We study animal behaviour and evolution, with a specific focus on: (i) animal social learning, innovation and intelligence, (ii) niche construction, inclusive inheritance and the extended evolutionary synthesis, and (iii) human evolution, particularly the evolution of cognition.
Our work is highly interdisciplinary, lying on the interface of animal behaviour, evolutionary biology, ecology and psychology, and combining a wide variety of empirical and theoretical approaches.
Our findings are of significance to a broad range of researchers, including animal behaviourists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, neuroscientists and economists, and have implications for work on artificial intelligence, robotics and conservation.
Putting the extended evolutionary synthesis to the test
A new £5.7m grant from the John Templeton Foundation funds an international, interdisciplinary research program for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.
Our recent publications include:
Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making, teaching and language
Morgan TJH, Uomini N, Rendell LE, Chouinard-Thuly L, Street SE, Lewis HM, Cross CP, Evans C, Kearney R, de la Torre I, Whiten A & Laland KN
2015 Nature Communications
Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?
KN Laland, T Uller, MW Feldman, K Sterelny, GB Muller, A Moczek, E Jablonka, FJ Odling-Smee
2014 Nature 514: 161-164.
Identification of the social and cognitive processes underlying human cumulative culture
LG Dean, RL Kendal, SJ Schapiro, B Thierry, KN Laland
2012 Science 335: 1114-1118.
Cause and effect in biology revisited: Is Mayr’s proximate-ultimate dichotomy still useful?
KN Laland, K Sterelny, FJ Odling-Smee, W Hoppitt, T Uller
2011 Science 334: 1512-1516.
Why copy others? Insights from the social learning strategies tournament
L Rendell, R Boyd, D Cownden, M Enquist, K Eriksson, MW Feldman, L Fogarty, S Ghirlanda, T Lillicrap, KN Laland
2010 Science 328: 208-213.
How culture shaped the human genome: Bringing genetics and the human sciences together
KN Laland, J Odling-Smee & S Myles
2010 Nature Reviews Genetics 11: 137-148.
Do you study social learning?
Try our powerful statistical methods for better results.
Do you want to use our Primate Dataset?
It can be found here.