Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
University of California,
Davis One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616, USA
- PhD, Northwestern University, 1987
- I trained as a social anthropologist at the University of Edinburgh, and then worked in journalism, teaching and museum archaeology before starting a PhD at Northwestern University, where I wrote a dissertation based on the application of a behavioural ecological and economic model to polygyny in rural Africa – the polygyny threshold model. After a post doc at the Evolution and Human Behavior Program at University of Michigan I took up a faculty position in Anthropology (Evolutionary Wing) at UC Davis in 1991, where I have happily stayed all these years.
I am a human behavioural ecologist working on projects relating to life history, conservation, and global patterns of cultural variation. HBE-ers explore the big "Why" questions about our species, such as why do people marry, what is the basis of gender roles in economic and social behaviour, why has fertility dropped so radically in most parts of the world, why are people such poor conservationists of natural resources, and many others. I just finished enjoying a yearlong fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. I have three major foci of interest.
First, I do fieldwork in East Africa, both alone and with students, investigating issues relating to human life history variation, fertility, marriage, inheritance, divorce, sexual conflict, health and household economics; my current behavioral ecological research focuses on Rukwa villages in western Tanzania. I am currently co-coordinating a collaborative project on Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth at the Santa Fe Institute, with Sam Bowles. I also edit a book series on the Origins of Human Behavior and Culture at the University of California Press.
Second, I work on both the evolutionary and applied aspects of natural resource management, particularly with respect to conflicts over land use and community conservation, see the recent Princeton University Press book "Conservation: Linking Ecology, Economics and Culture". With students I am continuing to work on meta-analyses of the success of different conservation strategies. In 2006 with collaborators at the University of Minnesota we set up Savannas Forever (Tanzania), now linked to The Whole Village Project at the University of Minnesota, as a Tanzanian NGO designed to seek evaluate practical solutions to the conservation of natural resources. I am currently Chair of the Board of SFTZ. I also work with Collaboration for Environmental Evidence.
Third I am interested in grand global patterns of macrocultural variation. In collaboration with Charlie Nunn, Mary Towner and Mark Grote we are developing new methods for determining the roles of history and geography in patterning cultural variation.
I also work directly in community development in Tanzania, coordinating the Mpimbwe Project, a platform for a variety of community-based initiatives in the Rukwa Valley. With my husband Tim Caro we were awarded the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award in 2009. For blatant self-advertisement, anyone thinking seriously about conducting anthropological research in developing nations should read the entertaining tales of my friends and relations "I've Been Gone Far Too Long".
Finally here you can read more about Tim Caro's and my study site in Western Tanzania (Katavi-Rukwa Ecosystem)
Curtis Atkisson, interested in human behavioral ecology and cultural evolution, also statistical, mathematical and computational modeling
Nicole Naar, research on community fisheries in Mexico
Ryan Schacht, research on the comparative analysis of sexual strategies, mate choice, and parental investment in Guyana
Andamile Martin (co-supervised with Tim Caro) working on the bush meat trade in Tanzania
Jonathan Salerno, working on population issues surrounding protected areas in Tanzania
Asma Mohseni, working on patterning of inequality across villages in norther Tanzania
Emily Fitzherbert (Postdoc, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University) working on lion-killing by Sukuma in Tanzania
Peter Mgawe (Institute of Social Work, Dar es Salaam - Kijitonyama)
Charlie Nunn (Post doc, Duke University)
Mary Towner (Post doc, Oaklahoma State University)
Jeremy Brooks (Ohio State University)
Jenny Moylan (UC Davis Education Abroad Program)
Chris Holmes (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Craig Hadley (Emory University)
Kimber Haddix (University of Montana)
Peter Coppolillo (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Daniel Sellen (University of Toronto)
Daniela Sieff (Independent science writer/film maker)
Power of the Past. A review of The World until Yesterday. Diamond, J. (2013). Nature 493: 477-478.
Mgawe, P, Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Caro, T. and S.J. Seel (2013). Historia ya Kabila la Pimbwe. Mkuki na Nyota Publishers. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Brooks, J.S., Waylen, K.A., and M. Borgerhoff Mulder (). How national context, project design, and local community characteristics influence success in community-bases conservation projects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109:21265-70.
Towner, M., Grote, M.N., Venti, J. and M. Borgerhoff Mulder (2012). Cultural Macroevolution on Neighbor Graphs: Vertical and Horizontal Transmission among Western North American Indian Societies. Human Nature 23: 283-305.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M., M. Msalu, T. Caro and J.Salerno (2012). Remarkable rates of lightning strike mortality in Malawi. PLOS One 7:1-4
Borgerhoff Mulder, M. and B. A. Beheim (2011). Understanding the nature of wealth and its effects on human fitness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 366:344-356.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M., S. Bowles, T. Hertz, A. Bell, J. Beise, G. Clark, I. Fazzio, M.Gurven, K. Hill, P. Hooper, W. Irons, H. Kaplan, D. L. Leonetti, F. Marlowe, S. Naidu, D. Nolin, P. Piraino, R. J. Quinlan, R. Sear, P. Shenk, E. A. Smith, and P. Wiessner 2009. The Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth and the Dynamics of Inequality in Pre-Modern Societies. Science 326: 682-88.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M. and K.L. Rauch 2009. Sexual Conflict in Humans: Variations and Solutions. Evolutionary Anthropology 18: 201-214.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M. 2009 Serial monogamy as polyandry or polygyny? Marriage in the Tanzanian Pimbwe. Human Nature 20: 130-150.
Brown, G. R., K. N. Laland, and M. Borgerhoff Mulder. 2009. Bateman’s principles and human sex roles. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24(6):297-304
Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Caro, T and A. O. Msago. 2007. Integrating anthropological, archeological, biological and historical research in a long term conservation study in the Katavi ecosytem. Conservation Biology 21, No. 3, 647–658.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Nunn, C.L. and M. Towner. 2006. Macroevolutionary studies of cultural trait variation: The importance of transmission mode. Evolutionary Anthropology 15: 52-64.