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Department of Archaeology



I gained my BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge (2008-2011) and an MSc in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology from Oxford (2011-12). I then completed my PhD in Anthropology at University College London (2013-16), supervised by Prof Andrea Migliano and Prof Ruth Mace, conducting empirical fieldwork with Agta foragers in the northern Philippines.  Following my PhD, I had a brief post-doctoral research post at UCL followed by a Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (2016-17) and two years as a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge (2017-19). During this time, I worked in the Department of Zoology, collaborating with Prof Tim Clutton-Brock to consider the causes and consequences of variation in social behaviour across mammal societies. I was then a Lecturer in Quantitative Anthropology at UCL for four years (2019-2023). I joined the Department of Archaeology as a Lecturer in Comparative Human Biology in July 2023. 


I am an evolutionary anthropologist with broad interests in understanding both human evolution and variation in behaviour and biology across human populations. I am also interested in understanding the causes and consequences of variation in social organisation and social behaviour across mammals more generally.  


My empirical research has involved quantitative ethnographic fieldwork with Agta foraging communities in the Philippines and with fishing communities in the Brazilian Pantanal. I have also worked on the social behaviour of meerkats in the Kalahari. Specific empirical questions I have worked on include: 

  • what is the kinship structure of hunter-gatherer bands? [LINK] & [LINK] 
  • what are the health consequences of sedentism among the Agta? [LINK] 
  • how do Agta foragers spend their time? [LINK] 
  • what happens during meerkat inter-group interactions? [LINK] 


In my theoretical work, I use computational and mathematical models to explore questions such as: 

  • can inclusive fitness theory explain cooperation among affinal kin (in-laws)? [LINK] 
  • do existing models of the coevolution of altruism and war in humans make realistic assumptions about population structure?  [LINK] 
  • what factors influence the relatedness structure of animal groups? [LINK] 
  • under what conditions could natural selection favour indiscriminate altruism toward groupmates? [LINK] 


Key Publications

Key publications: 


Ross, Cody T., et al. "Reproductive inequality in humans and other mammals." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120.22 (2023): e2220124120. 


Major-Smith, D., Chaudhary, N., Dyble, M., Major-Smith, K., Page, A.E., Salali, G.D., Mace, R. and Migliano, A.B., 2023. Cooperation and partner choice among Agta hunter-gatherer children: An evolutionary developmental perspective. Plos one, 18(4), p.e0284360. 


Dyble, M. and Clutton-Brock, T.H., 2023. Turnover in male dominance offsets the positive effect of polygyny on within-group relatedness. Behavioral Ecology, 34(2), pp.261-268. 


Page, A.E., Ruiz, M., Dyble, M., Major-Smith, D., Migliano, A.B. and Myers, S. (2023). Wealth, health and inequality in Agta foragers. Evolution, medicine, and public health, 11(1), pp.149-162. 



A.E. Page, A. B., Migliano, M. Dyble, D. Major-Smith, S. Viguier & A. Hassan (2023). Sedentarization and maternal childcare networks: role of risk, gender and demography. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 378(1868), 20210435. 



E.C. Castelli, B.S. de Almeida, Y.C. Muniz, N.S. Silva, M.R. Passos, A.S. Souza, A.E. Page, M. Dyble, D. Smith, G. Aguileta, J. Bertranpetit (2021) HLA-G genetic diversity and evolutive aspects in worldwide populations. Scientific reports, 11(1), pp.1-16. 


M. Dyble, A.B. Migliano, A.E. Page, D. Smith, D. (2021) Relatedness within and between Agta residential groups. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 3. 


R. Chiaravalloti, K. Homewood, M. Dyble (2021) Sustainability of social-ecological systems: the difference between social rules and management rules. Conservation Letters e12826 


R. Chiaravalloti, D. Freitas, R. Sousa, S. Biswas, A. Markos, M. Manfroi, M. Dyble (2021) Resilience of Socio-ecological Systems: drastic seasonal change is associated with economic but not social flexibility among fishers in the Brazilian Pantanal. Ecology and Society 26(2):30 


A, E. Page, E. H. Emmott, M. Dyble, D. Smith, N. Chaudhary, S. Viguier, A.B. Migliano (2021) Children are important too: juvenile playgroups and maternal childcare in a foraging population, the Agta. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 376: 20200026. 


