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I am interested in social evolution in primates, with special emphasis on how data and models inform the human condition. Specifically, I am interested in the origin of some of the most striking derived traits of humans relative to the great apes: technology and culture, life history, cooperation and sexual behavior (but shy away from language). Current work focuses on the nature of culture in great apes and on elucidating the extent to which great behavior is cultural, in order to explain the absence of cumulative culture in great apes. We study the correlated evolution between cognitive abilities and slow life history and the development of ecological competence in wild orangutans in an attempt to identify the pace-makers for the evolution of slow-paced life histories. Other projects focus on coalitions, and on infanticide and sexual counterstrategies.
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