Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of York

Penny's research focuses on the evolution of social emotions and the significance of care for the vulnerable in human origins.

Penny's latest book, How Compassion Made Us Human (Pen and Sword) argues that a selection for pro-social emotional motivations has been the driving force behind human evolution, particularly considering how sensitivity and self-control can be displayed through material things.

Her recent research has focused on emotional attachments to objects, including attachments formed by individuals with autism. She is also developing further research on the evolution of moral emotions, including motivations for tolerance and inclusion, courage, compassion and gratitude.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology of Human Origins, University of York

Education

  • 1997 
    University of Cambridge, PhD