1. Food Aversions and Cravings during Pregnancy on Yasawa Island, Fiji.

    Human Nature 27(3):296 (2016) PMID 27180176

    Women often experience novel food aversions and cravings during pregnancy. These appetite changes have been hypothesized to work alongside cultural strategies as adaptive responses to the challenges posed by pregnancy (e.g., maternal immune suppression). Here, we report a study that assessed whe...
  2. The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: An assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods.

    Journal of Human Evolution 97:17 (2016) PMID 27457542

    Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: "Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?"...
  3. The empirical case against the 'demographic turn' in Palaeolithic archaeology.

    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society... 371(1698) (2016) PMID 27298472 PMCID PMC4920298

    Recently, it has become commonplace to interpret major transitions and other patterns in the Palaeolithic archaeological record in terms of population size. Increases in cultural complexity are claimed to result from increases in population size; decreases in cultural complexity are suggested to...
  4. Population size does not explain past changes in cultural complexity.

    PNAS 113(16):E2241 (2016) PMID 27044082 PMCID PMC4843435

    Demography is increasingly being invoked to account for features of the archaeological record, such as the technological conservatism of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene, the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition, and cultural loss in Holocene Tasmania. Such explanations are commonly justified ...
  5. The Acheulean handaxe: More like a bird's song than a beatles' tune?

    Evolutionary Anthropology 25(1):6 (2016) PMID 26800014

    The goal of this paper is to provoke debate about the nature of an iconic artifact-the Acheulean handaxe. Specifically, we want to initiate a conversation about whether or not they are cultural objects. The vast majority of archeologists assume that the behaviors involved in the production of ha...
  6. Bayesian analysis of a morphological supermatrix sheds light on controversial fossil hominin relationships.

    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological ... 282(1812):20150943 (2015) PMID 26202999 PMCID PMC4528516

    The phylogenetic relationships of several hominin species remain controversial. Two methodological issues contribute to the uncertainty-use of partial, inconsistent datasets and reliance on phylogenetic methods that are ill-suited to testing competing hypotheses. Here, we report a study designed...
  7. The Nature of Culture: an eight-grade model for the evolution and expansion of cultural capacities in hominins and other animals.

    Journal of anthropological sciences = Rivista d... 93:43 (2015) PMID 26196109

    Tracing the evolution of human culture through time is arguably one of the most controversial and complex scholarly endeavors, and a broad evolutionary analysis of how symbolic, linguistic, and cultural capacities emerged and developed in our species is lacking. Here we present a model that, in ...
  8. Mandibular evidence supports Homo floresiensis as a distinct species.

    PNAS 112(7):E604 (2015) PMID 25659745 PMCID PMC4343145

  9. The ancestral shape hypothesis: an evolutionary explanation for the occurrence of intervertebral disc herniation in humans.

    BMC Evolutionary Biology 15:68 (2015) PMID 25927934 PMCID PMC4410577

    Recent studies suggest there is a relationship between intervertebral disc herniation and vertebral shape. The nature of this relationship is unclear, however. Humans are more commonly afflicted with spinal disease than are non-human primates and one suggested explanation for this is the stress ...
  10. A reassessment of the impact of drought cycles on the Classic Maya

    Quaternary Science Reviews 105:151 (2014)

    The study reported here challenges the widely discussed hypothesis that cyclical droughts had a major impact on the Classic Maya. This hypothesis was developed by Hodell et al. (2001, 2005) on the basis of the results of time series analyses of cores from Lake Chichancanab in the Yucat...
  11. Estimating fossil hominin body mass from cranial variables: an assessment using CT data from modern humans of known body mass.

    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 154(2):201 (2014) PMID 24615366

    Body mass estimates are integral to a wide range of inferences in paleoanthropology. Most techniques employ postcranial elements, but predictive equations based on cranial variables have also been developed. Three studies currently provide regression equations for estimating mass from cranial va...
  12. Classic Maya bloodletting and the cultural evolution of religious rituals: quantifying patterns of variation in hieroglyphic texts.

    PLoS ONE 9(9):e107982 (2014) PMID 25254359 PMCID PMC4177853

    Religious rituals that are painful or highly stressful are hypothesized to be costly signs of commitment essential for the evolution of complex society. Yet few studies have investigated how such extreme ritual practices were culturally transmitted in past societies. Here, we report the first st...
  13. Basal metabolic rate and maternal energetic investment durations in mammals.

    BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:194 (2014) PMID 25270504 PMCID PMC4177257

    The Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) predicts that gestation duration, lactation duration, and their sum, total development time, are constrained by mass-specific basal metabolic rate such that they should scale with body mass with an exponent of 0.25. However, tests of the MTE's predictions ha...
  14. On the cutting edge: new methods and theory for analyzing stone tools.

    Evolutionary Anthropology 23(4):128 (2014) PMID 25116843

  15. Human refugia in Australia during the Last Glacial Maximum and Terminal Pleistocene: a geospatial analysis of the 25–12 ka Australian archaeological record

    Journal of Archaeological Science 40(12):4612 (2013)

    A number of models, developed primarily in the 1980s, propose that Aboriginal Australian populations contracted to refugia – well-watered ranges and major riverine systems – in response to climatic instability, most notably around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (∼23–18 ka). We evaluate...
  16. Risk, mobility or population size? Drivers of technological richness among contact-period western North American hunter-gatherers.

    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society... 368(1630):20120412 (2013) PMID 24101622 PMCID PMC4027409

    Identifying factors that influence technological evolution in small-scale societies is important for understanding human evolution. There have been a number of attempts to identify factors that influence the evolution of food-getting technology, but little work has examined the factors that affe...
  17. Corporate kin-groups, social memory, and “history houses”? A quantitative test of recent reconstructions of social organization and building function at Çatalhöyük during the PPNB

    Journal of Archaeological Science 40(4):1816 (2013)

    It has been argued that the corporate kin-group was the main form of socioeconomic organization at the Turkish site of Çatalhöyük during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). This hypothesis is linked to a claim of long-term repetitive patterning in the use of household space. Çatalhöyük...
  18. A reassessment of Bergmann's rule in modern humans.

    PLoS ONE 8(8):e72269 (2013) PMID 24015229 PMCID PMC3756069

    It is widely accepted that modern humans conform to Bergmann's rule, which holds that body size in endothermic species will increase as temperature decreases. However, there are reasons to question the reliability of the findings on which this consensus is based. One of these is that the main st...
  19. Population size and cultural evolution in nonindustrial food-producing societies.

    PLoS ONE 8(9):e72628 (2013) PMID 24069153 PMCID PMC3772076

    Modeling work suggests that population size affects cultural evolution such that larger populations can be expected to have richer and more complex cultural repertoires than smaller populations. Empirical tests of this hypothesis, however, have yielded conflicting results. Here, we report a stud...
  20. Evidence that gestation duration and lactation duration are coupled traits in primates.

    Biology Letters 8(6):998 (2012) PMID 22915631 PMCID PMC3497131

    Gestation duration and lactation duration are usually treated as independently evolving traits in primates, but the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) suggests both durations should be determined by metabolic rate. We used phylogenetic generalized least-squares linear regression to test these dif...