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Heidi Colleran

Independent Max Planck Research Group Leader

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig  

E-mail: heidi_colleran@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Office: level 1, room b1.11

Research interests

I’m an anthropologist working at the intersection of socio-cultural anthropology, demography and cultural evolution. I have a background in philosophy and russian, and postgraduate training in psychology and evolutionary anthropology. 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 sciences and humanities. I have ongoing interests in population genetics, linguistics, political science, psychology and philosophy of science. Between 2016 and 2019 I managed the interdisciplinary Vanuatu Languages and Lifeways project at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena.

I currently lead the BirthRites independent research group, which focuses on the anthropology of reproduction and its implications for evolution and demography.

I am co-Investigator on the ERC consolidator grant: Multilingual worlds – neglected histories. Uncovering their emergence, continuity and loss in past and present societies, led by PI Justyna Olko https://en.uw.edu.pl/second-erc-grant-awarded-to-professor-justyna-olko/). We focus on the contemporary and historical dynamics of multilingualism in four world regions, including Vanuatu. 

I am always interested in hearing from potential PhD or Postdoctoral candidates. If you would like to join my group or collaborate, please get in touch.

Publications

Yengo, L., & Colleran, H. (2022). Constrained human genes under scrutiny. Nature, 603, 799-801.
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Sibilsky, A., Colleran, H., McElreath, R., & Haun, D. B. M. (2022). Expanding the understanding of majority-bias in children’s social learning. Scientific Reports, 12: 6723.
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Sibilsky, A., Colleran, H., McElreath, R., & Haun, D. B. M. (2021). Conformity decreases throughout middle childhood among Ni-Vanuatu children: An intracultural comparison. Developmental Psychology, 57(9), 1497-1509.
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Broesch, T., Crittenden, A. N., Beheim, B. A., Blackwell, A. D., Bunce, J. A., Colleran, H., Hagel, K., Kline, M., McElreath, R., Nelson, R. G., Pisor, A. C., Prall, S., Pretelli, I., Purzycki, B., Quinn, E. A., Ross, C., Scelza, B., Starkweather, K. E., Stieglitz, J., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2020). Navigating cross-cultural research: Methodological and ethical considerations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287: 20201245.
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Colleran, H. (2020). Market integration reduces kin density in women’s ego-networks in rural Poland. Nature Communications, 11: 266.
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Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Towner, M. C., Baldini, R., Beheim, B. A., Bowles, S., Colleran, H., Gurven, M., Kramer, K. L., Mattison, S. M., Nolin, D. A., Scelza, B. A., Schniter, E., Sear, R., Shenk, M. K., Voland, E., & Ziker, J. (2019). Differences between sons and daughters in the intergenerational transmission of wealth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374(1780): 20180076.
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Posth, C., Nägele, K., Colleran, H., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Gray, R. D., Krause, J., & Powell, A. (2019). Response to “Ancient DNA and its contribution to understanding the human history of the Pacific Islands” (Bedford et al. 2018). Archaeology in Oceania, 54, 57-61.
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Ross, C., Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Oh, S.-Y., Bowles, S., Beheim, B. A., Bunce, J. A., Caudell, M., Clark, G., Colleran, H., Cortez, C., Draper, P., Greaves, R. D., Gurven, M., Headland, T., Headland, J., Hill, K., Hewlett, B., Kaplan, H. S., Koster, J., Kramer, K., Marlowe, F., McElreath, R., Nolin, D., Quinlan, M., Quinlan, R., Revilla-Minaya, C., Scelza, B., Schacht, R., Shenk, M., Uehara, R., Voland, E., Willführ, K., Winterhalder, B., & Ziker, J. (2018). Greater wealth inequality, less polygyny: Rethinking the polygyny threshold model. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 15(144): 20180035.
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Colleran, H., & Snopkowski, K. (2018). Variation in wealth and educational drivers of fertility decline across 45 countries. Population Ecology, 60(1-2), 155-169.
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Posth, C., Nägele, K., Colleran, H., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Kami, K. W., Shing, R., Buckley, H., Kinaston, R., Walworth, M., Clark, G. R., Reepmeyer, C., Flexner, J., Maric, T., Moser, J., Gresky, J., Kiko, L., Robson, K. J., Auckland, K., Oppenheimer, S. J., Hill, A. V. S., Mentzer, A. J., Zech, J., Petchey, F., Roberts, P., Jeong, C., Gray, R. D., Krause, J., & Powell, A. (2018). Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(4), 731-740.
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Colleran, H. (2016). The cultural evolution of fertility decline. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1692): 20150152.
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Colleran, H., & Mace, R. (2015). Social network- and community-level influences on contraceptive use: Evidence from rural Poland. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1807): 20150398.
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Colleran, H., Jasienska, G., Nenko, I., Galbarczyk, A., & Mace, R. (2015). Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1806): 20150287.
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Colleran, H., Jasienska, G., Nenko, I., Galbarczyk, A., & Mace, R. (2014). Community-level education accelerates the cultural evolution of fertility decline. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1779): 20132732.
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Colleran, H. (2014). Farming in transition: Land and property inheritance in a rural Polish population. Society, Biology & Human Affairs, 78(1-2), 7-19.
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