Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology

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One of the many strengths of the evolutionary wing of UCD's Anthropology Department:

Evolutionary ecology studies "evolution and adaptive design in ecological context." As a distinct field, evolutionary ecology emerged in the 1960s with the work of Charnov and Orians, Hutchinson, Lack, MacArthur and Pianka, MacArthur and Levins, MacArthur, Orians, and others. Textbooks on evolutionary ecology appeared in the 1970s, covering topics from the structural and behavioral traits of organisms to the organization of ecological communities. Evolutionary ecology shares fuzzy boundaries with evolutionary genetics, community ecology, animal behavior, and decision theory. When applied to the analysis of behavior, evolutionary ecology is conventionally termed "behavioral ecology." Behavioral analyses have been an integral element of evolutionary ecology from the beginning, treating topics such as foraging strategies, mating systems, and spatial organization and competition. The first textbooks on behavioral ecology appeared in late 1970s and early 1980s. There now is a voluminous literature, including monograph series, dedicated journals (e.g., Evolutionary Ecology, and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology), and a widely read, state-of-the-art series of volumes, each edition with a new set of papers. Human behavioral ecology applies evolutionary ecology models and concepts to the study of human behavioral diversity. HBE began in the mid-1970s with a small set of interpretive papers and independent dissertation projects. Initially centered on foraging theory and hunter-gatherer studies, HBE has expanded over the last 25 years to encompass diverse topics and subsistence systems.

from Winterhalder, B., and E.A. Smith. 2000. Analyzing adaptive strategies: Human behavioral ecology at twenty-five. Evolutionary Anthropology 9: 51-72.

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