Monique Borgerhoff Mulder

image of Monique Borgerhoff Mulder

Professor of Anthropology


Population Biology

Offices and Labs

218 Young Hall

Profile Introduction

As regards education, I obtained my degrees from the University of Edinburgh, UK and Northwestern University, USA. Teaching and research have taken me to the University of Nairobi (Population Studies and Research Institute), the University of Cambridge (Large Animal Research Group), the Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute, the University of Michigan (Evolution and Human Behavior Program) and the University of Bielefeld (Ziff). I have done fieldwork in Kenya (Kericho District) and Tanzania (Arusha and Rukwa Regions). As regards research, I have three major interests: Human behavioural ecology (studying marriage, fertility, parental investment, resource use and demographic transition theory); the application of phylogenetic methods to the analysis of comparative questions in sociocultural anthropology; and conservation biology (particularly the interface between the social and natural sciences in the study of natural resource use; there is a book on this almost in press). Current students study demography, marriage, nutrition and health at our study site in Rukwa Region and in Togo, behavioural ecology and natural resource use in Rukwa and Ecuador, and conservation policy in the developing world.


1986 PhD Anthropology Northwestern University
1975 MA Social Anthropology University of Edinburgh

Research Interests

I apply evolutionary theory to human social behaviour, working in areas of life history theory, sexual selection, ineauality and the cooperation over management of natural resources. My area of geographic specialization is East Africa.


National Geographic Society (With Emily Fitzherbert and T.M. Caro, 2012-2013, $25,000). “Sukuma
NSF IBSS-Ex. “The Nature of Wealth, Wealth Inequality, and the Polygyny Paradox”. (With Sam Bowles and Rob Boyd)
National Geographic Society. “Sukuma lion killing in western Tanzania". (With Emily Fitzherbert and T.M. Caro)

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Population Biology

Specialties / Focus

Population Biology
  • Systematics and Comparative Biology
  • Behavior/Physiology/Morphology

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Graduate Group in Ecology

Field Sites

Rukwa Region (Tanzania)
Kericho District, Kenya
Arusha Region, Tanzania

Teaching Interests

My teaching at the undergraduate level has three foci: human ecology, human family, and the links between indigenous communities and environmental conservation. At the graduate level, I focus on human behavioral ecology


ANT 101 Principles in Human Ecology (Winter)
ANT 103 Conservation and People (Spring)
ANT 227 Behavioral Ecology and Anthropology (Spring)


10/26/2013 7:55:47 AM
  • Seel, S. J., Mgawe, P., Caro T. and M. Borgerhoff Mulder (2012). The History and Traditions of the Pimbwe. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers
  • Brooks, J.S., Waylen, K.A., and M. Borgerhoff Mulder (2012). How national context, project design, and local community characteristics influence success in community-bases conservation projects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109:21265-70.
  • Borgerhoff Mulder, M., S. Bowles, T. Hertz, et al. (2009). The Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth and the Dynamics of Inequality in Pre-Modern Societies. Science 326: 682-88.
  • Brown, G. R., K. N. Laland, and M. Borgerhoff Mulder. (2009). Bateman’s principles and human sex roles. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24(6):297-304
  • Borgerhoff Mulder, M. & Coppolillo, P. (2005). Conservation: Linking Ecology, Economics and Culture. Princeton University Press.