Dr Ian Rickard, BSc (Glasgow), PhD (Sheffield)
(email at email@example.com)
I am an evolutionary biologist and I am interested in what makes people different from one another. How are these two things related to one another? My reasoning is that the study of differences between individuals of a species is the domain of biology, and biology only really makes sense when understood from an evolutionary perspective. So if you want to understand individual human differences at a very basic level, you need to apply evolutionary thinking.
Evolutionary thinking has become progressively more common in the human sciences over the last few decades. Scientists are using evolutionary ideas to try to understand why someone’s environment in the womb affects their risk of getting diseases like diabetes many years later, or why social environment in childhood influences the rate at which an individual becomes sexually mature and starts a family. An evolutionary approach is essential to understand why we see patterns such as these, because the way we respond to our environment has been shaped by millions of years of natural selection in humans and our ancestors. I carry out research aimed at understanding questions such as these.
Recently, I have been investigating a different evolutionary question: How does environmental change (including demographic change experienced all over the world over the past few hundred years) affect evolutionary processes in humans, and what will the consequences of these be?
I believe that not only do the answers to all of these questions hold a great deal of intrinsic interest, they also they have important consequences for understanding human biology and behavior.
Department of Anthropology
- Evolutionary ecology
- Human biology
- Individual variation
- Life history theory
- Natural selection
Chapter in book
- Rickard, I.J. (2016). The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Adaptation Reconsidered. In Evolutionary Thinking in Medicine: From Research to Policy and Practice. Alvergne, A., Jenkinson, C. & Faurie, C. Cham: Springer. 75-88.
- Berg, V., Lummaa, V., Rickard, I.J., Silventoinen, K., Capri, J. & Jokela, M. (2016). Genetic Associations Between Personality Traits and Lifetime Reproductive Success in Humans. Behavior Genetics 46(6): 742-753.
- Jokela, M, Alvergne, A, Rotkirch, A, Rickard, IJ & Lummaa, V (2014). Associations between family size and offspring education depend on aspects of parental personality. Personality and Individual Differences 58: 95-100.
- Nettle, D., Frankenhuis, W.E. & Rickard, I.J. (2014). The evolution of predictive adaptive responses in humans: response. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1780): 20132822.
- Pollet, T.V., Tybur, J., Frankenhuis, W.E. & Rickard, I.J. (2014). What Can Cross-Cultural Correlations Teach Us about Human Nature?. Human Nature 25(3): 410-429.
- Rickard, I.J., Frankenhuis, W.E. & Nettle, D. (2014). Why are childhood family factors associated with timing of maturation? A role for internal prediction. Perspectives on Psychological Science 9(1): 3-15.
- Courtiol, A., Rickard, I.J., Lummaa, V., Prentice, A.M., Fulford, A.J.C. & Stearns, S.C. (2013). The demographic transition influences variance in fitness and selection on height and BMI in rural Gambia. Current Biology 23(10): 884-889.
- Nettle, D., Frankenhuis, W.E. & Rickard, I.J. (2013). The evolution of predictive adaptive responses in human life history. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280(1766).
- Hayward, A.D., Rickard, I.J. & Lummaa, V. (2013). The influence of early-life nutrition on mortality and reproductive success during a subsequent famine in a pre-industrial population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(34): 13886-13891.
- Holopainen, J., Rickard, I.J. & Helama, H. (2012). Climatic signatures in crops and grain prices in nineteenth century Sweden. The Holocene 22(8): 939-945.
- Rickard, I.J., Courtiol, A., Prentice, A.M., Fulford, A.J., Clutton-Brock, T.H. & Lummaa, V. (2012). Intergenerational effects of maternal birth season on offspring size in rural Gambia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279(1745): 4253-4262.
- Rickard, I.J. (2012). Serum IGF-I in middle age covaries with reproductive life-history traits in British men and women. American Journal of Human Biology 24(4): 495-505.
- Nettle, D., Frankenhuis, W.E. & Rickard, I.J. (2012). The adaptive basis of psychosocial acceleration. Developmental Psychology 48(3): 718-721.
- Rickard, I.J., Prentice A.M., Fulford A.J.C. & Lummaa, V. (2012). Twinning propensity and offspring in utero growth covary in rural African women. Biology Letters 8(1): 67-70.
- Rickard, I.J., Courtiol, A. & Lummaa, V. (2012). Why do twinning women have higher lifetime fertility?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279(1738): 2510-2511.
- Rickard, I.J., Holopainen, J., Helama, S., Helle, S., Russell, A.F. & Lummaa, V. (2010). Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans. Ecology 91(12): 3515-3525.
- Jokela, M., Rotkirch, A., Rickard, I.J., Pettay, J. & Lummaa, V. (2010). Serial monogamy increases reproductive success in men but not in women. Behavioral Ecology 21(5): 906-912.
- Rickard, I.J., Lummaa, V. & Russell, A.F. (2009). Elder brothers affect the life-history of younger siblings in pre-industrial humans: Social consequence or biological cost?. Evolution and Human Behavior 30(1): 49-57.
- Rickard, I.J. (2008). Kanazawa’s ‘Generalized Trivers-Willard Hypothesis’ and the heritability of offspring sex-ratio. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 6(4): 255-260.
- Rickard, I.J. (2008). Offspring are lighter at birth and smaller in adulthood when born after a brother versus a sister in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior 29(3): 196-200.
- Rickard, I.J., Russell, A.F. & Lummaa, V. (2007). Producing sons reduces lifetime reproductive success of subsequent offspring in pre-industrial Finns. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274(1628): 2981-2988.
- Rickard, I.J. & Lummaa, V. (2007). The predictive adaptive response and metabolic syndrome: challenges for the hypothesis. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 18(3): 94-99.