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About Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre

We are a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers using evolutionary models to study cultural change and diversity.

We apply cultural evolutionary methods to a wide variety of topics including cognition, innovation, social learning, technology, art, music, narrative, religion, sociality, language and communication. We have a growing interest in applying cultural evolutionary theory to current societal challenges such as understanding the spread of prosocial health behaviours and health conspiracies.
Our People
Abstract network molecules

About Our Research

Our research involves observational studies, experiments, analyses of large secondary datasets, phylogenetic methods and mathematical modelling.  

We are a welcoming and outward-facing group, meeting regularly to discuss current topics and articles in cultural evolution in an informal, friendly environment. We welcome new members from a wide range of disciplines with interests that may intersect with the field of cultural evolution – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Co-Directors (Dr Sheina Lew-Levy & Dr Bruce Rawlings) if you would like to join the group, give a talk or just find out more about us.  

The Centre has strong links with the  Cultural Evolution Society (CES), of which Professor Rachel Kendal was president from 2018 to 2020.  We are hosting the CES 2024 conference, September 9-11. Please follow the DCERC X/Twitter and Bluesky accounts for details on the conference, including abstract submission.

The CES conference will be followed by the CES Capstone conference (12-13 September) to highlight the achievements of awardees and the results of the CES transformation fund. There will be more information on this conference soon.

DCERC members are co-editing the first cultural evolution handbook: Tehrani J, Kendal JR, Kendal RL. (In Progress). The Handbook of Cultural Evolution. Oxford University Press, as well as an open-access textbook on Evolution, Culture and Human Behaviour, produced in collaboration with the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association.

Get in Touch

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Co-Directors (Dr Sheina Lew-Levy & Dr Bruce Rawlings) if you have any questions.

Contact Us

Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre (DCERC)

Durham University

South Road

Durham, DH1 3LE

United Kingdom 

Tel. +44 (0)191 334 1630