monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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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 […]

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Tags: Evolution · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · science

On The Dilution Effect

March 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment

A new paper written by Dan Salkeld (formerly of Stanford), Kerry Padgett (CA Department of Public Health), and myself just came out in the journal Ecology Letters this week. One of the most important ideas in disease ecology is a hypothesis known as the “dilution effect”. The basic idea behind the dilution effect hypothesis is […]

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Tags: Conservation · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease

On Global State Shifts

July 5th, 2012 · No Comments

This is a edited version of a post I sent out to the E-ANTH listserv in response to a debate over a recent paper in Nature and the response to it on the website “Clear Science,” written by Todd Meyers. In this debate, it was suggested that the Barnosky paper is the latest iteration of […]

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Tags: Climate Change · Human Ecology

New Grant, Post-Doc Opportunity

August 18th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Biological and Human Dimensions of Primate Retroviral Transmission One of the great enduring mysteries in disease ecology is the timing of the AIDS pandemic. AIDS emerged as a clinical entity in the late 1970s, but HIV-1, the retrovirus that causes pandemic AIDS, entered the human population from wild primates many decades earlier, probably near the […]

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Tags: Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Primates · Social Network Analysis

Guess What: Food Prices Still Near All-Time Highs

July 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment

The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) remains at near record-highs, and this at a time when record droughts and calamitous famine threaten the Horn of Africa. Using the latest data from the FAO FPI page, I plot here the FPI time series from 1990-2011. World food prices are high and have remained so since the […]

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Tags: Biofuels · Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology

Risk Management: The Fundamental Human Adaptation

April 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments

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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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

Models of Human Population Growth

April 7th, 2011 · 3 Comments

The logistic equation is a model of population growth where the size of the population exerts negative feedback on its growth rate. As population size increases, the rate of increase declines, leading eventually to an equilibrium population size known as the carrying capacity.  The time course of this model is the familiar S-shaped growth that […]

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Tags: Demography · Human Ecology

Ecology, Evolution, and Human Health

March 25th, 2011 · No Comments

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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Tags: Anthropology · Evolution · Human Ecology

Stanford Migration and Adaptation Workshop

March 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Information on our NICHD-funded April formal demography workshop on migration and adaptation is now posted on the website Stanford Center for Population Research (SCPR, pronounced ”scooper”).  SCPR is itself hosted by Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), which is also the umbrella organization for the Methods of Analysis Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), a […]

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Tags: Demography

Food Prices Continue to Rise

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

Newly released data by FAO show that food prices continued to rise, up 3.4% from the last month of 2010. This is yet another record high. Here is a plot based on the FAO data (click to enlarge): An article in today’s New York Times attributes much of the rise in price to uncertainty over […]

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Tags: Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology