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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@~@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. 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.


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. (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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