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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Darryl J. Holman
BIO A 568
Seattle Campus

Human Reproductive Ecology

A consideration of the determinants of fertility variation within and among traditional human societies. Biocultural and ecological perspectives on pubertal timing, nuptiality, duration of birth intervals, and reproductive senescence.

Class description

This course examines recent developments in human reproductive biology, human reproductive ecology, and fertility analysis. The major features of the human reproductive process will be considered using a combination of demographic, physiological and evolutionary approaches. The principal focus of the course will be so-called natural fertility, i.e. fertility in the absence of modern methods of birth control. Emphasis will be placed on accounting for the range of variation in natural fertility in the human species as a whole, and on assessing the roles of physiological, behavioral, and environmental factors in regulating reproductive output. Special attention will be given to the design of field studies of reproductive ecology in "anthropological settings" (i.e. outside of clinical settings, and usually among near-natural fertility populations). Finally, human reproduction will be examined in its larger ecological and evolutionary contexts.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures and student presentations

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Two problem sets and presentation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Darryl J. Holman
Date: 03/03/2004