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Overview

Professor Robert A. Barton

Professor

BSc, M.Sc, PhD


Affiliations
AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor in the Department of Anthropology +44 (0) 191 33 41603
Member of the Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre 
Director (Social Sciences) in the Institute of Advanced StudyCH00744690 / 41603

Biography

    • 2018: Osman Hill Memorial medal awarded by Primate Society of Great Britain:
    • Leverhulme Research Fellow (2012-13) - Cognitive evolution and the brain
    • Visting Research Fellow, All Souls Collge Oxford (2011) - Evolution of human cognition
    • President, European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (2010-2013)
    • Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology (2005-)
    • President, Primate Society of Great Britain (2001-2005)
    • PhD in Primate Behavioural Ecology (1990)
    Interests

    Evolutionary biologist/anthropologist interested in brains, behaviour and cognition, using phylogenetoic comparative methods to study how these traits evolved. Developed and tested the 'Visual brain hypothesis' for primate brain size evolution. Currently interested in the underestimated role of the cerebellum in brain evolution and cognition. Also works on the evolutionary and cultural significance of the colour red.

    Recent projects include: 'The Phylogeny of Sleep' (funded by NIH, $1m); 'Evolutionary architecture of reproduction in female mammals' (funded by BBSRC/NERC, £248k); 'Cognitive Evolution and the brain' (Funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, £38k).

    Research interests

    • Behavioural ecology and sociobiology
    • Comparative studies of brain size and structure in relation to behavioural ecology
    • Evolution of mamalian reproductive traits
    • Primate evolution and behaviour

    Research groups

    Awarded Grants

    • 2012: Cognitive Evolution and the Brain(£39013.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)
    • 2008: EVOLUTIONARY ARCHITECTURE(£249647.07 from Bbsrc)
    • 2006: RCUK Fellowship, £125000, 2006-10-01-2012-09-30
    • 2005: PHYLOGENY OF SLEEP(£128138.22 from National Institutes of Health)

    Esteem Indicators

    Media Contacts

    Available for media contact about:

    • Human biology and development: animal behaviour
    • Human biology and development: evolutionary theory
    • Human biology and development: the brain
    • People: Evolution and Biology: animal behaviour
    • People: Evolution and Biology: evolutionary theory
    • People: Evolution and Biology: the brain

    Publications

    Chapter in book

    • Swann, J., Fabre-Nys, C. & Barton, R.A. (2009). Hormonal and pheromonal modulation of the extended amygdala: implications for social behaviour. In Hormones, Brain and Behavior. Pfaff, D.W., Arnold, A.P., Etgen, A.M., Fahrbach, S.E. & Rubin, R.T. New York: Academic Press. 1.
    • McNamara, P., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. (2009). Introduction. In Evolution of sleep. McNamara, P., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Nunn, C.L., McNamara, P., Capellini, I., Preston, B.T. & Barton, R.A. (2009). Primate sleep in phylogenetic perspective. In Evolution of sleep. McNamara, P., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Capellini, I., McNamara, P., Preston, B., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. (2009). Ecological constraints on mammalian sleep architecture. In Evolution of sleep. McNamara, P., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 12-34.
    • Barton, R.A. (2008). Brain Modules: Mosaic Evolution. In Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Squire, L. Oxford: Academic Press. 2: 389-394.
    • Barton, R.A. (2007). Evolution of the social brain as a distributed neural system. In Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Dunbar, R.I.M. & Barrett, L.E. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 129-144.
    • McNamara, P., Nunn, C., Barton, R.A., Harris, E. & Capellini, I. (2007). Phylogeny of sleep and dreams. In The New Science of Dreaming. Barrett, D. & McNamara, P. Wesport, Connecticut.: Praeger. I: 53-70.
    • Barton, R.A. (2006). Mosaic evolution of brain structure in mammals. In Evolution of nervous systems. U.K.: Elsevier.
    • Deaner, R., Barton, R.A. & van Schaik, C.P. (2002). Primate brains and life histories. In The evolution of primate life histories. Kappeler, P. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 233-265.
    • Barton, R.A. & Aggleton, J. (2000). Primate evolution and the amygdala. In The amygdala: a functional analysis. Aggleton, J. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 480-508.
    • Barton, R.A. (2000). Ecological and social factors in primate brain evolution. In On the move: how and why animals travel in groups. Boinski, S. & Garber, P. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
    • Barton, R.A. (2000). Socioecology of baboons: the interaction of male and female strategies. In Primate males. Kappeler, P. Cambridge: ambridge University Press. 167-203.
    • Barton, R.A. (1999). The evolutionary ecology of the primate brain. In Comparative Primate Socioecology. Lee, P. Cambridge University Press. 167-203.

    Edited book

    • McNamara, P., Barton, R.A. & Nunn, C.L. (2009). Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Journal Article

    Supervision students