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Dr Emily Emmott
UCL Anthropology
14 Taviton Street
London
Greater London
WC1H 0BW
Appointment
  • Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Dept of Anthropology
  • Faculty of S&HS
Biography

I am a Human Behavioural Ecologist, broadly defined as an evolutionary social scientist interested in how the social and physical environment (or ecology) influences human development and behaviour. Human Behavioural Ecology is a sub-discipline of Biological Anthropology, sitting at intersection of Life and Social Sciences.  


My academic interests focus on extended and institutional child-rearing systems (such as parenting, grand-parenting, schooling and social care provisions) and its implications for health and wellbeing (including health-related behaviours). I have research experience working in academia, charities and the public sector, as well as teaching research methods and human behavioural ecology at university. I am a mixed method researcher with specialism in complex data analysis - such as surveys, censuses and cohort studies. 

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research expertise surround extended and institutional childrearing in the UK, and how different aspects of the childrearing system influences parenting behaviours as well as children and young people's health and wellbeing. I am particularly interested in the role of wider social support and how this influences 1) infant feeding behaviour and 2) adolescent health-related behaviours.


Humans evolved as "cooperative and communal breeders," where children are raised collectively by many caregivers (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, friends, and more). In my research, I investigate the nature and consequences of such cooperative childrearing in the UK with focus on non-maternal caregivers, including immediate kin, extended kin, and institutional support (such as educational institutions and children's social care). I take an interdisciplinary approach to my research, building on a human behavioral ecological framework.


My current research projects are:


  • Adolescent Sociality Project: We are working to lay the foundations for an ambitious project on adolescent sociality in Japan and the UK, with focus on adolescent social networks and communication. Using participatory methods, we are establishing 4 field sites across the two nations. Drawing on ideas/feedback from our Adolescent Sociality Research Network as well as adolescents themselves, we are designing a cross-national survey to be piloted in the next phase of our project. (Co-PIs: Emily Emmott, UCL, Masahito Morita, University of Tokyo. Funding: ESRC-AHRC) See our website: www.adolescentsociality.com See our OSF page: https://osf.io/ntph2/

  • Maternal experiences of social support and infant feeding: While the public health literature demonstrates a positive association between social support and breastfeeding, it has broadly overlooked the different types of support (such as informational, emotional and practical) and the different sources of support (partners, parents, friends, professionals). We are investigating how the different types of support from different people are associated with breastfeeding outcomes, including the subjective experiences of infant feeding. (Co-PIs: Emily Emmott, Abigail Paige, Sarah Myers, UCL. Funding: European Human Behaviour and Evolution Society) See our OSF page: https://osf.io/dybup/

Teaching Summary

For 2019/20, I teach on the following courses at UCL Anthropology:

  • Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology (BSc)
  • Biosocial Approaches to Childrearing (BSc)
  • Being Human (BSc)
  • Current Themes in Evolutionary Anthropology: Applied Evolutionary Anthropology (MSc)
  • Biosocial Medical Anthriopology (MSc)
I am also the dissertation project tutor for BSc and MSci Human Sciences.

In previous years, I have taught the following courses:

  • Human Behavioural Ecology (BSc/MSc)
  • Human Behavioural Ecology of Hunter-Gatherers (BSc)
  • Behavioural Ecology and Socio-biology (BSc)
  • Evolution and Human Behaviour (BSc)

I also supervise BSc, MSc and PhD projects at UCL Anthropology. For more information on the courses I currently teach, please visit the UCL Anthropology website (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/study).

Appointments
30-AUG-2018 Teaching Fellow in Biological Anthropology UCL Anthropology University College London, United Kingdom
14-SEP-2017 – 29-AUG-2018 Research Associate Thomas Coram Research Unit UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
01-APR-2016 – 30-AUG-2017 Quantitative Researcher (Senior Research Officer) Evidence Team Children's Commissioner's Office, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2015 – 01-APR-2016 Researcher Policy & Research The Children's Society, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2014 – 01-OCT-2015 Teaching Fellow in Biological Anthropology UCL Anthropology University College London, United Kingdom
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