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Dept. Population Health

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

London, WC1E 7HT

United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom


Membership Number :21655

Rebecca Sear

Reader, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Field of study: Anthropology, Demography, Medical/ Life Science

Specialization: Biodemography and Genetics, Families and Households, Fertility, Mortality, Health, and Longevity

Highest Degree Level:

Doctorate (Ph.D, MD), Anthropology, University College London, 2001

Working languages:
  • - English

Professional summary:

I am Professor of Population Health in the Population Studies Group at LSHTM. My background is interdisciplinary: after an education in Zoology (Nottingham University), Statistics and Biological Anthropology (Unversity College London), I moved into demography in my first lectureship at the London School of Economics, where I spent 8 years before moving to Durham University and then LSHTM in 2012.

I'm interested in interdisciplinary approaches in demography, incorporating anthropological and biological perspectives, and in promoting comparative, cross-cultural work in demography, making use of data from all world regions. I have particular research interests in relationships between family and fertility, and health and demographic outcomes. Alongside my research programme, I am interested in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and currently serve on an institutional working group to improve research culture. I have just stepped down as Honorary Secretary of the British Society for Population Studies. I tweet at @rebeccasear

Member since: 2004

Selected recent publications


Brown, L.J. & Sear, R. (2021) How do reproduction, parenting and health cluster together? Exploring diverging destinies, life histories and weathering in two UK cohort studies. Advances in Life Course Research   OSF page with fulltext and supplementary material


Raybould, A. & Sear, R. (2020) Children of the (gender) revolution: a theoretical and empirical synthesis. Population Studies 75(2): 169-190


Sear, R., Sheppard, P., & Coall, D. (2019) Cross-cultural evidence does not support universal acceleration of puberty in father-absent households. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B 374: 20180124

Sear, R. (2017) Family and fertility: does kin help influence women’s fertility and how does this vary worldwide? Population Horizons 14(1): 18-34

Wells, J.C.K., Nesse, R., Sear, R., Johnstone, R., Stearns, S. (2017) Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept. Lancet 390(10093): 500-509

Sear, R., Lawson, D.W., Kaplan, H. & Shenk, M.K. (2016) Understanding variation in human fertility: what can we learn from evolutionary demography? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B 371: 20150144