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Dr Mhairi Gibson

My research focuses on population and health issues in resource-limited communities. This work combines anthropological and demographic methodologies with theoretical frameworks of evolutionary biology. Fieldwork-based research has explored the causes and consequences of population change, parenting and livelihood decisions among Oromo agropastoralists in Ethiopia. I’m also interested in understanding the biocultural factors which explain the persistence of normative practices which are harmful to women globally, including female genital cutting/mutilation, intimate partner violence and early marriage.

I welcome research proposals, in particular within Human Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Anthropology, and Applied Anthropology. 

Recently supervised student topics include:

  • Evolutionary explanations for “harmful cultural practices”
  • Socio-ecology of infectious disease in Uganda
  • Human behavioural ecology of labour migration in Ethiopia
  • Infant feeding practices in Somali-born women in Bristol