Anthropology professor Debra Vidali and four other faculty across campus recently published an Op-Ed in the campus newspaper on the need to remedy — for both intellectual and moral reasons — the glaring absence of Native American faculty, students, staff, and programming at Emory University.
The Department of Anthropology at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) invites applications for three tenure track positions to begin Fall 2020. For this cluster hire, we seek scholars at the assistant or associate level who are engaged in cutting-edge research in any area of biological anthropology. To complement existing departmental strengths, we are particularly interested in scholars engaged in field and/or lab-based research in the areas of behavioral/human ecology, genetics, human biology, paleoanthropology, prehistoric archaeology, primatology, and scientifically-based medical anthropology. Candidates should be willing and able to regularly teach a large introductory course in biological anthropology or human biology along with courses in their area of expertise and be willing to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates must have a doctoral degree, excellent research record, and a demonstrated commitment to teaching.
Applications should include cover letter, curriculum vita, research statement, teaching statement, a statement about teaching and mentorship of students of diverse backgrounds, and complete contact information for three references. The Department of Anthropology, Emory College and Emory University embrace diversity and seek candidates who will participate in a climate that attracts students of all ethnicities, races, nationalities, genders, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2019. To apply for this position, please visit https://apply.interfolio.com/66080 and submit your materials free of charge through Interfolio. Please direct questions regarding the search to Committee Chair Dr. Craig Hadley at email@example.com. Questions regarding applications may be directed to Lora McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emory University is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
Dr. Moscovice and Dr. Jaeggi research the sexual behavior between female bonobos and their implications based on social behavior and hormones.
Read the Full Article on Science Direct. Hormones and Behavior.
Sex for cooperation: New insights help to explain why same-sex sexual interactions are so important for female bonobos
Among our two closest phylogenetic relatives, chimpanzees remain by far the more thoroughly-studied and widely-recognized species, known for their high levels of cooperation especially among males, which includes sharing food, supporting each other in aggressive conflicts and defending their territories against other communities. In contrast, insights into the social dynamics of wild bonobos are available from only a small number of long-term field sites, and bonobos are probably best known for their diverse sexual behavior, which together with their proposed peacefulness between communities and co-dominance between the sexes, has led to their nickname as the ‘hippie apes.’ The stereotype of bonobos as hyper-sexual is an over-simplification, but it does capture a fascinating aspect of bonobo social behavior. Bonobos are one of the few species in which all adult members of one sex engage in habitual same-sex sexual interactions that occur at similar or even greater frequencies as opposite-sex interactions. In the wild, all adult females perform same-sex genital contacts, known as genito-genital rubbing (or GG-rubbing) on a regular basis with many other females in their community. In contrast, male bonobos rarely engage in same-sex sexual behavior. There are several theories to explain the function of same-sex sexual behavior in bonobos, including as a way to reduce social tension, prevent aggression or form social bonds. However, none of these theories can explain why such behavior occurs so frequently only among females.
To clarify why same-sex sexual behavior is so important specifically for female bonobos, we collected behavioral and hormonal data for over a year from all adult members of a habituated bonobo community at the long-term LuiKotale field site in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to our focus on sexual interactions, we identified preferred partners for other social activities such as giving support in conflicts. We also collected urine to measure the hormone oxytocin, which is released in the body in other species after friendly social interactions, including sex and helps to promote cooperation.
We found that in competitive situations, females preferred to have sex with other females rather than with males. After sex, females often remained closer to each other than did mixed sex pairs, and females had measurable increases in urinary oxytocin following sex with females, but not following sex with males. Among same-sex and opposite-sex pairs, individuals who had more sex also supported each other more often in conflicts, but the majority of these coalitions were formed among females. “It may be that a greater motivation for cooperation among females, mediated physiologically by oxytocin, is the key to understanding how females attain high dominance ranks in bonobo society” explained co-lead author Surbeck.
For humans as well, alliances between members of the same sex provide many benefits, including mutual social support and sharing of resources. There is also historical and cross-cultural evidence that such alliances are often reinforced through sexual interactions. “While it is important to not equate human homosexuality with same-sex sexual behavior in animals, our study suggests that in both humans and a close phylogenetic relative, the evolution of same-sex sexual behavior may have provided new pathways to promote high levels of cooperation” states co-lead author Moscovice.
Just in time for fathers day Jim Rilling’s (Emory Anthropology) fatherhood research is in the spot light of both Emory News and GPB. The Emory News article Five surprising facts about fathers highlights some of the overlooked challenges that fathers face based on a research project done in collaboration with Craig Hadley (Emory Anthropology). Dr. Rilling previously collaborated in research that was published in 2017 by Dr. Jennifer Mascaro (Emory School of Medicine). She investigated the difference in behavior when fathers interact with daughters or sons, such as a focus on social vocabulary for girls and achievement for boys.
In the GPB interview with Virginia Prescott Rilling gets the chance to talk about the work and findings in detail, the interview is available online.
Now what should you give dad? According to Rilling, subjects found quite some enjoyment in sharing their fatherhood experience.
Dr. Knauft presented his work at the biennial conference of the The Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico in early April. He explored how the practices of dream yoga and deity-identification among practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism produce qualities of consciousness that Western psychologists have recently recognized as “lucid dreaming.” (Psychology Today)
On March 21st at the Brownwood Park Pavilion, the Department of Anthropology brought archaeology out of the university and into the community as part of the annual Atlanta Science Festival. In “Become an Archaeologist,” children and parents learned about archaeological science, including how to extract DNA, perform chemical residue analysis, and put together artifacts and bones.
In her recent Journal on Research in Adolescence review paper Worthman argues that puberty and adolescences should not be split up into bio and cultural but seen as a whole. She emphasizes the importance of improving research in this area due to the large numbers, 17% of the worlds population is aged 10-19 right now, and emphasizes the impact of youth development on mental and physical health.
From Emory News: Melvin J. Konner, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology and Behavioral Biology at Emory, will present this year’s John F. Morgan Sr. Distinguished Faculty Lecture.
Konner will speak on “Believers: Faith in Human Nature,” which is also the title of his forthcoming book, on Tuesday, March 26, at 5 p.m. in the Presentation Room of the Oxford Road Building. RSVP here.
The journal Evolutionary Anthropology is publishing the first overview of prehistoric tool miniaturization, a technology which has been largely overlooked in the stone tool record. The paper, co-authored by current Emory Anthropology post-doc Justin Pargeter, argues that technological miniaturization was a central tendency in hominin technologies going back at least 2.6 million years and may have helped some humans survive climate change during the last period of rapid global climate change.
“Here’s to naps and snoozes.” In his article Todd Pitock summarizes the American culture of sleep and its perceptions of what is considered acceptable and contextualizes it with international examples. He quotes Dr. Worthman who’s research on sleep around the world has shown it as “more flexible and more social” then sleep is considered in the West. Communal sleeping arrangement are more common and can be based on an array of reasons such as comfort or safety, while the West has a tendency to judge sleep by its number of hours spend not being productive.