Background and Interests
Born in Kenya, I arrived at the Dept. of Anthropology, UC Davis, and the University's Graduate Group in Ecology via degrees from the University of Cambridge, UK. Besides research and teaching there, I have also worked at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the National University of Rwanda at Butare, Rwanda, and at the Primate Research Institute of the University of Kyoto at Inuyama, Japan. Field research has taken me to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, the Karisoke Research Centre in the Virunga Volcano region of Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire, the Bwindi Forest in Uganda, and the forests of S.E. Nigeria. In addition to my work at UCD, I am on the Scientific Board of the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Explorit Science Centre, and I am a Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Tropical Research at UCLA. Much of my work is done in collaboration with my wife, Kelly Stewart. She got her degrees from Stanford University, and from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Past interests have included functional reproductive anatomy, cooperation as a competitive strategy, social aspects of vocal communication. Current interests are biogeography and macroecology, conservation biology, extinction biology, and socio-ecology, almost always with primates as the study subject. Some examples of specific questions : Biogeography and macroecology - do primates show the classic relationship between local density and extent of geographic distribution and, if so, why? Conservation biology - what is the relative influence of human density and reserve area on extinction? Extinction biology - what traits distinguish taxa susceptible to extinction from more persistent taxa? Socio-ecology - how does the nature of the environment interact with the nature of competition, conflict and compromise between the sexes to produce the sort of society we see?