Academic Profile

People Feature

Paula Sheppard

Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow in Sociology

Research Interests: Parental investment and socioeconomic inequality.

I have a background in evolutionary anthropology and family demography and received my PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2014 from the Department of Population Health. I am broadly interested in parental investment and socioeconomic inequality and my thesis research mainly tried to understand the impact of childhood deprivation on children's life history outcomes, across different populations. Extending from this research, I am now working with Christiaan Monden on the Family Size Matters project, and I am currently researching inter-generational social mobility with a particular focus on the influence of, and upon, grandparents.

Paula Sheppard


Sheppard, P and R. Sear (2012) Father absence predicts age at sexual maturity and reproductive timing in British men. Biology Letters 8(2) 237-240

Sheppard, P, K. Snopkowski and R. Sear (2014) Father absence and reproduction-related outcomes in a transitional fertility population. Human Nature 25(2) 213-234

Sheppard, P., M. Pearce, and R. Sear (2015) How does childhood socioeconomic hardship affect reproductive strategy? Pathways of development. American Journal of Human Biology. 28(3): 356-363

Sheppard, P., J. R. Garcia and R. Sear (2015) Childhood family disruption adult height: Is there a mediating role of puberty? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health

Sheppard, P. and R. Sear (2016) Do grandparents compete with or support their grandchildren? In Guatemala, paternal grandmothers may compete, and maternal grandmothers may cooperate. Royal Society Open Science 3:160069