Dr Geoff Kushnick

PhD, University of Washington, Seattle
Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology (Human Behavioural Ecology)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 2271

Areas of expertise

  • Behavioural Ecology 060201
  • Biological (Physical) Anthropology 160102
  • Demography 1603

Research interests

I am an evolutionary anthropologist with the following research interests:

  • Human behavioural ecology
  • Evolution of human reproductive strategies
  • Evolution of social norms and institutions
  • Quantitative methods and analysis
  • Peoples and cultures of SE Asia and the Pacific


I am an evolutionary anthropologist, Fulbright Scholar (2014), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2019). My research focuses on the study of human behaviour, biology, and health through an evolutionary lens. I have experience conducting field research in Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, and using cross-cultural datasets such as the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample and the Ethnographic Atlas. I have expertise in quantitative-ethnographic and multivariate-statistical methods.

Available student projects

Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing an honours, masters, or PhD degree with a focus on the evolution of human behaviour.

Current student projects

Ben Gleeson (PhD): Human ecology and self-domestication (associate supervisor)

Adam Bode (PhD): Evolutionary and biocultural perspectives on romantic love (panel chair)

Past student projects

Emma Florey (Honours): “Parochial Altruism and Environmental Risk in a Cross-Cultural Sample” (primary supervisor)

Isabella Apriyana (Masters): “Investigating the Change of Reproductive Strategies following Subsistence Transition in Hunter-Gatherer Populations of Borneo, Indonesia” (primary supervisor)

Jennifer Geyer (Honours): “More the merrier? Human mate choice and the effects of sociosexual history and hormonal contraceptives” (primary supervisor)

Sumaiyah Qureshi (Honours): “Understanding Agta Fertility: Subsistence-Related Factors Associated with Reproductive Rates in a Foraging Population in Transition” (primary supervisor)

Stephen Orchard (Masters): “Sociosexual Norms, the Behavioural Immune System Hypothesis, and the Red Queen” (primary supervisor)

Megan O'Donnell (PhD): "Effects of Prenatal Bushfire Stress on Life History Traits in Humans" (secondary supervisor)

Ben Gleeson (Masters): "Human Self-Domestication by Intersexual Selection: Female Social Status and Stature Sexual Dimorphism" (primary supervisor)

Madelaine Winkler (Honours): “Pathogen Pressure and Consanguineous Marriage: The Case of Impal Marriage among the Karo Batak from North Sumatra” (co-primary supervisor)


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Updated:  21 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers