Skip to content


Demography refers to the number of individuals, age structure, and dynamics of populations.

Members Public

New evidence is revealing the ages of death, birth, and menarche in Neandertals

Analysis of dental cementum is yielding new insights into the ages when ancient people faced significant physiological stresses.

A Neandertal woman with two children clinging to her, an older woman tends a fire and a child looks on from the background
Members Public

How the lives of mothers matter to offspring survival in wild primates

A paper by Matthew Zipple and coworkers finds that the survival of young primates depends on their mothers "well beyond the age of weaning".

Chimpanzee mother and infant
Members Public

The so-called Toba bottleneck simply didn't happen

Prompted by a paper by Chad Yost and coworkers, I look at the persistent myth that humans were an endangered species only 74,000 years ago.

A volcanic eruption with ash cloud rising from caldera
Members Public

Chimpanzee communities are hundreds of years old

Reviewing a 2014 study by Kevin Langergraber and coworkers looking at the Y chromosome variation within chimpanzee groups.

A chimpanzee looking upward with green leaves in the background
Members Public

New findings from the Denisova 3 genome at high coverage

Sequencing work by Matthias Meyer and coworkers highlights the demography of ancient Denisovans and genes that may make today's people different from them.

Sediment column in Denisova Cave showing labels with layer numbers
Members Public

Have human lifespans been constant for the last 2000 years?

Maximum lifespan is hard to assess in past populations. The data suggest that lifespan has been increasing over time.

Three older people walking arm in arm with posters of soccer players in the background
Members Public

Did Neandertals evolve in a population sink?

The dynamics of adaptation in shrinking populations may help understand how many ancient populations evolved.

Did Neandertals evolve in a population sink?
Members Public

Our new paper on why human evolution accelerated

I run through our 2007 work on evidence for recent natural selection across the human genome.

A crowd of people
Members Public

Why did some Polynesian island societies lose their pigs?

Some island peoples extirpated their pigs after establishing them. Was it planned due to competition for plant foods with humans?

Pig floating in tropical water with island in background
Members Public

High adult mortality in some contemporary hunter-gatherers

A brief review of a paper describing the causes of high mortality among young adults of the Hiwi people.