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Professor Alex Bentley
Professor Alex Bentley's research concerns modelling and understanding collective behaviour in society, and testing these models against real-world phenomena. This work applies the insights of evolutionary biology - including 'neutral' evolutionary models - toward modern popularity data. By providing a means to characterize how behaviours spread in modern populations -- the subject of his 2011 book with MIT press and a recent column in the New York Times – Professor Bentley has applied his work to real-world problems in U.K. government policy and NGOs and commercial businesses.
A second, distinct area of Bentley's research is the isotopic analysis of skeletal materials to explore questions of community diversity, kinship and social complexity in prehistoric settings. Recent projects focused on prehistoric Thailand and on early Neolithic of Europe to help reveal the nature and development of the world’s first agricultural communities. Recent isotopic results in PNAS (June 2012) report the oldest evidence for hereditary inequality in Neolithic Europe.
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- PhD. University of Wisconsin, Anthropology
- M.S. Cornell University, Geology/Geochemistry
- M.A. Cornell University, Archaeology
- B.A. Bowdoin College, Physics (Magna Cum Laude)
- Bentley, RA, Garnett, P, O'Brien, MJ & Brock, WA 2012, Word diffusion and climate science.. PLoS One, vol 7., pp. 1-9
- Bentley, R, Bickle, P, Fibiger, L, Nowell, G, Dale, C, Hedges, R, Hamilton, J, Wahl, J, Francken, M, Grupe, G, Lenneis, E, Teschler-Nicola, M, Aborgast, R-M & Whittle, A 2012, Community differentiation and kinship among Europe’s first farmers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 109., pp. 9326-9330
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- Garnett, P, Mollan, S & Bentley, RA 2015, Complexity in history: Modelling the organisational demography of the British banking sector. Business History, vol 57., pp. 181-201
- Bentley, RA, O'Brien, MJ & Brock, WA 2014, More on maps, terrains, and behaviors. Behavioral and brain sciences, vol 37., pp. 105-119
- King, CL, Bentley, RA, Higham, C, Tayles, N, Vioarsdottir, US, Layton, R, Macpherson, CG & Nowell, G 2014, Economic change after the agricultural revolution in Southeast Asia?. Antiquity, vol 88., pp. 112-125
- Bentley, RA, O'Brien, MJ & Brock, WA 2014, Mapping collective behavior in the big-data era. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol 37., pp. 63-119
- Bentley, RA, Acerbi, A, Ormerod, P & Lampos, V 2014, Books average previous decade of economic misery. PLoS ONE, vol 9.
- Bentley, RA, Caiado, CCS & Ormerod, P 2014, Effects of memory on spatial heterogeneity in neutrally transmitted culture. Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 35., pp. 257-263
- Bickle, P, Bentley, RA, Dočkalová, M, Fibiger, L, Griffiths, S, Hamilton, J, Hedges, R, Hofmann, D, Mateiciucová, I & Whittle, A 2014, Early neolithic lifeways in Moravia and Western Slovakia: Comparing archaeological, osteological and isotopic data from cemetery and settlement burials of the linearbandkeramik (LBK). Anthropologie (Czech Republic), vol 52., pp. 35-72
- Acerbi, A & Bentley, RA 2014, Biases in cultural transmission shape the turnover of popular traits. Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 35., pp. 228-236
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