Anthropology Colloquia Series: Dr. Dieter Lukas Presents Ecology, Kinship, & the Evolution of Societies


Start Date: Nov 14, 2018 - 12:00pm

Location: Castetter Hall 100

Dr. Dieter Lukas, Senior Researcher, Comparative Behavioral Ecology Group, Department of Human Behaviour, Ecology and Culture, The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology will present his talk, Ecology, Kinship and the Evolution of Societies. The event, co-hosted with the UNM Department of Anthropology, will take place at noon in Castetter Hall 101 on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

Abstract: Human populations around the world show immense variation in behavior, shaped by a complex interplay of historical, cultural, and ecological influences that has been difficult to disentangle. In this presentation, Dr. Lukas will first show that the global distribution of many human behavioral traits closely mirrors that of other mammals and birds living in the same area. Ecological factors appear to consistently constrain food choice (diet composition, food storage) and demography (population density, migration) of populations living in a given habitat, as well as the mating (sexual dimorphism, age at first reproduction) and the social system (offspring care, sex-bias in philopatry). To determine how ecology might shape social behavior, Dr. Lukas will draw on comparative studies of mammals to show that ecology and life-history influence whether interacting individuals are related or not and that it is this variation in kinship that influences behavior. Dr. Lukas will discuss whether this framework offers opportunity to understand variation in human behavior.