monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

monkey's uncle header image 4

EEID 2014 Wrap-Up

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease

May 25th, 2013 · No Comments

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

Response to Selection

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Teaching

Nicholas Wade on Science and Anthropology

December 11th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Nicholas Wade, who normally writes really terrific stuff on science in the New York Times, has a brief piece on our Anthropology fracas du jour. It’s good to see an expression of concern for the place of science in anthropology in such a prominent place and by such an important science writer.  I just wish […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Human Ecology · Teaching

Ah, Ape-Scat, Pleasing is the Fragrance of Your Perfumes

September 30th, 2010 · No Comments

One of the fundamental ontological questions of our day is surely, “is there anything you can’t do with ape scat?” Well, OK, this might be pushing it a bit far, but a recent article in the New York Times makes a pretty strong case for the blessings of this pungent goo.  My collaborator Beatrice Hahn, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Infectious Disease · Primates

On Systematic Nomenclature

May 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments

OK, this may seem like a pretty serious geek-out, but a pet peeve of mine has just been tweaked by the New York Times.  Olivia Judson has written her usual stimulating and thought-provoking essay, this time on the recent decoding and publication of the Neanderthal genome by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Evolution

Best Simile Ever?

April 20th, 2010 · No Comments

Matt Ridley pens a hilarious simile in his great book, Nature Via Nurture (published as The Agile Gene in the United States) that I think you might actually need to be an evolutionary anthropologist to fully appreciate.  And I quote: Just as sex enabled mammals to combine two great inventions — lactation and the placenta […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Anthropology · Evolution

The Key to the Survival of the Human Species?

October 16th, 2009 · No Comments

Perhaps it’s just me being a bit groggy from jet-lag, but I just read one of the most bizarre things I think I have ever seen in the New York Times.  There is a generally very interesting article by Sarah Kershaw on so-called “cougars,” older women who have sexual relationships with younger men. It was […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Demography · Evolution

Stanford Workshop in Biodemography

September 3rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

On 29-31 October, we will be holding our next installment of the Stanford Workshops in Formal Demography and Biodemography, the result of an ongoing grant from NICHD to Shripad Tuljapurkar and myself.  This time around, we will venture onto the bleeding edge of biodemography.  Specific topics that we will cover include: The use of genomic […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Demography · Evolution · Human Ecology · Statistics

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

February 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Well, it’s happened again.  My work has been written up in Science but I am not mentioned.  I’m actually not that concerned this time — we’re going to submit the paper for publication soon. I’ve been telling myself (and other people) that this thing we’ve ben working on (all the while being very cryptic about what […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Conservation · Demography · Evolution · Infectious Disease · Primates