproduction and its implications for evolution and demography.

Alejandrina (Alex) Cristia is a Research Director in the Laboratoire de Science Cognitives et Psycholinguistique at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France. She is interested in the linguistic representations of infants and adults, how they develop and how they shape the world’s languages, moving beyond the well-researched Western and rich populations. In her research, she combines a range of methodological approaches such as analyses of spoken corpora, behavioral studies, neuroimaging (NIRS) and computational modeling. Cristia advocates cumulative science and is a co-creator of the meta-analysis platform MetaLab (metalab.stanford.edu).

Natalia Dutra is a postdoctoral researcher in the Evolution of Human Behavior Laboratory (LECH), at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil). She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Durham University (England). Most of her fieldwork has been conducted in Natal (Brazil) and Durham (England), though she has collaborated in several projects with researchers across the globe. Her research focuses on human cooperation, cultural learning, and executive functions. She is also interested in open science and diversity in science.

Simon J. Greenhill is a senior scientist in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at Australian National University. He is one of the editors of Language Dynamics and Change and on the editorial board of the Journal of Language Evolution. His research focuses on language diversity and what it tells us about human prehistory, mainly using Bayesian phylogenetic methods. He is also involved in building a number of large-scale linguistic and cultural databases.

I am a developmental psychologist at the New College of the University of Oxford who studies social cognition and motivation in early ontogeny from the first year of life to school-age: How young children’s understanding of the social world shapes their own behaviour to initiate, maintain, and repair cooperative relationships with others. Together with my colleagues we have designed integrative experimental paradigms that allow us to assess children’s internal states and subtle emotional expressions while they engage with their peers in naturalistic study designs. We use eye tracking, pupillometry, and depth sensor imaging to capture the internal mechanisms that underlie young children’s (pro)social motivation.

Solveig Jurkat studied Communication Science and Psychology at the University of Jena (Germany) and Empirical Communication Research at the University of Leipzig (Germany). During her studies, she worked at the Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany) where she could gain first field site experience in Namibia as a student assistant. In 2018, she started her PhD at the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Münster (Germany) on the development of culture-specific attentional styles of 4 to 9 year old children in urban Japan, urban Germany and indigenous-heritage communities in rural Ecuador. More specifically, she investigates the mechanisms underlying the habitualized ways of perceiving the world taking into account culture-specific socialisation practices, namely verbal attention guidance.Furthermore, she is interested in the development of social perception, person conception and attributional styles across cultures.

Using methods from anthropology and psychology, I conduct research in hunter-gatherer societies to understand the cultural diversity in, and evolution of, social learning in childhood. I received my PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2019. For my doctoral research, I conducted a total of 14 months of fieldwork with Hadza and BaYaka foragers from Tanzania and the Republic of Congo, respectively. The results of my dissertation challenge the assumption that cultural transmission necessarily flows from older to younger generations, instead showing that children are active acquirers and teachers of knowledge and skill. By investigating children’s learning in two foraging populations using the same methodology, my doctoral research also demonstrated that cultural beliefs, environment, settlement structure, and subsistence opportunities explain cross-cultural differences in time allocation to learning activities. My postdoctoral project at Simon Fraser University aims to understand how BaYaka children learn to make and use tools, in order to shed light on the diversity, evolution, and function of cultural toolkits. Beyond my field-based research, I also conduct comparative research on the pasts, presents, and futures of hunter-gatherer children’s learning through Forager Child Studies (https://foragerchildstudies.wixsite.com/home), a research collaborative I co-founded and co-direct. Our interdisciplinary team conducts systematic reviews and secondary data analyses on topics relevant to the study of hunter-gatherer childhoods. You can learn more about my research at https://sites.google.com/view/sheinalewlevy/home

I am a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge and lead investigator on the inter-disciplinary Brain Imaging for Global Health (BRIGHT) Project. My research focuses on the investigation of core early cognitive and neural mechanisms in infancy: in particular through the optimisation and application of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study infant brain development, and I have spent the last 15 years optimising fNIRS for use with developmental populations. Currently, a major focus of my work is to better understand early brain specialisation by developing field friendly neuroimaging and behavioural toolkits for use in low-income settings in the UK, Africa and Asia.
I was instrumental in implementing the first proof of principle studies using neuroimaging (functional near infrared spectroscopy – fNIRS) in The Gambia prior to the large scale prospective longitudinal BRIGHT study that we are now running funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This initial work led to the Globalfnirs initiative (www.globalfnirs.org) to support the application of fNIRS in global health projects.
I held a postdoctoral research position at Birkbeck, University of London (2011 - 2019) after completing a PhD in developmental cognitive neuroscience at Birkbeck (part time 2006 - 2011) with Professors Clare Elwell and Mark Johnson. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of my work I hold Honorary Research Associate positions in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London and the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at UCL. Through collaborations such as these I have had the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of my research field to address new questions and challenges: I have been honoured to receive awards and funding for research, including the Association for Psychological Sciences Rising Star Award, the early career Wiley Prize in Psychology from the British Academy.

