Jennifer Kotler

Jennifer Kotler
Harvard University | Harvard · Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Doctor of Biology

About

22
Publications
5,400
Reads
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116
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - May 2018
Harvard University
Position
  • PhD Student
September 2009 - June 2011
McMaster University
Position
  • Student

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
Full-text available
Why do we sing to babies? Human infants are relatively altricial and need their parents' attention to survive. Infant-directed song may constitute a signal of that attention. In the rare genomic imprinting disorder Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), typically paternally-expressed genes from chromosome 15q11–q13 are unexpressed, resulting in exaggeration...
Article
We compared the stability of kinship and non-kin foster placements in the cases handled by one Ontario (Canada) child protection agency in 2008–2010. Non-kin placements were four times more likely than kin placements to end within the first month; this difference then decreased, but kin placements remained significantly more stable in months 2 th...
Article
Full-text available
Life history theory predicts a trade-off between the quantity and quality of offspring. Short interbirth intervals – the time between successive births – may increase the quantity of offspring but harm offspring quality. In contrast, long interbirth intervals may bolster offspring quality while reducing overall reproductive output. Further research...
Article
Full-text available
Background and objectives As the mother-offspring relationship is central to human reproduction, postpartum depression symptoms are difficult to explain in evolutionary terms. We proposed that postpartum depression might arise as a result of evolutionary mother-offspring conflict over maternal investment, and investigated the association between po...
Article
Unusually short or long interbirth intervals (IBIs) are associated with increased risks of infant mortality in humans. However, further research is needed to determine the extent to which this relationship holds more broadly among primates. Using Cox proportional hazards models, we examined the effects of atypical IBI on infant survivorship using a...
Preprint
Background and objectives: As the mother-offspring relationship is central to human reproduction, the high incidence of postpartum depression symptoms is difficult to explain in evolutionary terms. We proposed that postpartum depression might be the adverse result of evolutionary mother-offspring conflict over maternal investment, and investigated...
Article
In many birds and mammals, the size and sex composition of litters can have important downstream effects for individual offspring. Primates are model organisms for questions of cooperation and conflict, but the factors shaping interactions among same-age siblings have been less-studied in primates because most species bear single young. However, ca...
Chapter
central tenet of nineteenth-century English naturalist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is the inheritance of traits from parent to offspring. These shared traits are—at least in part—the result of shared genetic material. To that end, natural selection favors genes that, when in a parent, are associated with optimizing their overall repro- duc...
Preprint
Full-text available
In many birds and mammals, the size and sex composition of litters can have important downstream effects for individual offspring. Primates are model organisms for questions of cooperation and conflict, but the factors shaping interactions among same-age siblings have been less-studied in primates because most species bear single young. However, ca...
Article
Parent-offspring conflict—conflict over resource distribution within families due to differences in genetic relatedness—is the biological foundation for many psychological phenomena. In genomic imprinting disorders, parent-specific genetic expression is altered, causing imbalances in behaviors influenced by parental investment. We use this natural...
Preprint
Parent-offspring conflict, or the conflict over resources between parents and their children due to differences in genetic relatedness, is the biological foundation for a variety of psychological phenomena, including sibling rivalry and child abuse. This form of conflict is particularly relevant to the domain of parental investment: the provisionin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The biological costs of inbreeding are expected to have shaped human incest aversion. These costs depend on biological sex, relatedness, and age. Whereas previous studies have focused on investigating how these factors modulate incest aversion in siblings and cousins—family members of the same generation—here we examined relatives of different gene...
Article
The biological costs of inbreeding are expected to have shaped human incest aversion. These costs depend on biological sex, relatedness, and age. Whereas previous studies have focused on investigating how these factors modulate incest aversion in siblings and cousins—family members of the same generation— we examined relatives of different generati...
Article
Full-text available
Relative to the life history of other great apes, that of humans is characterized by early weaning and short interbirth intervals (IBIs). We propose that in modern humans, birth until adrenarche, or the rise in adrenal androgens, developmentally corresponds to the period from birth until weaning in great apes and ancestral hominins. According to th...
Preprint
Why do we sing to babies? Human infants are relatively altricial and need their parents' attention to survive. Infant-directed song may constitute a signal of that attention. In the rare genomic imprinting disorder Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), typically paternally-expressed genes from chromosome 15q11–q13 are unexpressed, resulting in exaggeration...
Article
Full-text available
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by a lack of expression of paternally-expressed imprinted genes at human chromosome 15q11-13 and is characterized by a switch from infant anorexia to childhood hyperphagia. A recent multiphase staging system recognizes gradual changes between the anorexic and hyperphagic phases of PWS. We undertook to use clini...
Article
Home care (HC) is important for patients with cancer as performance status declines. Our study of 1224 patients at a Canadian cancer center examined the impact of an oncology palliative care clinic (OPCC) on HC referral. The HC referral frequency was calculated before and after the first OPCC consultation, in total and according to performance stat...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The aim of this project is to better understand the individual-level regulation of functional incest aversion. Another aim is to also understand the contexts in which functional incest aversion breaks down and increases the risk of intra-familial sexual abuse.
Project
The aim of this research project is to better understand genetic conflict between and within individuals. More specifically, the aim is to understand conflict between mothers and their offspring, and between paternal and maternal interests within an individual. In this project, conflict is measured both at behavioural and genetic levels.