Bobbi S. Low

Bobbi S. Low
University of Michigan | U-M · School of Natural Resources and Environment

PhD University of Texas zoology

About

152
Publications
37,099
Reads
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5,411
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1972 - present
University of Michigan
January 1968 - September 1972
September 1964 - May 1967
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • graduate Teaching assistant
Description
  • Taught biology and comparative anatomy

Publications

Publications (152)
Article
Full-text available
Land ownership shapes natural resource management and social–ecological resilience, but the factors determining ownership norms in human societies remain unclear. Here we conduct a global empirical test of long‐standing theories from ecology, economics and anthropology regarding potential drivers of land ownership and territoriality. Prior theory s...
Preprint
Biogeographers and macroecologists have rarely used the fields’ theoretical and methodological advances to explore factors associated with geographical patterns in human diversity. Here we conduct a global empirical test of long-standing theories from ecology, economics, and anthropology regarding potential drivers of land ownership and territorial...
Article
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Life history theory examines how characteristics of organisms, such as age and size at maturity, may vary through natural selection as evolutionary responses that optimize fitness. Here we ask how predictions of age and size at maturity differ for the three classical fitness functions–intrinsic rate of natural increase r, net reproductive rate R0,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social inequality is now pervasive in human societies, despite the fact that humans lived in relatively egalitarian, small-scale societies across most of our history. Prior literature highlights the importance of environmental conditions, economic defensibility, and wealth transmission for shaping early Holocene origins of social inequality. Howeve...
Article
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How humans obtain food has dramatically reshaped ecosystems and altered both the trajectory of human history and the characteristics of human societies. Our species' subsistence varies widely, from predominantly foraging strategies, to plant-based agriculture and animal husbandry. The extent to which environmental, social and historical factors hav...
Article
The 3 papers reviewed here have a central underlying theme: optimization under constraint, a principle that is important in a number of fields, including my own, behavioral ecology. All 3 papers go beyond seeking to measure the fitness of responses to considering how differing processes contribute, or do not, to the fitness of a response. The autho...
Article
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All primates show some dietary flexibility, particularly during food shortages. Foods consumed during times of scarcity (i.e., fallback foods) strongly influence the ecology and evolution of a species. Geladas (Theropithecus gelada) eat primarily graminoid leaves (i.e., grasses and sedges), but also consume other diet items (e.g., underground stora...
Article
The ecosystem services (ES) paradigm has gained much traction as a natural resource management approach due to its comprehensive nature and ability to provide quantitative tools to improve decision-making. However, it is still uncertain whether and how practitioners have adopted the ES paradigm into their work and how this aligns with resource mana...
Article
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From the foods we eat and the houses we construct, to our religious practices and political organization, to who we can marry and the types of games we teach our children, the diversity of cultural practices in the world is astounding. Yet, our ability to visualize and understand this diversity is limited by the ways it has been documented and shar...
Data
D-PLACE societies per language family. Currently, D-PLACE contains cultural data for over 1400 societies, drawn from two major cross-cultural datasets (the Ethnographic Atlas and Binford Hunter-Gatherer datasets). The societies are associated with 1202 unique languages and approximately 1315 dialects. Linguistic information for each society is avai...
Article
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A review of work in human behavioral ecology, including classic papers and newer work. Limited by Oxford constraints.
Chapter
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This is a new summaryn of how evolutionary thinking may be able to influence conservation strategies.
Article
Why are men, like other primate males, usually the aggressors and risk takers? Why do women typically have fewer sexual partners? In Why Sex Matters, Bobbi Low ranges from ancient Rome to modern America, from the Amazon to the Arctic, and from single-celled organisms to international politics, to show that these and many other questions about human...
Article
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Background: Although herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) epidemiology has been described for many western and/or urban populations, disease burden has not been characterized for remote, non-western, under treated populations, where patterns of risk and vulnerability may be very different. Aims: To understand demographic, behavioural and geograph...
Article
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The highly remote pastoralist communities in Kaokoland, Namibia, have long been presumed to have high gonorrhoea prevalence. To estimate gonorrhoea prevalence and correlates of infection, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 446 adults across 28 rural villages. Gonorrhoea status was determined from urethral and vaginal swabs via qPCR assay. All...
Article
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"In many fields, policymakers seem to have an increasing preference for simple, large, non- redundant systems of analysis and governance. To address this question, we examine several arenas in which scholars have studied the costs and benefits of different levels of redundancy, including: ecological resiliency, computer design, aircraft design, gen...
Chapter
This chapter introduces a 1968 review, written by Richard D. Alexander and D. W. Tinkle of two books: On Aggression by Konrad Lorenz and The Territorial Imperative by Robert Ardrey. Alexander and Tinkle presented a novel case for the importance of intergroup competition and within-group cooperation in driving the evolution of human cognition and be...
Data
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Article
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Women's reproductive lives vary considerably around the world, yet there are patterns to this variation. We explore reproductive patterns in 177 nations using the framework of human behavioral ecology. In humans, as in other species, there is a normally strong relationship between life expectancy at birth (e0) and age at first birth (AFB). However,...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Phenological shifts due to climate change are of concern in many systems. For temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) organisms, changes in nesting behaviors, such as nesting onset may greater impact sex ratios in the nest. Dramatically different sex ratios occur in cooler versus warmer portions of the nesting se...
Article
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We address a conceptual flaw in the backward-time approach to population genetics called coalescent theory as it is applied to diploid biparental organisms. Specifically, the way random models of reproduction are used in coalescent theory is not justified. Instead, the population pedigree for diploid organisms--that is, the set of all family relati...
Chapter
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As men's and women's work and social roles have converged in modern times, questions of gender equity arise: Are women promoted as promptly as comparable men? Paid as well? Here I examine men's and women's roles, and the sexual division of labour, first across traditional societies, where divisions of labour are common often do not "favour" either...
Article
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Background Sexual partnerships take multiple forms among the Himba and Tjimba people living in Northwestern Namibia, including polygynous and monogamous marriage, and long- and short-term extra-marital partnerships. We hypothesised that HSV-2 prevalence would be higher in regions that are connected to local urban areas, because these should be site...
Article
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Residential land-use expansion, an important component of urban sprawl, has a variety of drivers and environmental implications. The goal of this article is to address the timing, location, and mechanisms of different types of residential development. Using land-parcel data and aerial imagery taken between 1950 and 2000 for eight townships in south...
Data
Full-text available
Residential land-use expansion, an important component of urban sprawl, has a variety of drivers and environmental implications. The goal of this article is to address the timing, location, and mechanisms of different types of residential development. Using land-parcel data and aerial imagery taken between 1950 and 2000 for eight townships in south...
Article
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1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253Paul Collier is a key figure among policy-makers and academics concerned with large-scale sustainability. He stands somewhere inthe middle of (and perhaps a little orthogonalto) the spectrum book-ended by WilliamEasterly [(1) too simply put: "fix what i...
Article
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This paper uses data from eight past and present societies practicing intensive agriculture to measure the transmission of wealth across generations in preindustrial agricultural societies. Focusing on embodied, material, and relational forms of wealth, we compare levels of wealth between parents and children to estimate how effectively wealth is t...
Book
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This unique textbook introduces undergraduate students to quantitative models and methods in ecology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation. It explores the core concepts shared by these related fields using tools and practical skills such as experimental design, generating phylogenies, basic statistical inference, and persuasi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper uses data from eight past and present societies practicing intensive agriculture to measure the transmission of wealth across generations in preindustrial agricultural societies. Focusing on embodied, material, and relational forms of wealth, we compare levels of wealth between parents and children to estimate how effectively wealth is t...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale human societies range from foraging bands with a strong egalitarian ethos to more economically stratified agrarian and pastoral societies. We explain this variation in inequality using a dynamic model in which a population's long-run steady-state level of inequality depends on the extent to which its most important forms of wealth are t...
Article
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Theoretical urban policy literature predicts the likelihood of free riding in the management of common goods such as forested open space; such outcome is often characterized as a Prisoner's Dilemma game. Numerous cases exist in which neighboring jurisdictions cooperate to maintain public goods, challenging the expected results, yet theoretical expl...
Article
After near extirpation earlier this century in the Great Lakes, double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) populations reached all-time highs, raising concerns among sport anglers and fisheries managers, who see cormorants as a significant source of mortality for yellow perch (Perca flavescens), whose populations are perceived to have decline...
Article
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Modern women's reproductive lives vary considerably, in a patterned fashion. Although cultural factors are important, across societies—even across species— there exist strong patterns predicted by life history theory. For example, the shorter life expectancy e0 is at birth, the earlier it pays in biological terms to reproduce. Few factors analyzed...
Article
We describe empirical results from a multi-disciplinary project that support modeling complex processes of land-use and land-cover change in exurban parts of Southeastern Michigan. Based on two different conceptual models, one describing the evolution of urban form as a consequence of residential preferences and the other describing land-cover chan...
