Dr David Lawson PhD, MSc, BSc

Lecturer in Population Health

About David Lawson

Evolutionary Anthropologist and Population Health Scientist


I am an evolutionary anthropologist and population health scientist. I have broad interests in the family, childhood and human well-being, particularly in the context of the social and demographic changes that accompany economic development. I joined LSHTM in 2013. Prior to joining LSHTM, I was based at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, where I received my PhD in 2009





Active research topics include: the health implications of polygynous marriage, evolutionary perspectives on variation in human fertility, and time allocation trade-offs between children’s schooling and labour contributions to the household economy. I work closely with Savannas Forever Tanzania (SFTZ) an NGO based in Arusha (northeast Tanzania) specializing in the evaluation of rural development projects. With Sophie Hedges, I am also currently developing collaborative research at a long-term demographic surveillance site in Mwanza (northwest Tanzania) managed by the Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research.

My current research is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID). I strongly encourage opportunities for research collaboration and the supervision of graduate students. The best thing about my job is collaborating with great people!

For up to date information on my research projects and publications (including PDFs) please see my personal website.


Research areas

  • Child health
  • Fertility
  • Global Health


  • Anthropology
  • Demography
  • Development studies


  • Euro area
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)


  • Tanzania
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