3rd Annual Workshop 2019

3rd Annual ESLR Workshop 2019

12-14th June 2019, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Third time’s a charm, right? Following two successful workshops held in Manchester (2017) and in St Andrews (2018), we are now organising our third annual ESLR workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. This time it will be a three-day multidisciplinary workshop. 

What to expect from this year's workshop?

Scientific workflow from theory to data and back again with conformity as exemplary topic

Project-oriented and hands-on workshop sessions on state-of-the-art social learning research

Open, reproducible and theory-driven science

A platform for exchange on early-career specific issues

Interdisciplinary networking and research showcasing

Opportunity to learn valuable skills and get to know new tools

For a wordier version of the workshop concept, see page 5 in the latest issue of Cultured Scene


  • Welcome reception: Opening remarks from event organizers and director Richard McElreath
  • Icebreaker event
  • Keynote 1: Dr Heidi Colleran, MPI for the Science of Human History
  • Introduction Theory (McElreath/Kandler/Fogarty)
  • Group sessions on Theory
  • Open poster session with wine/cheese
  • Keynote 2: Dr Lucy Aplin, MPI for Ornithology
  • Introduction Data (Beheim)
  • Group sessions on Data
  • Example: Cultural transmission in capuchins (Barrett)
  • Social event in one of Leipzig’s amazing beer gardens
  • Introduction Statistical Inference (Ross)
  • Group sessions on Statistical Inference
  • Endnote
  • ESLR Annual General Meeting 2019

Participants will have the opportunity to present their own work, in the form of a poster, to other attendees and to colleagues and senior researchers from MPI, in an open-doors event. Research on social learning or on topics with a direct applicability to the field is welcomed.

Keynote speakers

Heidi is an anthropologist working at the intersection of anthropology, demography and evolution. Her main area of interest is reproductive behavior and its effects on population dynamics and cultural evolution. Her work combines approaches from the humanities and social sciences and tries to bridge micro and macro levels of analysis. Since 2015, she has been doing fieldwork in small-scale communities in Vanuatu where she manages an interdisciplinary project involving linguists, geneticists, archaeologists, psychologists and political scientists. From September 2019, she will be leading an Independent Max Planck Research Group at the MPI in Leipzig, on the topic of “The Cultural Evolution of Reproduction”.

Lucy studies information use, social networks and social learning, mostly in wild populations of birds. She is interested in the interactions between individual behaviour, social dynamics and animal culture. Her current and past work has asked questions like: what is the process by which new behaviours emerge, spread and persist in animal populations? Can the cultural inheritance of information form an important component of a species’ life history? What is the relationship between cognition, demographics, and cultural evolution?

Accommodation in Leipzig

It is relatively easy to find accommodation in Leipzig. As the institute is located in the southeast of the city, we would recommend hotels/hostels/Airbnb either in that area or in the city center from where there are frequent connections. If you need help with finding accommodation, let us know!


How to get to Leipzig

Train: Leipzig is well connected and can be reached by train from cities all over Germany but also from other places in central Europe.

Flying: Leipzig/Halle Airport is a rather small airport that can be reached from several mainly European cities. Two lines of the suburban S-Bahn connect directly to Leipzig. You can also fly to Berlin (“Tegel” or “Schönefeld”) and take the train to Leipzig (1h 15mins from the main station). It might also be worth checking flights to Frankfurt, which is the largest airport in Germany. There are direct trains from Frankfurt airport (“Fernbahnhof”) to Leipzig that take just over 3 hours.

In Leipzig: All workshop events (other than social) will take place at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig. The MPI is located in the southeast of Leipzig directly opposite of the National Library. Tram lines 2 and 16 stop at “Deutsche Nationalbibliothek” and the nearest S-Bahn stop is “Leipzig MDR”.

Travel funds: If you are unable to secure funding from your institution, we might have some opportunities to cover your travel expenses. If this applies to you, just get in touch with us and we can discuss further details.

Annual General Meeting

On Friday, after the workshop closes we will hold our second AGM. All society members and non-members are welcome to join us. We will discuss the current state and future directions of the society.


If you have any further questions regarding the workshop, please email us at

or find us on twitter (@ESLR2019)

Further information

All participants agree upon application to the workshop that they agree with and adhere to the society’s Code of Conduct. If you have questions about this do not hesitate to contact us.