Dr. Brian Wood presents The Movement Ecology of Gendered Foraging among Hadza Hunter-Gatherers


Start Date: Nov 07, 2019 - 04:00pm

Location: Hibben Center 105

Dr. Brian Wood will present his talk The Movement Ecology of Gendered Foraging among Hadza Hunter-Gatherers on Thursday, November 7 at 4 pm in the Hibben Center lecture hall 105.  His talk will discuss how humans think about, explore, and use landscapes like no other species, reflecting our unique biological and cultural adaptations. One of these adaptations, observed in all hunter-gatherer societies, is a gendered division of foraging labor. Understanding how gendered economic roles structure space use is important to evolutionary models of foraging behavior, social organization, and cognition. In this talk, Dr. Wood will examine the Hadza's spatial behavior using a large corpus of GPS data collected over the last decade. Foraging theories propose that the rarity and mobility of targeted foods should predict movement patterns, and that strong gender differences in space use should arise in a hunting and gathering context if men and women target different resources. The search for rarer and more mobile foods, such as wild game, should produce more extensive and sinuous travel, while the harvesting of plant foods should lead to concentrated, straight-line travel to and from known locations. Dr. Wood tests these predictions by examining 2,078 person-days of GPS-recorded movement. In this talk, he will also discuss the evolution and development of gender-differentiated travel, and relationships between measures of spatial behavior and spatial cognition.

Dr. Brian Wood is a human behavioral ecologist who conducts research with Hadza hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania. He is an assistant professor at UCLA in the Department of Anthropology, and an external scientist of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture.