Dr Barnaby Dixson
The University of Queensland
Dr Barnaby Dixson’s research is about the science of attractiveness by looking to our ancestral human origins, how we behave compared to other animals, and how our cultures and snap judgments influence what we think about physical appearance. His research has shown that we judge physical appearance within 200 milliseconds. He found that even though the size of a body judged most attractive differs by culture, the female hourglass shape is seen as most attractive, possibly to signal youth, health and reproductive potential to men. But what do male beards signal? Dr Dixson’s research has shown that like other monkeys and apes, they’ve probably evolved as a signal of manliness to other men. Whether a beard is attractive and popular also varies greatly across cultures, so that when beards are rare they are more attractive than when they are common.
Barnaby’s research has been of particular interest to the public and media because it’s a topic for which everyone has an opinion.He has been interviewed for international Radio networks including BBC World Service and ABC Radio, and also appearing on national television including SBS Insight and Channel 7 Morning Show. His research has also been featured international publications such as, New York Times, The New Yorker, and National Geographic.