Human behavioral ecology: II


  • Eric Alden Smith

    Associate Professor
    1. Anthropology at the University of Washington
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    • He is a specialist in Native American ethnography, human behavioral ecology, and evolutionary theory. He is the author of Inujjuamiut Foraging Strategies (1991), and is editor (with Bruce Winterhalder) of Hunter Gatherer Foraging Strategies (1981) and Evolutionary Ecology and Human Behavior (1992).


Human behavioral ecology is an interdisciplinary field of study applying theory from evolutionary ecology to a variety of anthropological questions. In Part I of this essay,1 which appeared in an earlier issue, I surveyed key theoretical and methodological elements of the field, and summarized representative studies and issues in the topical area of subsistence strategies. In Part II, I turn to studies of reproductive strategies, and those analyzing patterns of cooperation and competition in an ecological and adaptive framework. I conclude with a brief look at possible future developments in the field.