Jump directly to main navigation Jump directly to content Jump to sub navigation

Natalia Fedorova

Doctoral Student

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

Phone: +49 341 3550 320
E-mail: natalia_fedorova@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Humans have a diverse set of settlement strategies, ranging from high-mobility foraging characterized by ephemeral shelter to high-density urban living in permanent settlements. Starting with experiments with sedentarism in the early Holocene, humans have now become a mainly urban species, with almost 60% of the global population living in urban environments. Yet, our understanding of where urban environments came from, how and why they persist, and why they spread is still in its infancy. 

My doctoral research, under the supervision of Richard McElreath, Anne Kandler, and Bret A. Beheim, aims to develop an understanding of urbanisation that is in keeping with Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE). To do this, I am working on extending theory in HBE to account for urbanisation processes, as well as conducting an empirical study in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In Ulaanbaatar, I work in the rapidly expanding regions of the city (the so called "ger districts") which provide an appropriate context in which to explore differential investment in housing given the heterogeneity of the built environment. 





Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

2018-presentMax Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behaviour, Ecology, and Culture
PhD Candidate: The co-evolution of human settlement and human culture,
Supervised by Richard McElreath, Anne Kandler, and Bret Beheim


2016-2017University of Amsterdam
M.Sc., Urban and Regional Planning (Cum Laude)
Courses: Planning methodologies, Climate proof development of cities and strategic planning, Contemporary approaches in property-led urban planning, Metropolitan transportation planning, Innovative international planning practices, Planning research: empirical research methods and techniques
I-City Master studio: Team project presenter and winner of best team project
Master Thesis: Clusters and Co-location: The Spatial Geography of Innovation in Amsterdam, study addressing the location of innovative enterprises in relation to population factors at the city level.
Supervised by Dr. Bas Hissink Muller. Graded as a 9.5/10, the highest in the year and seldom awarded
2012-2016University of St Andrews 
M.A., Psychology, I (First class honors) 
Main focus: Evolution and cultural evolution 
Dissertation: Chimpanzee Greeting Behaviour, study addressing the vocalisations and gesturers used by chimpanzees during greeting instances. Supervised by Dr. Catherine Hobaiter. Graded as a first class thesis. 
Awards: Dean’s list 2015/2016 (credit-weighted mean at first class for the academic year)
2010-2012Spojena Skola Novohradska
High School, IB Diploma
Subjects: Biology HL, English Literature HL, History HL, Psychology, Mathematics, Slovak (37 out of 45 points achieved)

Research Experience

09/2017-03/2018Research guest 
Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Behaviour, Ecology, and Culture
  • Exploring research pertaining to the relationship between human cultural evolution and urbanization
2016-2017Independent research internship
IN Architekti
  • Working with urban architects to research the role of psychology in urban planning
ECBB 2016
  • Fedorova N., Hobaiter C., Matsuzawa T.: What a way to say hello: The form and function of greetings in Bossou Chimpanzees. Poster presented at ECBB 2016
2015-2017Research project: Woodpecker cranial capacity and sociality
Supervisor: Prof. Richard Byrne
  • Awarded grant from School of Psychology and Neuroscience Internship Fund
  • Fedorova N., Evans C.L., Byrne R.W., Are social woodpeckers bird-brains? Testing the Social Brain Hypothesis. Poster presented at ASAB winter conference 2016
  • Fedorova, N., Evans, C. L., & Byrne, R. W. (2017). Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers. Biology Letters, 13(3).
2015-2016Research project: Perceptions of Bearded Faces Perception Lab, St Andrews
  • Worked on the research methodology and data collection of a collaborative research project studying the effects of bearded stimuli on participant’s ratings of personal traits 
2015Workshop: “Mate Choice: A Fussy Affair ”
Sexpression Scotland Conference 2015
  • Conducted a workshop on parental investment and evolutionary approaches to human mate choice
2014-2015Research Assistant
Perception Lab, St Andrews
  • Carried out the stimuli preparation and data collection of several experiments
2014-2015Research Assistant
Edinburgh Zoo
  • Assisted data collection on a study addressing selective imitation in 5-7 year olds