2020 HBES Early Career Award Winner

From the HBES Early Career Award Committee (Pascal Boyer, Owen Jones, and Deb Lieberman)


The competition for the 2020 HBES Early Career Award was especially fierce this year with several outstanding candidates. This year’s winner, to be celebrated at the 2021 HBES conference in Palm Springs, is Dr. Katherine McAuliffe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College. Dr. McAuliffe’s research examines the evolutionary origins and development of human sociality, in particular inequity aversion, fairness, and third-party punishment. Her research has been published in numerous leading journals including Nature, Science, PNAS, Animal Behaviour, Cognition, Developmental Psychology, and the Quarterly Review of Biology.

As her letter writers note, Katherine is “at the forefront of bringing evolutionary biology to understanding human cognitive development and developmental psychology.” She has done so by investigating behavior in a number of species including meerkats, capuchins, dogs, and dingoes. In humans, her data collection spans several countries including Ecuador, Uganda, China, India, and Peru. The committee echoes her nominators in that Katie’s “interdisciplinary approach, entrepreneurial spirit and scientific rigor make her an outstanding role model and inspiration to [her] graduate students, post-docs, new professors and budding…scientists, more generally.” ‘