In 2019 I began a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow to optimise a developmental neuroimaging toolkit to take into the home to measure early brain function and behaviour across the perinatal period and understand how individual differences in neurodevelopmental trajectories associate with poverty associated challenges in the UK. During my fellowship I hope to use my research findings in partnership with community informed initiatives to develop novel early life interventions for global health contexts. 

Richard McElreath is director of the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. His research focuses on the role of behavioral flexibility and culture in human evolution, as well as the development and teaching of advanced inferential methods.

Dr. Sandersan (Sandy) Onie is a postdoctoral fellow at the Black Dog Institute, UNSW Sydney with a focus on suicide prevention, and foundation chair of Emotional Health for All, a mental health foundation based in Indonesia. In his work, he leads and advises research projects, non-profits, and government across Asia Pacific, including developing Indonesia's first national suicide prevention strategy, using Google Ads for suicide prevention, as well as authoring a book for community peer support. In addition, he champions science infrastructure across the Global South, having organized Indonesia's largest science webinar, leading invited science policy, founding the South East Asian Network for Open Science, and collaborating with the International Science Council to build open science across South East Asia. Furthermore, he was invited to write a Nature Comment on the topic of building open science in the Global South, and is currently organizing south east asia's largest science webinar. 

I’m a cross-cultural and comparative psychologist studying variation in cognitive flexibility within the primate lineage and across human cultures. Specifically, my research explores the contexts in which familiar strategies block better ones from being adopted. My work combines demographic, observational, and empirical approaches to understand how both flexible and inflexible behavior contributes to cultural evolution.

I am currently cultivating two research projects exploring variation in cognitive flexibility in nonhuman and human primates. The first project focuses on species differences in optimal strategy-use in nonhuman apes and is based out of the Leipzig Zoo. My second project is a cross-cultural assessment of the developmental trajectory and the impact of subsistence style on cognitive flexibility. My primary field site is in the Likouala region of the Republic of the Congo, working with both BaYaka foragers and Bondongo farmers.

Link to CV

Prof. Thomas Stodulka is an Assistant Professor for Psychological Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. He has substantial expertise in conducting anthropological fieldwork in different areas in Indonesia and in East Timor. For many years, he ran a shelter for chronically ill young people in Yogyakarta and published the results of his field research in the book "Coming of Age on the Streets of Java". He is particularly interested in developing mixed-methods approaches combining qualitative and quantitative approaches and he played a central role in several interdisciplinary research projects, such as “Languages of Emotion” and “The Researchers Affects”. Currently, he is a fellow at the Leipzig Lab at Leipzig University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, where he is part of the core team working in the project “Children and Nature”. He is also co-founder of the European Network for Psychological Anthropology and Associate Editor of Ethos (AAA).

Neziswa Titi is a is a Research Psychologist by profession and works for the Children’s Institute of University of Cape Town. Her work focusses on decolonial thought, child-centric methodologies, children’s voices, child protection and service provision to children and families, child rights advocacy, youth-led parliamentary advocacy on the Children’s Act with particular interest in alternative care; and the intersections of violence against women and children. Her doctoral research focused on how to determine and provide an in-depth understanding of African children’s sense-making of their experiences with sexual violence trauma through decolonial, African-centred and child-centred theorising.  Titi developed a model for decolonising African-entered child-centric psychological tools for working with children who have been sexually violated.  Her model is contextually focused on children living in South African townships but has much broader generalisations for Black children throughout the African Diaspora. Neziswa is currently serving on the editorial advisory committee of the Annual South African Child Gauge and on the interim steering committee of the South African National Child Rights Coalition (SANCRC) for Child Protection. She is vice-chairperson of the Psychological Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Division of Research and Methodologies (DRM) and co-leads the Conceptual Interconnections working group in the International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP).

My name is Helen Wefers. I am currently doing my PHD in developmental psychology at the University of Münster (Germany), investigating the socialization of affect and activity during early infancy in indigenous communities in rural Ecuador and urban Germany. More specifically, I am interested in maternal ethnotheories that underlie those parenting practices, in the dynamics of mother-child interaction and in developmental outcomes. My experience with the development of research structures in Ecuador motivated me to ask questions about reciprocity in our research relationships and about research ethics, which are now topics that I also work on.

Some words about my professional background: After studying psychology in Osnabrück (Germany) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), I started my post-graduate training in psychotherapy. In 2016, I became part of the workgroup of Prof. Joscha Kärtner. Since then, I am focussing mainly on my PHD project and working part-time as a psychotherapist for children and adolescents.