Dr. Simon J. Greenhill

Portrait of Simon Greenhill

I research why and how people created all the amazing languages around us, and what they tell us about human prehistory.

I use (mainly) Bayesian phylogenetic methods to tackle these questions and have investigated everything from how the Austronesian peoples settled the Pacific, to modelling the co-evolution of linguistic structure. And I have built a number of large-scale databases to help answer these questions.

I'm a senior scientist in the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at Australian National University.