David W. Lawson

Assistant Professor

Contact Phone


Office Location

HSSB 2055


Integrative Anthropological Sciences (behavioural ecology, evolutionary demography, population health, international development, ‘harmful cultural practices’, the family, parental investment and childhood; Tanzania)


PhD in Anthropology, University College London


Prior to joining to UCSB, I held posts as a Lecturer and Research Fellow in the Department of Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and as a Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at University College London, where I also obtained my PhD in 2009.


I am an evolutionary anthropologist and population health scientist with interests in the family, childhood and human well-being, particularly in the context of the social and demographic changes that accompany economic development.

Active research topics include: (i) the well-being implications of polygynous marriage and child marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa, (ii) evolutionary perspectives on variation in fertility and the demographic transition, and (iii) time allocation trade-offs between children’s work and schooling in rural Tanzania. My research combines primary data collection in the field and secondary analysis of existing large-scale demographic and health surveys from both contemporary African and European contexts. You can find more information on my research and teaching activities, including the 'Lawson Lab' research group here.


A complete list of publications is available here.