David W. Lawson is an evolutionary anthropologist and population health scientist with interests in the family, childhood and human wellbeing, particularly in the context of the social and demographic changes that accompany economic development. His research practice 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. Current research topics include: the health and wellbeing implications of polygynous marriage and child marriage, evolutionary perspectives on variation in human fertility and the demographic transition, and time allocation trade-offs between child labor and schooling. He is an advocate of the applied potential of evolutionary anthropology to both critique and guide the international development sector. His research is carried out in collaboration with research partners in Tanzania, including the NGO ‘Savannas Forever Tanzania’ in Arusha (northeast Tanzania) and the National Institute for Medical Research in Mwanza (northwest Tanzania).
Grants, Awards and Distinctions:
National Science Foundation Senior Research Award (PI). 2019-2020. Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Cultural Practices. $199,074.
Hellman Fellowship (PI). 2018-2019. Understanding Men’s Incentives for Women’s Empowerment: Testing predictions from sexual conflict theory in Tanzania. $40,905.
UCSB Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship (PI). 2019. Understanding Men’s Incentives for Women’s Empowerment: Testing predictions from sexual conflict theory in Tanzania. $7,500.