Professor Robert Foley FBA

Human evolution: the evolutionary ecology of extinct hominins; the evolution of human behaviour and culture; prehistory and archaeology of early human populations; evolutionary theory in archaeology and anthropology.

Elected 2007

Fellow type
UK Fellow
Year elected

Robert Foley is Leverhulme Professor of Human Evolution at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of King's College, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is a co-founder, with Marta Mirazón Lahr, of the Leverhulme Centre of Human Evolutionary Studies at Cambridge, an inter-disciplinary research centre. His research has focused on the evolution and ecology of humans, especially their behaviour and adaptations. Much of this work has concentrated on understanding humans in terms of general Darwinian patterns and processes, and relating human evolution to more general models of evolution. Among his contributions are the development of off-site archaeology, community ecology and co-evolutionary approaches to hominin evolution, ecological models for human evolution, phylogenetic methods for analysing technological, cultural, social and linguistic evolution, the multiple dispersal model of human origins, and multi-disciplinary approaches to the evolution of human diversity. This research has included early African hominins, the evolution of modern humans, and more recent prehistory and anthropology. He has carried out field projects in Africa and Melanesia. He is currently involved in major field projects in northern and central Kenya. His books include Off-Site Archaeology, Another Unique Species: Patterns in Human Evolutionary Ecology, Humans before Humanity, and Principles of Human Evolution.

Current post

Leverhulme Professor of Human Evolution and Director, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge; Fellow, King's College, Cambridge

Past appointments

King's College University of Cambridge Professorial Fellow

2014 -

University of Cambridge Leverhulme Professor of Human Evolution and Director, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies

2003 -

King's College University of Cambridge Fellow

2003 -

University of Cambridge Fellow of King's College

1987 -

University of Durham Lecturer in Anthropology

1977 -

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