Photo of David Waynforth

David Waynforth


  • Bond University, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine

    4229 Gold Coast


  • 552 Citations
  • 10 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Population health is improved not solely through improved pharmaceutical and surgical approaches: health outcomes are also predicted by many aspects of the way we live our lives. My interest is in how family, community and work environment predict health. I have over 20 years of experience as a multidisciplinary researcher looking at effects of stress and social environment on determinants of health and reproductive decisions. Research on the social determinants of health often ignores biology, yet our biology defines the parameters for how health outcomes can be influenced by social factors. My focus includes considering the underlying physiological and evolved mechanisms linking our experience and social environment to health.


Main research areas:

Family, community and health

In the last few generations wealthy nations have radically altered many aspects of people’s social lives. One of the changes has been the loss of local extended family networks as workers migrate to different locations for employment. Using national longitudinal cohort data, I am currently exploring the importance of extended family contact for health. Some of my past work on family environment and health-related outcomes has been on the role of fathers in child health and development (see, and on links between paternal absence and early menarche (see


Work and health

While people have always had to cope with environmental change, intergroup conflict, and other threats to our ability to survive, in many modern economies employment security has been eroded such that few people can be assured that they will be able to live at their current level of housing and food security for the foreseeable future. One way to determine the likely future health effects and healthcare needs due to recent changes in employment security is to study health effects in the past few generations using national longitudinal cohort study data. My recent paper which can be accessed here addresses this issue in the 1970 national British birth Cohort (


Research Methods

I was trained as both an ethnographer and in quantitative methods. I carried out anthropological fieldwork in an indigenous Mayan community in Belize. More recently I have become involved in analysis of National cohort study data. My statistical expertise includes multilevel modelling, panel data and survival analysis. I am a member of the Statistical Society of Australia.

Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, University of New Mexico

Award Date: 1 May 1999

External positions

University of Durham

University of East Anglia

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Research Output

  • 552 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 20 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 2 Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Kin-based alloparenting and infant hospital admissions in the UK Millennium cohort

Waynforth, D., 18 Jun 2020, In : Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. 2020, 1, p. 72-81 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    250 Downloads (Pure)

    Ancestral Birth Spacing

    Waynforth, D., 23 Oct 2018, Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Shackelford, T. & Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds.). Springer, 6 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryResearchpeer-review

  • Open Access
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    15 Downloads (Pure)

    Mate copying

    Waynforth, D., 2018, Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Shackelford, T. & Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds.). Springer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryResearchpeer-review