Claire El Mouden

Post-Doctoral Prize Research Fellow

Fellow of Nuffield College


Research Interests

I am an evolutionary biologist who works alongside economists and social scientists that study human decision-making, social preferences, collective action and cultural evolution. I want to understand why natural selection favours behaviours that are altruistic, spiteful, selfish or mutually beneficial. I develop both general theoretical models and more specific models that may be tested empirically and I’m increasingly doing empirical work myself. My main focus is human sociality, however, my theoretical work relates to a wide variety of biological systems including viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, birds and mammals.






Selected Publications

  • El Mouden, C., Burton-Chellew M., Gardner A. and West S. (2012) What do humans maximise? In: Evolution and rationality: decisions, cooperation and strategic behaviour, Samir Okasha and Ken Binmore (eds) CUP.
  • Leggett, H.C., El Mouden, C., Wild, G. & West, S.A. (2011) Promiscuity and the evolution of cooperative breeding. Proceedings of the Royal Society London Series B. 279: 1405-1411

  • West SA, El Mouden C & Gardner A (2011) Sixteen common misconceptions about the evolution of cooperation in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior 32, 231-262.
  • El Mouden C, West SA & Gardner A (2010) The enforcement of cooperation by policing. Evolution 64, 2139-2152.
  • El Mouden C & Gardner A (2008) Nice natives and mean migrants: the evolution of dispersal-dependent social behaviour in viscous populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21, 1480-1491.