M. Dyble. (2021) The evolution of altruism through war is highly sensitive to population structure and to civilian and fighter mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118.11, e2011142118 




M. Dyble (2020) ‘The impact of equality in residential decision making on group composition, cooperation and cultural exchange’ in Social inequality before farming? Edited by Luc Moreau (2020) McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. pp51-59. 


M. Arnot, E. Brandl, O. L. K. Campbell, Y. Chen, J. Du, M. Dyble, E.H. Emmott, E. Ge, L. D. W. Kretschmer, R. Mace, A.J.C. Micheletti, S. Nila, S. Peacey, G.D. Salali, H. Zhang (2020) How evolutionary behavioural sciences can help us understand behaviour in a pandemic. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 2020.1: 264-278. 


G.D Salali, M. Dyble, N. Chaudhary, G. Sikka, I. Derkx, S. M. Keestra, D. Smith, J. Thompson, L. Vinicius and A. B. Migliano (2020) Global WEIRDing: Transitions in Wild Plant Knowledge and Treatment Preferences in Congo Hunter-Gatherers. Evolutionary Human Sciences 


M. Dyble, T.H. Clutton-Brock. Contrasts in kinship structure in mammalian societies. (2020) Behavioural Ecology 31 (4), 971-977 


A. B. Migliano, F. Battiston, S. Viguier, A.E. Page, M. Dyble, R. Schlaepfer, D. Smith, L. Astete, M. Ngales, J. Gomez-Gardenes, V. Latora, L. Vinicius. Hunter-gatherer multilevel sociality accelerates cumulative cultural evolution. (2020) Science Advances 6 (9), eaax5913 



M. Dyble, T. Houslay, M. Manser, T.H. Clutton-Brock Intergroup aggression in meerkats. (2019) Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286 (1917), 20191993 


A.E. Page, M.G. Thomas, D. Smith, M. Dyble, S. Viguier, N. Chaudhary, J. Thompson, G.D. Salali, R. Mace and A.B. Migliano (2019) Testing adaptive hypotheses of alloparenting in Agta foragers Nature Human Behaviour 3 (11), 1154-1163 


A.E. Page, S. Myers, M. Dyble, A.B. Migliano. Why so many Agta boys? (2019) Explaining extreme sex ratios in Philippine foragers. Evolutionary Human Sciences 1 


M. Dyble, J. Thorley, A.E. Page, D. Smith, A.B. Migliano. (2019) Engagement in agricultural work is associated with reduced leisure time among Agta hunter-gatherers. Nature Human Behaviour 3, 792–796 


C. Duncan*, D. Gaynor, T.H. Clutton-Brock, M. Dyble*. (2019) The evolution of indiscriminate altruism in a cooperatively breeding mammal. American Naturalist 93 (6) 841-851 *equal contributors 


D. Smith, M. Dyble, K. Major, A. Page, N. Chaudhary, G.D. Salali, J. Thompson, L. Vinicius, A. Migliano, R. Mace. (2019) A friend in need is a friend indeed: needs-based sharing, rather than cooperative assortment, predicts hunter-gatherer resource transfers. Evolution and Human behaviour, (40) 82-89 


R. Chiaravalloti, M. Dyble. Limited Open Access in socio-ecological systems: how do communities deal with environmental unpredictability? (2019) Conservation Biology e1122661166. 



