Robert Lynch profile picture
Senior Researcher, INVEST flagship
Ecology and Evolution Biology

Areas of expertise

Life history theory
the evolutionary function of humor and laughter
cross cousin marriage
religious beliefs
social capital
Bayesian statistics.


My current research involves the analysis of a database of refugees from Karelia - a part of Finland that was ceded to the Soviet Union during World War 2. These individuals comprised approximately 400,000 individuals (12% of the Finnish population). These records, detailing the lives and movements of the evacuees, have just recently been extracted from several books and I hope to use them to inform our understanding of the current refugee crisis facing Europe. I am particularly interested in exploring the impact of previously isolated ethnic groups and cultures colliding with one another. Combining anthropological theory with quantitative methods, I will examine the impact of contact with refugees on social integration and the cultural practices of both migrants and their host communities. My previous research includes the analysis of a database of previously uncontacted Yanomamo Indians from the Amazon rainforest, seeking to understand the evolutionary forces that affect fertility, lifespan and sex ratios, the impact of religious beliefs on attitudes towards out-groups and the evolutionary function of humor and laughter.


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