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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:

My background is interdisciplinary: after an education in Zoology (BSc, Nottingham University), Statistics (Diploma, University College London) and Biological Anthropology (MSc and PhD, Unversity College London), I taught demography at the London School of Economics for 8 years before moving to Durham University. I took up my current post in the Department of Population Health at LSHTM in April 2012, and work in the Population Studies Group.

I'm interested in developing the emerging discipline of evolutionary demography, and in promoting more 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 in research and currently serve on an institutional working group to improve research culture. 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