monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Evolution'

Seriously, People, It's Selection, Not Mutation!

September 21st, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Infectious Disease, science

I just read an excellent piece at Slate.com this morning by Benjamin Hale. He notes that the scariest, most insidious thing about Ebola Virus Disease is that the disease capitalizes on intimate contact for transmission. While diseases such as influenza or cholera are transmitted by casual contact, frequently to strangers, via aerosolized droplets (influenza) or fecally […]

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Selection is What Matters

September 12th, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Infectious Disease

This has to be a quick one, but I wanted to go on the record is noting my frustration at the current concern that Ebola might “mutate” into something far worse, like a pathogen that is efficiently transmitted by aerosol. For example, Michael Osterholm wrote in the New York Times yesterday, “The second possibility is one […]

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On Genetics and Human Behavioral Biology

August 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

Nicholas Wade, former science reporter for the New York Times has written a book, A Troublesome Inheritance, in which he argues that large-scale societal differences (e.g., the existence of capitalist democracies in the West or of paternalistic, authoritarian political systems in Asia) may be attributable to small genetic differences that were fixed at a population […]

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EEID 2014 Wrap-Up

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, science

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in monkey’s uncle. Life has gotten pretty busy and my seeming inability to write brief entries has led me to neglect the blog this year. However, I am freshly back from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado and feel compelled to […]

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Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease

May 25th, 2013 · No Comments · Evolution, Human Ecology, Infectious Disease, science

I am recently back from the 2013 Ecology and Evolution of Infections Disease Conference at Penn State University. This was quite possibly the best meeting I have ever attended, not even for the science (which was nonetheless impeccable), but for the culture. I place the blame for this awesome culture firmly on the shoulders of […]

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The Return of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

April 25th, 2013 · No Comments · Conservation, Evolution

The New York Times had a terrific story on Wednesday on the recovery of an endemic trout previously believed to be extinct since the 1940s in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. As I am currently teaching my class, Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health, with its emphasis on adaptation as local process and human-environment interaction, I was happy […]

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On Anthropological Sciences and the AAA

November 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology, science, Teaching

I guess the time has rolled around again for my annual navel-gaze regarding my discipline, my place within it, and its future. Two strangely interwoven events have conspired to make me particularly philosophical as we enter into the winter holidays. First, I am in the middle of a visit by my friend, colleague, and former […]

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Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

It was a conceptually dense week in class.  The first part of the week I spent talking about topics such as ecological complexity, vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience. One of the key take-home messages of this material is that uncertainty is ubiquitous in complex ecological systems.  Now, while systemic uncertainty does not mean that the world […]

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Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Teaching

I’m done now with the first week of the Spring quarter. It was a bit challenging because I had to attend the PAA meetings in Washington, DC for the latter part of the week, but Brian Wood ably covered for me on Thursday. I thought that I would use the blog as a tool for […]

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Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health

March 25th, 2011 · No Comments · Anthropology, Evolution, Human Ecology

Yesterday, I spent most of the day collecting content for my upcoming classes this spring and getting the course web sites together.  For the first time in a while, I will (officially) be teaching two classes in one quarter (which effectively means teaching three or four when I add the other things like lab meetings […]

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