Integrative Anthropological Sciences (behavioral ecology, human biology, biodemography, hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists, life history theory, indigenous health; Bolivia, Paraguay)
PhD, University of New Mexico
Professor Gurven's research intersects two principal areas: human social behavior and life history evolution. He has studied how members of small-scale societies organize inter-personal relations to solve salient, recurrent economic problems. This includes the sharing of food and labor among foragers and horticulturalists and different forms of assistance during periods of distress, conflict and disaster. He has published extensively on the economics of exchange and production, and on collective action, based primarily on fieldwork with the Ache of Paraguay and Tsimane of Bolivia, two South American forager-horticulturalist populations.
His current research in biodemography and health disparities attempts to understand environmental and social impacts on growth, development, and aging across the lifespan. He also focuses on how acculturation and market integration have impacted demographic and social patterns, and chronic disease risk (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, dementia) among indigenous populations. Since 2002, Gurven has directed the Tsimane Health and Life History Project, a long-term study funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, to understand biological and social contexts of life history tradeoffs affecting health and life span.
- Gurven, M., Stieglitz, J., Trumble, B., Blackwell, A.D., Beheim, B., Davis, H., Hooper, P., Kaplan, H. The Tsimane Health and Life History Project: Integrating anthropology and biomedicine. Evolutionary Anthropology 26:54-73.
- Gurven, M., Trumble, B.C.†, Stieglitz, J., Blackwell, A.D., Michalik, D.E., Finch, C.E., Kaplan, H. Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in evolutionary perspective: a critical role for helminths? Evolution, Medicine & Public Health 338-357.
- Gurven, M., Costa, M.*, Trumble, B.†, Stieglitz, J., Beheim, B.†, Eid Rodriguez, D., Hooper, P.L., Kaplan, H. Costs of reproduction and maternal depletion in a high fertility and mortality population. Nature Scientific Reports 6:30056.
- Gurven, M., Blackwell, A., Eid Rodriguez, D., Stieglitz J., Kaplan, H. 2012. Does blood pressure inevitably rise with age? Longitudinal evidence among isolated forager-horticulturalists. Hypertension 60:25-33.
- Gurven, M., Stieglitz, J., Hooper, P., Gomes, C., Kaplan, H. 2012. From the womb to the tomb: the role of transfers in shaping the evolved human life history. Experimental Gerontology 47:807-813.
- Gurven, M., Hill, K. 2009. Why do men hunt? A re-evaluation of "Man the Hunter" and the sexual division of labor. Current Anthropology 50(1):51-74.
- Gurven, M. 2006. The evolution of contingent cooperation.Current Anthropology 47(1):185-192.
- Gurven, M., Walker, R. 2006. Energetic demand of multiple dependents and the evolution of slow human growth. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences 273:835-841.