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Durham University

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Dr Duncan Stibbard Hawkes

Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology

(email at

I am an evolutionary anthropologist and human behavioural ecologist working within the sub-discipline of hunter-gatherer studies. I conducted my PhD research in the Eyasi region of northern Tanzania, working with Hadza hunter-gatherers. I am interested in the ubiquity of food-sharing and cooperation, both among the Hadza and among humans more broadly.

Among many forager groups it is customary to share food widely. Food is often shared to an extent that certain scholars, working under the assumption that people ‘should’ seek to maximise the amount of food they procure for themselves and their close relatives, have thought puzzling. My current research focuses on Hadza hunting, food-sharing and the costly signalling hypothesis; in particular the measurement of hunting reputation, and the extent to which hunting reputation can be used as a viable proximate measure of hunting skill.

I am also interested in forager egalitarianism, and the factors underlying the ‘emergence’ of hierarchy. Forager egalitarianism is something of an idiosyncrasy, both among human groups and among group-living primates. More must be done to account for the ways by which it is maintained, as well as the reasons that egalitarianism is so seldom found in other contexts.

I did both my undergraduate degree (2008-2011) and PhD (2012-2017) at the University of Cambridge. As of 2017, I am Durham’s new teaching fellow in evolutionary anthropology as well as our department’s disability representative.

Office Hours

You will find me in my office (D117B) between 1.00 and 4.00pm on Mondays. If you find me out of office and have urgent business (especially DDR related business), I can be summoned by email and, on weekdays, will usually respond quickly.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Honest Signalling Theory
  • Hunting, Food-Sharing, Cooperation and Collective Action
  • Egalitarianism and Hierarchy
  • Reputation and Image Scoring
  • Incest Aversions and the Westermarck Hypothesis​
  • Cooperative Breeding and the Eusociality Continuum
  • Poisons, Ranged Weapons and Hunting Technology

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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