Associate Professor

Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Assoc. Ed., Evolution and Human Behaviour

School of Psychology

University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

Auckland 1142

NEW ZEALAND

 
Quentin Atkinson

Recent news:


July 2014:

In Religion, Brain and Behaviour, Andrew Latham, Joseph Watts and I ask “Are Big Gods a big deal in the emergence of big groups?”


January 2014:

In the American Journal of Community Psychology, Jenny Long, Niki Harre and I examine recycling and littering behavior across a school social network.


December 2013:

In PNAS, Jason Kamilar and I show that cultural assemblages have a nested structure in humans and chimpanzees but not orangutans.


Reply to Dixson’s commentary on primate monogamy in PNAS.


October 2013:

I have two book chapters in the just released Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion, edited by Pete Richerson and Morten Christiansen as part of the Strüngmann Forum series. 


August 2013:

In PNAS, Kit Opie, Susanne Shultz, Robin Dunbar and I show male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates.


May 2013:

In PNAS, Mark Pagel, Andrew Meade, Andreea Calude and I show how Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia. Read more at Science NEWS here.


Watch my talk on Tracing Human Cultural Ancestry in Time and Space at the Evolutionary Patterns conference in Lisbon, May 27th-29th, 2013.


April 2013:

Robert Ross, Simon Greenhill and I examine the cultural geography of a European folktale in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B.


March 2013:

My commentary on the descent of words in this week’s issue of PNAS.


January 2013:

Talking about language evolution on National Radio’s nine-to-noon show.


December 2012:

Claire Bowern and I tackle the internal structure of the Pama-Nyungan language family in the journal Language.


August 2012:

In this week’s issue of Science, I team up with experts in linguistics, cultural evolution and Bayesian phylogeography to tackle the “most recalcitrant question in historical linguistics” - the origin of the Indo-European language family. Listen to a Science podcast here or read the NY Times article. We’ve also made a cool FAQ website, complete with a movie of the Indo-European expansion.


June 2012:

In this month’s Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Will Hoverd, Chris Sibley and I investigate “Group Size and the Trajectory of Religious Identification”.


February 2012:

Invited talk on the evolution of languages at the Govett-Brewster Contemporary Art Museum, Taranaki, New Zealand. Part of the Old Genes: Artists reading Len Lye Exhibition.


December 2011:

On this week’s Our Changing World podcast, I talk to Veronika Meduna about work with Susanne Shultz and Kit Opie on the evolution of primate socialty.


November 2011:

In this week’s issue of Nature, Susanne Shultz, Kit Opie and I look at the evolution of primate sociality. Commentaries in Nature and ScienceNOW.


July 2011:

Conference talk on modelling major language expansions at the 20th International Conference on Historical Linguistics in Osaka, Japan.


June 2011:

Invited lecture on language change in time and space at the Human evolution – plagues, pathogens and selection meeting at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, UK.


April 2011:

In this week’s issue of Science, I show that, like human genetic diversity, the global distribution of phoneme diversity in the world’s languages is consistent with a serial founder effect model of expansion from Africa.


Russell Gray, Simon Greenhill and I discuss Language Evolution and Human Prehistory in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B.


February 2011:

Conference talk on tracing language origins in space and time at the NZ Phylogenetics Meeting in Leigh, New Zealand.


January 2011:

Harvey Whitehouse and I use a large cross-cultural data set to examine the   The cultural morphospace of ritual form, in Evolution and Human Behavior.


Pierrick Bourrat and I use data from the World Values Survey to test whether beliefs about God, the afterlife and morality support the role of supernatural policing in human cooperation.