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Benedict King

Abteilung für Sprach- und Kulturevolution
Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

Telefon: +49 (0) 341 3550 267
E-Mail: benedict_king@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

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About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, and a member of the Comparative Oceanic Linguistics (CoOL) team. My main research focus is the construction phylogenetic trees of language relationships using Bayesian methods. From these trees I hope to learn about the origins of language families, how languages spread and the dynamics of language evolution. Through this research I have also become involved in improving tree-building methodology. I come from a background in Evolutionary Biology and Palaeontology.

Curriculum Vitae

2018 – 2020Postdoctoral Research Associate, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands
2014 – 2018PhD Evolutionary Biology, Flinders University, Australia
2010 – 2013BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK



Heggarty, P., Anderson, C., Scarborough, M., King, B., Bouckaert, R., Jocz, L., Kümmel, M. J., Jügel, T., Irslinger, B., Pooth, R., Liljegren, H., Strand, R. F., Haig, G., Macák, M., Kim, R. I., Anonby, E., Pronk, T., Belyaev, O., Dewey-Findell, T. K., Boutilier, M., Freiberg, C., Tegethoff, R., Serangeli, M., Liosis, N., Stroński, K., Schulte, K., Gupta, G. K., Haak, W., Krause, J., Atkinson, Q. D., Greenhill, S. J., Kühnert, D., & Gray, R. D. (2023). Language trees with sampled ancestors support a hybrid model for the origin of Indo-European languages. Science, 381(6656): eabg0818.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Choo, B., Holland, T., Clement, A. M., King, B., Challands, T., Young, G., & Long, J. A. (2023). A new stem-tetrapod fish from the Middle–Late Devonian of central Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 43(3): e2285000.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   


King, B., Marone, F., & Rücklin, M. (2021). Tooth development in the Early Devonian sarcopterygian Powichthys and the evolution of the crown osteichthyan dentition. Palaeontology, 64(5), 645-659.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

King, B., Reid, L., Walworth, M., Greenhill, S., & Gray, R. D. (2021). Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Philippine languages supports rapid initial Austronesian expansion followed by northward back-migration. Talk presented at 15th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Palacky University. online. 2021-06-28 - 2021-07-01.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Rücklin, M., King, B., Cunningham, J. A., Johanson, Z., Marone, F., & Donoghue, P. C. J. (2021). Acanthodian dental development and the origin of gnathostome dentitions. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 5, 919-926.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote