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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Jeremy Kendal

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Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Director of Research, Department of Anthropology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41630
Co-Director (Research & Professional Development) in the Durham Research Methods Centre

Contact Dr Jeremy Kendal (email at

Research Interests

My research concerns cultural transmission and population dynamics. Most of my research uses quantitative methods, including behavioural experiments, computer simulation, statistical analyses and mathematical modelling. Here are some of my ongoing or recent projects:

Cross-cultural patterns:

 Cultural transmission processes:

Health and disease:

  • Spread of addictive behaviours including drinking (with Caroline Walters and Brian Straughan), gambling (with Adam Flitton) and self-harm (with Alex Newman).
  • Norms of antibiotic use and bacterial strain evolution (with Mark Tanaka).

PhD Opportunities

I welcome proposals for PhD projects in the research areas highlighted above. 

Proposals will be developed during Autumn/Fall of 2019 for Durham studentship competitions.


I teach modules relating to behaviour, evolution and statistics.


BSc (Hons) in Biology, University of Nottingham (1997)

MSc in Biological Computation, University of York (1998).

PhD entitled Social Learning: Mechanisms, Functions and Evolutionary Consequences (2003), Sub-Dept. of Animal Behaviour, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge, supervised by Kevin Laland.

Postdoc, Feldman lab, Stanford University (2003-5), developing mathematical models of cultural evolution in humans.

Postdoc, Laland Lab, University of St. Andrews (2005-7), using behaviour experiments and mathematical models to investigate the evolution of social learning strategies.

RCUK Research Fellowship, Durham University (2007-12).

Lecturer (2012-14) then Senior Lecturer (2014-).

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Research Interests

  • Social transmission and population dynamics


Chapter in book

  • Kendal, Jeremy (2017). Foreword. In The Evolution of Human Wisdom. Deane-Drummond, Celia & Fuentes, Agustín Lanham: Lexington Books. vii.
  • Kendal, J.R. & Walters, C. (2015). Cultural Evolution, Gene–Culture Coevolution, and Human Health: an Introduction to Modelling Approaches. In Tipping Points: Modelling Social Problems and Health. Bissell, J., Caiado, C., Curtis, S., Goldstein, M. & Straughan, B. Wiley. 146-167.
  • Kendal, J.R. (2015). Gene-Culture Coevolution. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Wright, J.D. Oxford: Elsevier. 9: 813-818.
  • Kendal, J.R. (2013). Gene-culture Coevolution. In Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia. McGee, J. & Warms, R. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. 7: 316-319.
  • Kendal, J.R. (2011). Interactions between cognition and culture. In Evolutionary Psychology: a critical introduction. Swami, V. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 311-342.
  • Laland, K.N., Kendal, J.R. & Kendal, R.L. (2009). Animal culture: problems and solutions. In The Question of Animal Culture. Laland, K.N. & Galef, B.G. Jr. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
  • Laland, K.N. & Kendal, J.R. (2003). What the models say about animal social learning. In The Biology of Traditions. Fragaszy, D.M. & Perry, S. Chicago University Press. 33-55.

Journal Article


Working Paper

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Evolution: Social Learning - examining how animals and humans learn from one another.
  • Evolution: niche construction - examining the evolutionary consequences of organisms modifying their environment
  • Evolution: gene-culture coevolution - examining the interaction between the evolution of genetic traits and cultural traits.
  • Evolution: Cultural evolution - examining the spread of cultural traits.