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Max Burton-Chellew

Post-doctoral Researcher, Magdalen College & Stipendiary lecturer, New College, University of Oxford

I am interested in the evolution of social interactions. This has led me into empirical research on a range of social evolution questions in organisms as diverse as parasitic wasps to humans. Recently I have been using approaches from behavioural economics to test the decisions and social preferences of people faced with real and costly economic decisions. My current work has the dual aims of (1) elucidating the mechanisms that foster cooperation between non-relatives and (2) improving the field’s understanding and interpretation of such data.

My views on current affairs can also be found at;


  • 2014–present
    Post-doctoral Researcher in Evolution and Human Sciences, Calleva Research Centre, Magdalen College, Oxford
  • 2015–present
    Stipendiary Lecture in Human Sciences, New College, University of Oxford
  • 2011–2014
    Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow in Sociology, Nuffield College, Oxford
  • 2009–2014
    Post-doctoral Researcher in Zoology, University of Oxford
  • 2008–2009
    Post-doctoral Researcher in Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford


  • 2008 
    University of Edinburgh, PhD, Evolutionary Biology
  • 2002 
    University of Oxford, MSc, Integrative Bioscience
  • 2001 
    University of Sussex, BSc, 1st Class Honours, Biology & N. American Studies