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Department of Archaeology



I am a lecturer in Human Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology. I completed my PhD and postdoctorate research as a member of the Hunter-Gatherer Resilience project which examined the cultural and behavioural adaptations of hunter-gatherer societies in Africa and Asia. I work principally with the Mbendjele BaYaka hunter-gatherers - a Pygmy population residing in the rainforests of Northern Congo. My research thus far has explored the role of cooperative networks and social relationships in human evolution; human life-history evolution; and the relationship between social structure and cultural transmission.

Currently, alongside a team at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, I'm thinking about how evolutionary approaches can advance our understanding of the aetiology of mental illness. I plan to investigate the prevalence of various mental disorders among hunter-gatherers, and explore the role of evolutionary mismatch in generating vulnerability to psychopathology in industrialised societies. I have also recently started a new project examining how specific features of social cognition - paranoia, threat detection, and in-group bias - respond flexibly to local socio-ecological conditions across London neighbourhoods; and whether dysregulation of these responses may increase the risk of schizophrenia.

I will be on sabbatical for Michaelmas and Lent terms 2024/25.


Human Social Evolution and Cooperation

Evolutionary Psychiatry

Applied Human Behavioural Ecology

Mating Systems

Cultural Evolution

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Chaudhary, N., Page, A.E., Salali, G.D., Dyble, M., Major-Smith, D., Migliano, A.B., Vinicius, L.,Thomspon, J. & Viguier, S. (2024). Hunter-Gatherer children's close-proximity networks: Similarities and differences with cooperative and communal breeding systems. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 6(27): e11.

Chaudhary, N., Salali, G. D., & Swanepoel, A. (2023). Sensitive responsiveness and multiple caregiving networks among Mbendjele BaYaka hunter-gatherers: Potential implications for psychological development and well-being. Developmental Psychology, 60(3), 422-440.

Chaudhary, N. & Swanepoel, A. (2023). What Can We Learn from Hunter-Gatherers about Children’s Mental Health? An Evolutionary Perspective. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 64(10), 1522-1525.

Chaudhary, N. & Salali, G.D. (2022). Hunter-Gatherers, Mismatch and Mental Disorder. In Abed, R. & St.John-Smith, P. (eds.) Evolutionary Psychiatry: Current Perspectives on Evolution and Mental Health. Cambridge University Press.

​Page, A. E., Chaudhary, N., Viguier, S., Dyble, M., Smith, D., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Mace, R., Migliano, A. B. (2017). Hunter-Gatherer Social Networks and Reproductive Success. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 41598.

​Migliano A.B., Page A., Gardenes, J.G., Salali G.D., Viguier, S., Dyble M., Latora, V., Chaudhary N., Thompson J., Smith D., Strods, J., Vinicius L., Mace R. (2017). Characterisation of hunter-gatherer networks and implications for cumulative culture. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(2), 0043.

​​Page, A. E., Viguier, S., Dyble, M., Smith, D., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Mace, R., Migliano, A. B. (2016) Reproductive trade-offs in extant hunter-gatherers suggest adaptive mechanism for the Neolithic expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 113(17), 4694-4699.

Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Rey, A., Stevenson, E., Gerbault, P., Dyble, M., Page, A., Smith, D., Vinicius, L., Mace, R., Migliano, A.B. (2016). Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers. Scientific Reports, 6(8), 29120.

​Dyble, M., Salali, G.D., Chaudhary, N., Page, A., Smith, D., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Mace, R., Migliano, A.B. (2015). Sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands. Science, 348(6236), 796-798.

​Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Dyble, M., Page, A., Smith, D., Mace R., Migliano A.B. (2015). Polygyny without wealth: popularity in gift games predicts polygyny in BaYaka Pygmies. Royal Society Open Science, 2(5), 150054.



Other publications: 

Page, A.E. et al. (2024). Women's subsistence strategies predict fertility across cultures, but context matters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 121(9): e2318181121.

