Russell Gray is the Director of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History In Jena, and holds adjunct positions in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and the Department of Philosophy at the Australian National University. His research spans the areas of cultural evolution, linguistics, animal cognition, and the philosophy of biology. He helped pioneer the application of computational evolutionary methods to questions about linguistic prehistory and cultural evolution. His core research focuses on questions about the history of languages, cultures and people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
His linguistic work set the stage for his recent research applying ecological and evolutionary methods to questions about the cultural evolution of religion and the development of large-scale stratified societies both in the Pacific and around the globe. He has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters including nine papers in Nature and Science.
Grazyna Jasienska, Ph.D., is a biological anthropologist whose research interests include reproductive ecology, human fertility, life history, and implications of evolutionary biology for medicine and public health. She is the author of The Fragile Wisdom: An Evolutionary View on Women’s Biology and Health (Harvard Univ. Press, 2013). She established Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site in rural Poland where her team conducts longitudinal projects on human life history, fertility and health.
She received a MA and PhD in biological anthropology from Harvard University and MSc in biology from Jagiellonian University. She is a professor at Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and senior research scientist at Department of Anthropology at Yale University. She is founder and president of the Salus Publica Foundation for Public Health which supports research and aims to improve quality of life in rural communities.