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Monique Borgerhoff Mulder

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +44 7949 558 127
e-mail: monique_borgerhoffeva.mpgde

home page: http://anthropology.ucdavis.edu/people/fzborger

Research Interests
Current Projects
Selected recent publications


  • Distinguished Research Professor (University of California at Davis), emerita
  • Honorary Visiting Professor (University of Bristol)

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary anthropologist currently working on:

  • family and demography in small-scale societies
  • cooperation over the sustainable management of natural resources,
  • economic inequality and social networks
  • linking evolutionary theory and applied challenges in developing countries

Current Projects

These include

  • Longterm demographic and economic change in Mpimbwe (western Tanzania)
  • Cooperation over sustainable forest management in Pemba (Zanzibar) with Jeff Andrews
  • Co-PI on a longitudinal cross-cultural investigation of the effects of social networks on inequality (ENDOW with Jeremy Koster and Elinor Power)
  • A collaboration with University of Exeter supporting community-based natural resource management in East African pastoralist conservancies to achieve the UN SDGs (with Tom Currie and Lindsay Walker)
  • An assessment of the factors contributing to rangeland condition in the Northern Tanzania Rangeland Initiative for The Nature Conservancy, as PI for Savannas Forever (with Majory Silisyene)
  • Comparative study of reproductive inequality across mammals (originally a NIMBIOS collaborative, with Cody Ross)

Selected recent publications

Lukas, D., Towner, M., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2021). The potential to infer the historical pattern of cultural macroevolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376(1828): 20200057.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Andrews, J. B., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2021). Norm compliance in common pool resource management: Experimental evidence from Pemba. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 174(S71), 4-4.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Caro, T., & Ngwali, A. S. (2021). A silver lining to REDD: Institutional growth despite programmatic failure. Conservation Science and Practice, 3(1): e312.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ross, C., Jaeggi, A. V., Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Smith, J. E., Smith, E. A., Gavrilets, S., & Hooper, P. L. (2020). The multinomial index: A robust measure of reproductive skew. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1936).
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Broesch, T., Crittenden, A. N., Beheim, B. A., Blackwell, A. D., Bunce, J. A., Colleran, H., Hagel, K., Kline, M., McElreath, R., Nelson, R. G., Pisor, A. C., Prall, S., Pretelli, I., Purzycki, B., Quinn, E. A., Ross, C., Scelza, B., Starkweather, K. E., Stieglitz, J., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2020). Navigating cross-cultural research: Methodological and ethical considerations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287: 20201245.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Andrews, J. B., Caro, T., Ali, S. J., Collins, A. C., Hamadi, B. B., Khamis, H. S., Mzee, A., Ngwali, A. S., & Borgerhoff Mulder, M. (2020). Does REDD+ have a chance? Implications from Pemba, Tanzania (advance online). Oryx.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Kwiyega, J. L., Beccaria, S., Bwasama, S. S., Fitzherbert, E., Genda, P., & Caro, T. (2019). Lions, bylaws, and conservation metrics. BioScience, 69(12), 1008-1018.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Towner, M. C., Baldini, R., Beheim, B. A., Bowles, S., Colleran, H., Gurven, M., Kramer, K. L., Mattison, S. M., Nolin, D. A., Scelza, B. A., Schniter, E., Sear, R., Shenk, M. K., Voland, E., & Ziker, J. (2019). Differences between sons and daughters in the intergenerational transmission of wealth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374(1780): 20180076.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., & Ross, C. (2019). Unpacking mating success and testing Bateman’s principles in a human population. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1908): 20191516.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Andrews, J. and M. Borgerhoff Mulder (2018). "Cultural group selection and the design of REDD+: insights from Pemba." Sustainability Science 13: 93–107.

Ross, C. T., et al. (2018). "Greater wealth inequality, less polygyny: rethinking the polygyny threshold model." Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15(144).

Smith, J. E., et al. (2016). "Leadership in mammalian societies: Emergence, distribution, power, and payoff." Trends in ecology & evolution 31(1): 54-66.

Lawson, D. W., et al. (2015). "No evidence that polygynous marriage is a harmful cultural practice in northern Tanzania." Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences 112(45): 13827-13832.

Salerno, J., et al. (2014). "Human migration, protected areas, and conservation outreach in Tanzania." Conservation Biology 28(3): 841-850.

Schacht, R., et al. (2014). "Too Many Men? The Violence Problem." Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29(4): 214-222.          

Seel, S.-J., et al. (2014). The History and Traditions of the Pimbwe. Dar es Salaam, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.              

Brooks, J. S., et al. (2012). "How national context, project design, and local community characteristics influence success in community-based conservation projects." Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109(52): 21265-21270.

Brown, G. R., et al. (2009). "Bateman’s principles and human sex roles." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24(6): 297-304.

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., et al. (2009). "Intergenerational wealth transmission and the dynamics of inequality in small-scale societies." Science  326: 682-688.