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Dr Mhairi Gibson

My research focuses on the application of evolutionary ecology to emerging population and health issues in low income settings. This combines anthropological and demographic methodologies with theoretical frameworks of evolutionary biology. Financially supported by the ESRC, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, my fieldwork-based research has explored the causes and consequences of population change, parenting and livelihood decisions in rural Ethiopia. I am also interested in the biocultural factors which may explain the persistence of normative practices which are harmful to women, including FGC, early marriage and intimate-partner violence. 

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

Recently supervised student topics include:

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