Dr. Heidi Colleran

Dr. Heidi Colleran

Dr. Heidi Colleran


  • +49 (0) 3641 686-818

Main Focus

I work on reproductive behavior and its effects on population dynamics, at the intersection of anthropology, evolution and demography. My main research objective is to develop a cultural and evolutionary framework to understand how personal reproductive decisions (a) are influenced by culture, and (b) scale up to determine the contours of cultural evolution.

To date I have focused on evolutionary explanations of the demographic transition to low fertility, based on anthropological-demographic research in 22 rural communities in Poland and on cross-cultural and theoretical projects.

I am now expanding this program to high-fertility regimes and multi-cultural/-lingual contexts in a broader focus on the co-evolution of culture/language and demography. Since 2015 I have been doing fieldwork in small-scale communities in Vanuatu where I manage an interdisciplinary project involving linguists, geneticists, archaeologists and psychologists. Please check out our webpage for more details http://www.shh.mpg.de/456217/vanuatu-languages-lifeways.

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Dept. of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution