Anna has acted as an on-screen behavioural and scientific expert and as an off-screen consultant on a number of BBC, Channel 4 and international channel productions.
Life’s Essential Elements
ABC, Australia, Airing 2021
In this three-part series exploring the pivotal moments in the evolution of life, Anna joins a cast of distinguished experts to focus on the evolution of human social behaviour from the perspective of genetics, biochemistry and evolutionary biology. She relates the story of the evolution of love and the cocktail of addictive neurochemicals which underpin it, discusses her ground-breaking work on the science of fatherhood and explores the darker sides of love which express themselves in psychopathy and coercion. This series is all about bringing the science of human evolution right up to date.
Myths of Humankind
ZDF, Germany, Aired August 2020
For this ten-part series produced by Story House Productions in Berlin, Anna went right back to her anthropological roots to explore the role for myth in human society and evolution. Over the ten programmes, she explores how myths have allowed us to tell stories about our origins, reinforced our identity in times of war, enabled us to explain the apparently inexplicable and continue to hold considerable power over us despite the best efforts of scientific reason.
Kathy Burke's All Women
Channel 4, Aired August 2019
Kathy Burke visited Anna at Oxford University to ask her about the science of love as part of her three-part documentary exploring the lives of 21st century women. In a wide-ranging chat Anna explained the neurochemical cocktail of love, why love at first sight doesn’t exist, why women compromise more in relationships and why we can dispense with romantic love but the love of our friends is vital to our health and happiness. Kathy wished she’d met Anna years ago...
Christmas University Challenge: BBC Two
Aired 2nd, 4th and 5th January 2018
In a slight change to her day job, Anna joined a team of University of Reading alumni to battle for the crown of Christmas University Challenge Champions 2018. Alongside Martin Hughes-Games (Springwatch), Pippa Greenwood (Gardener’s Question Time) and Sophie Walker (Leader, Women’s Equality Party), Anna did battle with Brunel University in the first round, University College London in the semi-final and the formidable Keble College, Oxford in the final. Great fun and a lot of laughs were had by all and Reading’s result in the final should secure their place in the history of University Challenge for evermore. Anna is now safely back doing her day job.
Married at First Sight: (CPL Productions/Channel 4)
Aired: Season 1: July 2015, Season 2: October 2016
Would you marry someone selected for you by a panel of relationships experts and agree to marry them despite not meeting them until your wedding day? Based on a pioneering Danish format this social experiment followed couples as they volunteered to have their psychological and biological data collected, through the matching process, to the wedding day and on into married life. It asked the question to what extent can we predict who will fall in love and how much is fate?
Anna was the chief scientist and led the collection of psychological, genetic and biological data from contributors, carried out analysis to inform the matching process and carried out onscreen interviews and to camera pieces to unpack the contributors’ experiences.