Major-Smith, D., Chaudhary, N., Dyble, M., Major-Smith, K., Page, A.E., Salali, G.D., Mace, R. & Migliano (2023). Cooperation and partner choice among Agta hunter-gatherer children: An evolutionary developmental perspective. PloS ONE, 18(4): e028436.

Musciotto, F., Dobon, B., Greenacre, M., Mira, A., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D, . . . Migliano, A. (2023). Agta hunter–gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 5, E9.

Giritlioglu, A. & Chaudhary, N. (2022). Humor and hierarchy: an experimental study of the effects of humor production on male dominance, prestige and attractiveness. Humor, 35(4): 553-586.

Page, A.E., Emmott, E.H., Dyble, M., Smith, D., Chaudhary, N., Viguier, S., Migliano, A.B. (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.

Knight, J.K., Salali, G.D., Sikka, G., Derkx, I., Keestra, S.M., Chaudhary, N.* (2021). Quantifying patterns of alcohol consumption and its effects on health and wellbeing among BaYaka hunter-gatherers: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE, 16(10): e0258384

Salali, G.D., Dyble, M., Chaudhary, N., Sikka, G., Derkx, I., Keestra, S., Smith, D., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A.B (2020). Global WEIRDing: transitions in wild plant knowledge and treatment preferences in Congo hunter–gatherers. Human Evolutionary Sciences, 2, e24.

Deb A. & Chaudhary N. (2020). Anxiety. In depth entry in: Shackelford T., Weekes-Shackelford V. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.

Page, A.E., Thomas, M.G., Smith, D., Dyble, M., Viguier, S., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Mace, R., Migliano, A.B. (2020). Testing adaptive hypotheses of alloparenting in Agta foragers. Nature Human Behaviour, 3, 1154-1163.

​Salali, G.D., Chaudhary, N., Bouer, J., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A.B. (2019). Development of social learning and play in BaYaka hunter-gatherers of Congo. Scientific Reports, 9, 11080.

Smith, D., Dyble, M., Major, K., Page, A.E., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Thompson, J., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A.B., Mace, R. (2019). A Friend in need is a friend indeed: Need-based sharing, rather than cooperative assortment, predicts experimental resource transfers among Agta hunter-gatherers. Evolution and Human Behaviour, 40(1), 82-89.

​Smith, D., Schlaepfer, P., Major, K., Dyble, M., Page, A.E., Thompson, J., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Mace, R., Astete, L., Astete, M., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A.B. (2017). Cooperation and the evolution of hunter-gatherer storytelling. Nature Communications, 8(1).

Diekmann, Y., Smith, D., Gerbault, P., Dyble, M., Page, A.E., Chaudhary, N., Migliano, A.B., Thomas, M.G. (2017). Accurate age estimation in small-scale societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(31), 8205-8210.

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

​Dyble, M., Thompson, J., Page, A., Smith, D., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Vinicius, L., Mace, R., Migliano, A.B. (2016). Networks of Food Sharing Reveal the Functional Significance of Multilevel Sociality in Two Hunter-Gatherer Groups. Current Biology, 26(15), 2017-2021.

Chaudhary, N. (2016). The Polygyny Threshold – key idea in: T. Shackelford & V. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer

​Smith, D., Dyble, M., Thompson, J., Major, K., Page, A., Chaudhary, N., Salali, G.D., Vinicius, L., Migliano, A., Mace, R. (2016). Camp Stability Predicts Patterns of Hunter-Gatherer Cooperation. Royal Society Open Science, 3(7), 160131.

Teaching and Supervisions

Other Professional Activities

Executive Committee member of Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group, The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Job Titles

Lecturer in Human Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

General Info

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

Contact Details

Room 2.7, Henry Wellcome Building, Fitzwilliam Street
nc542 [at]


Person keywords: 
Human Behavioural Ecology
Biological Anthropology
Evolutionary Psychiatry
Social Evolution
Cultural Evolution
Biological Anthropology
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
East Asia