Grandmothers contribute to our big brains, obsession with reputations, and the cultural construction of our daily lives. Evolutionary anthropologist Dr. Kristen Hawkes will share her research that shows that grandmothers are not only vital to child rearing and cooperation, but also to forming interdependent economies. Hawkes uses insights into our ancestors’ behavior revealed by her work with modern hunter-gatherer groups, such as the Hadza people of Tanzania who live primarily by hunting and harvesting wild foods.
Presented in partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith
Kristen Hawkes is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. Her principal interests are the evolutionary ecology of hunter-gatherers and human evolution. She studies age and sex differences in behavior, using comparisons between people and other primates, paleoanthropology, and evolutionary modeling to develop and test hypotheses about the evolution of human life histories and social behavior. Hawkes has pursued ethnographic fieldwork in highland New Guinea, Amazonia, and eastern and southern Africa. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Scientific Executive Committee of The Leakey Foundation.