M. Dyble, A. Gardner, L. Vinicius, A.B. Migliano. (2018) Inclusive fitness for in-laws. Biology Letters 14: 20180515 


M. Dyble. (2018) The effect of dispersal on rates of cumulative cultural evolution. Biology Letters (14) 20180069 


F. Lassalle, M. Spagnoletti, M. Fumagalli, L. Shaw, M. Dyble, C. Walker, M.G. Thomas, A. Bamberg Migliano, F. Balloux. (2018) Oral microbiomes from hunter‐gatherers and traditional farmers reveal shifts in commensal balance and pathogen load linked to diet. Molecular Ecology (27) 182-195 



D. Smith, P. Schlaepfer, K. Major, M. Dyble, A.E. Page, J. Thompson, N. Chaudhary, G.D. Salali, R. Mace, L. Astete, M. Ngales, L. Vinicius, A.B. Migliano. (2017) Cooperation and the evolution of hunter-gatherer storytelling. Nature Communications (8) 1853 


Y. Diekmann, D. Smith, P. Gerbault, M. Dyble, A.E. Page, N. Chaudhary, A.B. Migliano, M.G. Thomas. (2017) Accurate age estimation in small-scale societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.31, 8205-8210. 


A Page, N. Chaudhary, S. Viguier; M. Dyble, J. Thompson, G.D. Salali, D. Smith, R. Mace, A.B. Migliano. (2107) Hunter-Gatherer Social Networks and Reproductive Success. Scientific Reports (7) 1153 


A.B. Migliano, A.E. Page, J. Gomez-Gardenes, S. Viguier, M. Dyble, J. Thompson, N. Chaudhary, G. D. Salali, D. Smith, J. Strods, V. Latora, R. Mace, L. Vinicius. (2017) Characterization of hunter-gatherer networks and implications for cumulative culture. Nature Human Behaviour 1 (2), 1-6 




M. Dyble, J. Thompson, A. Page, D. Smith, N. Chaudhary, G. D. Salali, L. Vinicius, R. Mace, A. B. Migliano. (2016) Networks of food sharing reveal the functional significance of multilevel sociality in two hunter-gatherer groups. Current Biology 26 (15), 2017-2021. 


G.D. Salali, N. Chaudhary, J. Thompson, O.M. Grace, X.M. van der Burgt, M. Dyble, A. Page, D. Smith, J. Lewis, R. Mace, L. Vinicius, A.B. Migliano. (2016) Knowledge-sharing networks in hunter-gatherers and the evolution of cumulative culture. Current Biology 26 (18), 2516–2521 


N. Chaudhary, G. D. Salali, J. Thompson, A. Rey, P. Gerbault, E. Stevenson, M. Dyble, A Page, D. Smith, R. Mace, L. Vinicius, A. B. Migliano. (2016) Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers Scientific Reports 6:29120 


D. Smith, M. Dyble, J. Thompson, K. Major, A. Page, N. Chaudhary, G.D. Salali, L. Vinicius, A. Migliano, R. Mace. (2016) Camp Stability Predicts Patterns of Hunter-Gatherer Cooperation Royal Society Open Science 3:160131. 


A Page, S. Viguier, M. Dyble, D. Smith, N. Chaudhary, G. D. Salali, J. Thompson, L. Vinicius, R. Mace, A. B. Migliano. (2016) Reproductive trade-offs in extant hunter-gatherers suggest adaptive mechanism for the Neolithic expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113.17, 4694-4699. 



M. Dyble, G. D. Salali, N. Chaudhary, A. Page, D. Smith, J. Thompson, L. Vinicius, R. Mace, A. B. Migliano. (2015) Sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands. Science 348.6236: 796-798. 


N. Chaudhary; G.D. Salali; J. Thompson, M. Dyble, A. Page, D. Smith, R. Mace, A.B. Migliano. (2015) Polygyny without wealth: popularity in gift games predicts polygyny in BaYaka Pygmies. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150054.  

M. Dyble, A. van Leeuwen. & R.I.M. Dunbar. (2015) Gender differences in Christmas gift-giving. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences Vol 9(2), Apr 2015, 140-144.  

Teaching and Supervisions


B2: Human Ecology and Behaviour

B13: Special topics in biological anthropology 3

Job Titles

Assistant Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology
Image of Dr Mark Dyble

General Info

Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Population Biology and Health
Human Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology
Human Evolution
Cultural Evolution


Biological Anthropology
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
Southeast Asia