Human behavioral ecology (HBE) and life history theory (LHT) apply evolutionary principles to the study of human diversity. Biodemography integrates evolutionary biology and demography to help explain the range of variation in human health, physiology, and the life course from infancy to old age. Using an evolutionary framework, Professor Michael Gurven’s research group examines behavior, psychology and health to determine how ecological and social factors shape design features of traits and their phenotypic plasticity within and among human populations. Incorporating these often separated fields of study into the same working group allows us to appreciate adaptive solutions to the competing life-history demands of growth, development, reproduction, parental care, and mate acquisition.
Located at the University of California at Santa Barbara, this working group occupies both wet lab and behavioral lab space, as well as field sites around the globe.
Here are a few of our current foci:
social and economic aspects of cooperation / testing models of human longevity / social learning of subsistence and social strategies / human foraging behavior / evolution of human growth and ecological variation / social and human capital in small-scale societies / biodemography and life history / fertility transitions and reproductive decision-making / social status, networks, and leadership / mate guarding and behavioral implications of sexual proprietariness /evolutionary medicine / development and senescence of immune function / intergenerational transfers / hormone-behavior interactions
University of California-Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106