Interests: Culture evolution, computational social science, isotopic analysis of skeletal remains
Researching culture evolution and diversification, the spread of information and behaviour, and collective decision making.
Ancestors to Algorithms: The Evolution of Cultural Evolution, by Alex Bentley and Michael O'Brien (M.I.T. Press, forthcoming 2017)
Bentley, R.A. and M.J. O’Brien (2017) Food insecurity as a driver of obesity in humans: The insurance hypothesis (comment). Behavior and Brain Sciences, in press.
Degryse, P. and R.A. Bentley (2017). Archaeological geochemistry. In (W.M. White, ed.) Encyclopedia of Geochemistry, in press. Heidelberg: Springer.
Ikehara-Quebral, R.M., M.T. Stark, W. Belcher, V. Vuthy, J. Krigbaum, R.A. Bentley, M. Pietrusewsky & M.T. Douglas (2017). Biocultural Practices during the Transition to History at Angkor Borei, Cambodia. Asian Perspectives, in press.
Bentley, R.A., W.A. Brock, C.C.S. Caiado and M.J. O’Brien (2016). Evaluating reproductive decisions as discrete choices under social influence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371: 20150154.
Caiado, C.C.S., W.A Brock, R.A. Bentley and M.J O'Brien (2016). Fitness landscapes among many options under social influence. Journal of Theoretical Biology 405: 5–16.
Bentley, R.A. and M.J. O’Brien (2016) Comment on “The Evolution of Cultural Complexity,” by Andersson and Read. Current Anthropology 57: 277-278.
Brock, W.A., M.J. O’Brien & R.A. Bentley (2016) Validating niche-construction theory through path analysis. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 8(4): 819-837.
Bentley, R.A. & M.J. O’Brien (2015) Collective behaviour, uncertainty and environmental change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, in press.
Bentley, R.A., M.J. O’Brien, K. Manning & S. Shennan (2015) On the relevance of the European Neolithic. Antiquity 89: 1203-1210.
King, C.L., N. Tayles, C. Higham, U. Strand-Viđarsdóttir, R.A. Bentley, C. G. Macpherson, & G.M. Nowell (2015) Using isotopic evidence to assess the impact of migration and the two-layer hypothesis in prehistoric northeast Thailand. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158(1): 141–150.
O’Brien, M.J. & R.A. Bentley (2015) The role of food storage in human niche construction: An example from Neolithic Europe. Environmental Archaeology 20:364–378.
Bentley, R.A., C.C.S. Caiado and P. Ormerod (2015) Complexity in spatial dynamics. In Tipping Points: Modelling Social Problems and Health (J. Bissell et al., eds., Wiley): 130–145.
Garnett, P., S. Mollan & R.A. Bentley (2015) Complexity in history: modelling the organizational demography of the British banking sector. Business History 57: 181–201.
R. Alexander Bentley and Michael O’Brien (2017). Ancestors to Algorithms: The Evolution of Cultural Evolution (M.I.T. Press, forthcoming)
Alex Bentley, Mark Earls and Michael O’Brien (2011). I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behavior. MIT Press.
“An extremely intelligent book, short and well expressed” — Kevin Duncan, Greatest Hits Blog.
“Many nice details” - Steven Poole, The Guardian
Selected other publications
Bentley, R.A., P. Bickle, L. Fibiger, G.M. Nowell, C.W. Dale, R.E.M. Hedges, J. Hamilton, J. Wahl, M. Francken, G. Grupe, E. Lenneis, M. Teschler-Nicola, R.-M. Arbogast, D. Hofmann & A. Whittle (2012). Community differentiation and kinship among Europe's first farmers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 9326-9330.
Brock, W.A., R.A. Bentley, M.J. O'Brien & C.C.S. Caiado (2014). Estimating a path through a map of decision making. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111022.
Bentley, R.A., M.J. O'Brien & W.A. Brock (2014). Mapping collective behavior in the big-data era. Behavioral & Brain Sciences 37: 63-119.
Bentley, R.A. et al. (2014). Social tipping points and Earth systems dynamics. Frontiers in Environmental Science 2:35.
Bentley, R.A., A. Acerbi, V. Lampos, P. Ormerod (2014). Books average previous decade of economic misery. PLoS ONE 9(1): e83147.
Bentley, R.A., C. Caiado & P. Ormerod (2014). Effects of memory on spatial heterogeneity in neutrally transmitted culture. Evolution & Human Behavior 35: 257-263.
Acerbi, A. & R.A. Bentley (2014) Biases in cultural transmission shape the turnover of popular traits. Evolution & Human Behavior 35: 228 - 236.
King, C.L. R.A. Bentley, C.F.W. Higham, N. Tayles, U. Strand Viðarsdóttir, R.L. Layton, G. G. Macpherson & G. Nowell (2014) Economic change after the agricultural revolution in Southeast Asia? Antiquity 88: 112--125.
Acerbi, A., V. Lampos, P. Garnett & R.A. Bentley (2013) The expression of emotions in 20th century books. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59030.
Bentley, R.A. (2013). Mobility and the diversity of Early Neolithic lives: isotopic evidence from skeletons. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32: 303-312.
Bentley, R.A. & M.J. O’Brien (2012). Cultural evolutionary tipping points in the storage and transmission of information. Frontiers in Psychology 3: article 569.