Ms Sara Loo


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Biographical details

Sara Loo graduated from the University of Wollongong, Australia, in 2014, with a Bachelor of Medical Mathematics Advanced Honours. She is currently a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia, where her research focuses on the evolution of uniquely human behaviors.

Research interests

Main interests lie at the intersection of mathematics and dynamical systems, with human behaviour. She investigates different hypotheses about human evolution embedded within anthropology. In particular, this includes investigation of the evolution of pair-bonding in humans, and in choices of food acquisition and sharing within hunter-gatherer populations as driven by status tradeoffs.

Thesis work

Thesis title: A mathematical investigation into the evolution of human strategic choice

Supervisors: Peter KIM , Mary MYERSCOUGH

Thesis abstract:

Human behaviour has evolved from its ancestors, adapting to new and changing environments, and in response to the behaviour of others around them. Hypotheses of the origins and mechanisms of these uniquely human behaviours have been presented throughout anthropological literature. Mathematical modelling attempts to quantify these hypotheses and shed light on the mechanisms and assumptions that result in aspects of human behaviour that we observe in human life history.

Current projects

Evolution of male reproductive strategies with sex ratio dependent payoffs
This work is part of a continued collaboration with Distinguished Professor Kristen Hawkes, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA.

Cultural evolution of low fertility at high socio-economic status.
This work is currently underway in association with the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as part of their Young Scientists' Summer Program (YSSP17) - under the supervision of Ulf Dieckmann and Professor Karl Sigmund.

connecting pair bonds with grandmothering

Awards and honours

2016 The Philipp Hofflin International Research Travel Scholarship

2014 - present Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Loo, S., Hawkes, K., Kim, P. (2017). Evolution of male strategies with sex-ratio-dependent pay-offs: connecting pair bonds with grandmothering. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 372(1729), Art. 20170041 - 1-Art. 20170041 - 8. [More Information]
  • Loo, S., Chan, M., Hawkes, K., Kim, P. (2017). Further Mathematical Modelling of Mating Sex Ratios & Male Strategies with Special Relevance to Human Life History. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 79(8), 1907-1922. [More Information]

2017

  • Loo, S., Hawkes, K., Kim, P. (2017). Evolution of male strategies with sex-ratio-dependent pay-offs: connecting pair bonds with grandmothering. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 372(1729), Art. 20170041 - 1-Art. 20170041 - 8. [More Information]
  • Loo, S., Chan, M., Hawkes, K., Kim, P. (2017). Further Mathematical Modelling of Mating Sex Ratios & Male Strategies with Special Relevance to Human Life History. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 79(8), 1907-1922. [More Information]

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