Article
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Polygyny is common in the ethnographic record. The vast majority of cultures known to anthropology allowed at least some men to have more than one wife simultaneously. This article compares various explanations of nonsororal polygyny, by far the most common type of polygyny. Multiple regression analyses of data for the societies in the Standard Cro...
Chapter
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This new volume provides an interdisciplinary perspective on how intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and culture shape the cultural psychology of immigrants. It demonstrates the influence transnational ties and cultural practices and beliefs play on creating the immigrant self. Distinguished scholars from a variety of fields examine th...
Article
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Maternal stress is commonly cited as an important risk factor for spontaneous abortion. For humans, however, there is little physiological evidence linking miscarriage to stress. This lack of evidence may be attributable to a paucity of research on maternal stress during the earliest gestational stages. Most human studies have focused on “clinical”...
Article
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The interests of evolutionary anthropologists, behavioral ecologists, and demographers converge on the ecology of human fertility. Ecological conditions influence the optimum pattern of maternal effort. Patterns of abortion, neglect, and infanticide vary with mothers' ability to invest in their children and children's ability to use that investment...
Article
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No good formal arguments exist for a central question in biology: Why, in species that have sexual reproduction, are there usually only "males" and "females"? We present a nonlinear optimization model that supports the conclusion that having only two sexes maximizes long-run viability.
Article
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George Williams is rightly honored for his contributions to basic biological theory. In addition, however, his thought and contribution paved the way for much needed integration of basic evolutionary theory and modern environmental problems. Specifically, his contributions to the levels of selection" debate, and his application of these contributio...
Chapter
A key element in John Holland's approach to the study of complex adaptive systems has been the emergence of interesting macro-level phenomena from a number of simple rules at the micro level. Hamilton, an early member of the BACH brainstorming group that Holland thanks in his introduction to Emergence, used this approach to show that group formatio...
Article
Around the world and across time, women's lives and opportunities vary—but this is patterned variation, produced by the interplay of natural selection (life history theory) and ecological and social constraints. Our evolutionary background (e.g., evolution of anisogamy) and phylogenetic constraints (female mammals' specialization for postnatal care...
Article
Full-text available
Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/43501/1/11111_2004_Article_489373.pdf
Article
Societies in which women have substantial control of resources and hold powerful political positions are relatively rare. Among the many circumstances in which women are likely to have resource control and/or political authority, polygyny is not an obvious candidate. However, women's lives are highly variable across polygynous societies. We hypothe...
Article
Societies in which women have substantial control of resources and hold powerful political positions are relatively rare. Among the many circumstances in which women are likely to have resource control and/or political authority, polygyny is not an obvious candidate. However, women's lives are highly variable across polygynous societies. We hypothe...
Chapter
Full-text available
The term ‘monogamy’ can mean a number of things. Genetic monogamy is unlikely unless it raises (male) reproductive success enough to compensate for the loss of reproductive success (RS) that would have come from additional mating efforts. We expect to see male parental polygyny under these conditions: (i) whenever a female can raise offspring succe...
Article
Full-text available
Life history theory postulates tradeoffs of current versus future reproduction; in both developed and developing nations today, women face evolutionarily novel versions of these tradeoffs. Here we use a nonlinear dynamic model to explore: [1] the general issues of tradeoffs of education, work, and current fertility; [2] some specific examples (e.g....
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper draws on evolutionary life history theory to examine nonmarital births in the context of women’s ability to secure male parental investment for their offspring. While nonmarital births are usually defined with respect to marital status the day of parturition, we adopt a more nuanced approach that corresponds to men’s willingness to commi...
Article
Life history theory postulates tradeoffs of current versus future reproduction; today women face evolutionarily novel versions of these tradeoffs. Optimal age at first birth is the result of tradeoffs in fertility and mortality; ceteris paribus, early reproduction is advantageous. Yet modern women in developed nations experience relatively late fir...
Article
An ecological evolutionary viewpoint offers new perspectives on contemporary demographic problems in general and on population-environment issues in particular. In turn, rich and detailed human demographic data can help solve problems of interest in evolutionary theory. Such data have been analyzed in greatest detail in studies of traditional and h...
Article
This paper is an introduction and synthesis of the papers that appear in this special issue devoted to the sustainable governance of the oceans. The special issue contains papers on various aspects of the problem, including: the ecological and economic importance of the oceans, the problems facing the oceans from an ecological economics perspective...
Article
We develop an interactive simulation model that links ecological and economic systems, and explore the dynamics of harvest patterns as they simultaneously affect natural and human capital. Our models represent both single and multiple systems. The level of natural capital is influenced by interactions of (1) natural capital growth and (non-human in...