Dr Jamie Tehrani
(email at email@example.com)
My research focuses on how culture evolves as it gets transmitted from person to person and from generation to generation. I am interested in understanding what makes some things catch on, others die out, and how these processes shape patterns of cultural diversity within and across populations. I was trained in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics (1995 - 1999) and gained a Master's degree in Human Evolution and Behaviour at University College London (2000). I remained at UCL to study for a PhD in Anthropology (2005), writing my thesis on the transmission of craft traditions in Iranian tribal groups. In 2006 I took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (CECD) at University College London, before joining Durham in 2007 as a RCUK Fellow, where I was appointed as a Lecturer in Anthropology in 2012.
- Cultural evolution
- Phylogenetic analysis of culture
- Social learning
- Cognitive anthropology
- Oral traditions
- Material culture
- Fairy tales
- Tehrani, J.J. (2013). As they spread, folktales evolve like biological species.. The Conversation
- Tehrani, J. (2013). Viewpoint: Did our brains evolve to foolishly follow celebrities?. BBC News Magazine
- Tehrani, J. J. & Carrithers, M. (2015). Perspectives on the intersection of biology and society. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21(2): 470–472.
- Tehrani, J. & Collard, M. (2013). Do Transmission Isolating Mechanisms (TRIMS) influence cultural evolution? Evidence from patterns of textile diversity within and between Iranian tribal groups. In Understanding Cultural Transmission in Anthropology: A Critical Synthesis. Ellen, R., Lycett, S. & Johns, S. Berghahn. 26: 148-164.
- Tehrani, J. (2011). Missing links: species, artefacts and the cladistic reconstruction of prehistory. In Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies - A Dialogue. Cochrane, E. & Gardner, A. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press. 245 - 263.
- Tehrani, J. & Layton, R. (2009). Genes versus culture. In Thinking About Almost Everything. Amin, A. & O'Neill, M. Profile Books. 54 - 57.
- Tehrani, J. & Collard, M. (2009). The evolution of material culture diversity among Iranian tribal populations. In Pattern and Process in Cultural Evolution. Shennan, S. University of California Press. 99-111.
- Collard, M., Shennan, S. & Tehrani, J. (2006). Branching versus blending in macroscale cultural evolution: a comparative study. In Mapping Our Ancestors. Lipo, C., O'Brien, M., Collard, M. & Shennan, S. New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction. 53-63.
- Collard, M. & Tehrani, J. (2005). Phylogenesis versus ethnogenesis in Turkmen cultural evolution. In The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. Mace, R., Holden, C. & Shennan, S. London: UCL Press. 109-132.
Edited works: journals
- Kendal, J., Tehrani, J. & Odling-Smee, J. (2011). Human Niche Construction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366 (1566).
Journal papers: academic
- Tehrani, J. J., Nguyen, Q. & Roos, T. (2015). Oral Fairy Tale or Literary Fake? Investigating the Origins of Little Red Riding Hood Using Phylogenetic Network Analysis. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (Advanced Access).
- Stubbersfield, J.M., Tehrani, J.J. & Flynn, E.G. (2015). Serial killers, spiders and cybersex social and survival information bias in the transmission of urban legends. British Journal of Psychology 106(2): 288-307.
- Larson, G., Stephens, P.A., Tehrani, J. & Layton, R.H. (2013). Exapting exaptation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28(9): 497-498.
- Stubbersfield, J. & Tehrani, J. (2013). Expect the Unexpected? Testing for Minimally Counterintuitive (MCI) Bias in the Transmission of Contemporary Legends: A Computational Phylogenetic Approach. Social Science Computer Review 31(1): 90-102.
- Tehrani, J. (2013). Reply to Lajoye, d'Huy and Le Quellec (Comment on Tehrani 2013, The Phylogeny of Little Red Riding Hood). Nouvelle Mythologie Comparée / New Comparative Mythology 1(12).
- Tehrani, J.J. (2013). The Phylogeny of Little Red Riding Hood. PLoS ONE 8(11): e78871.
- Layton, R., Tehrani, J., Tian, Y., Du, X. & Yi, G. (2012). The transmission of culture in weaving and woodblock printing, Shandong Province. Humanities and Social Sciences Journal of Jiangnan University 5: 93-99.
- Kendal, J.R., Tehrani, J.J. & Odling-Smee, J. (2011). Human Niche Construction in Interdisciplinary Focus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences 366(1566): 785-792.
- Tehrani, J. (2011). Patterns of evolution in Iranian tribal textiles. Evolution: Education and Outreach 4(3): 390-396.
- Matthews L. J, Tehrani J. J., Jordan F. M., Collard M. & Nunn C.L. (2011). Testing for divergent transmission histories among cultural characters: a study using Bayesian phylogenetic methods and Iranian tribal textile data. PLoS One 6(4): e14810
- Tehrani, J.J., Collard, M. & Shennan, S.J. (2010). The cophylogeny of populations and cultures: reconstructing the evolution of Iranian tribal craft traditions using trees and jungles. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 365(1559): 3865-3874.
- Tehrani, J. J. (2010). The past and future of the evolutionary taxonomy of cultures. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 8(2): 169-182.
- Bentley, R.A., Layton, R.H. & Tehrani, J.J. (2009). Kinship, marriage and the genetics of past human dispersals. Human Biology 81(2-3): 159-179.
- Tehrani, J. & Collard, M. (2009). On the relationship between interindividual cultural transmission and population-level cultural diversity: a case study of weaving in Iranian tribal populations. Evolution and Human Behavior 30(4): 286–300.e2.
- Tehrani, J. J., Bentley, R. A. & O'Brien, M. J. (2008). Language is nothing special: Response to "Across the curious parallel of language and species evolution" by J. Whitfield. PLoS Biology 6(e186).
- Tehrani, J. & Riede, F. (2008). Towards an archaeology of pedagogy: learning, teaching and the generation of material culture traditions. World Archaeology 40(3): 316-331.
- Collard, M, Shennan, SJ & Tehrani, JJ (2006). Branching, blending, and the evolution of cultural similarities and differences among human populations. Evolution And Human Behavior 27(3): 169-184.
- Tehrani, J. (2006). The role of ethnography in the science of cultural evolution (Comment on Mesoudi, Whiten and Laland). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29: 363-364.
- Tehrani, J. & Collard, M. (2002). Investigating cultural evolution through biological phylogenetic analyses of Turkmen textiles. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 21(4): 443-463.