Ph.D., UC Davis 1975 [Ecology]
Office: 368 Haines Hall
341 Haines Hall - Box 951553
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553
Biological anthropology, mathematical models of cultural evolution, evolutionary theory.
Unlike other organisms, humans acquire a rich body of information from others by teaching, imitation, and other forms of social learning, and this culturally transmitted information strongly influences human behavior. Culture is an essential part of the human adaptation, and as much a part of human biology as bipedal locomotion or thick enamel on our molars. My research is focused on the evolutionary psychology of the mechanisms that give rise to and shape human culture, and how these mechanisms interact with population dynamic processes to shape human cultural variation. I have done much of this work in collaboration with Peter J. Richerson
A new book entitled Not by Genes Alone: How culture transformed human evolution gives a nonmathematical treatment of this work, and is now available from the University of Chicago Press.
Richard McElreath and I also now have a draft of our new book entitled Modeling the Evolution of Social Behavior which is an introduction to evolutionary game theory for readers with modest training in mathematics. Contact me for access to this manuscript.
1985 with P.J. Richerson. Culture and the Evolutionary Process, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL
1995 with J. Soltis and P.J. Richerson. Can Group Functional Behaviors Evolve By Cultural Group Selection? An Empirical Test. Current Anthropology. 36:473-494.
1996 with P.J. Richerson. Why Culture Is Common, But Cultural Evolution Is Rare, Proceedings of the British Academy. 88:77-93.
1996 with P.J. Richerson. Life in the Fast Lane: Rapid Adaptation and the Human Evolutionary Process. The Evolution of the Human Brain. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
1997 with J.B. Silk, How Humans Evolved, W.W. Norton, Co: NY.
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