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The Evolution of Human Life Histories

My current work in demography and infectious disease emerged from longstanding interest in the evolution of life histories. The principal questions that drive my research in this area include: (1) Why do humans begin reproducing so late, have such low fertility, and live so long? (2) What are the consequences of biparental investment for human life histories? (3) What role has environmental variation (including the social environment) played in shaping human life histories? An important complement to studying human life histories is understanding the biodemography of nonhuman primates.

Representative Papers

Jones, J.H., and R.B. Bird. 2014. The marginal valuation of fertility. Evolution and Human Behavior. 35 (1):65-71. (doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.10.002)
Jones, J.H., R.B. Bird, and D.W. Bird. (2013) To Kill a Kangaroo: Understanding the Decision to Pursue High-Risk/High-Gain Resources. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 280: 20131210. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1210)

Jones, J.H., M.L. Wilson, C. Murray, and A.E. Pusey. (2009) Phenotypic quality influences fertility in Gombe chimpanzees, forthcoming Journal of Animal Ecology. 79(6): 1262-1269. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01687.x)

Jones, J.H. (2009) The force of selection on the human life cycle, Evolution and Human Behavior, 30(5): 305-314. (doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.01.005).

Jones, J.H. (2007) demogR: A package for the construction and analysis of age-structured demographic models in R. Journal of Statistical Software, 22(10): 1-28.

Jones, J.H. (2005) Fetal programming: Adaptive life-history tactic or making the best of a bad start? American Journal of Human Biology, 17(1): 22-33.

Jones, J.H. and S. Tuljapurkar. Elasticities and the Constraints on Selection in the Human Life History. Working paper.

Jones, J.H. and S. Tuljapurkar (2007) Risk management and the evolution of biparental care. Revise and resubmit.