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Primate Development Is Topic of April 15 Human Nature Event

April 11, 2006 :: No. 205

What: The second annual Human Nature Biocultural Anthropology Speaker Series, “Growing Up: Development in Primates,” is scheduled Saturday at Cal State Fullerton. The talks are being held in conjunction with the 24th Southern California Primate Research Forum.

Saturday, April 15
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Ruby Gerontology Center’s Mackey Auditorium
Cal State Fullerton


John Bock, CSUF associate professor of anthropology, has conducted research among the Okavango Delta Peoples of Botswana since 1990, focusing on evolutionary approaches to understanding intra- and cross-cultural variation in children’s development, parenting, household economics, family demography, productivity and health. He also has collaborated on research examining growth and development in chacma baboons, as well as health disparities among indigenous and minority peoples. He is involved in a study of children’s play in traditional societies, and is examining the effect of HIV and AIDS on children and families in Botswana.

Raffaella Commitante, a former television and film actress, earned her master’s degree in anthropology from Cal State Fullerton and doctorate in anatomy from Cambridge. Her work is among the first to analyze the effects of stress on reintroduced great apes through hormonal analysis.

Sara Johnson, CSUF assistant professor of anthropology, uses behavioral ecology and life history theory to address her research interests in the evolution of primate and human growth; ecological variation and phenotypic plasticity in growth and development; ecological variation in life course trajectories, including fertility, health, morbidity and mortality differentials; food acquisition and production related to nutrition; societal transformation and roles of the elderly among indigenous peoples; and women’s reproductive and productive roles in traditional and nontraditional societies.

Jane Lancaster, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, is an author and founding editor of the journal Human Nature. A prominent evolutionary anthropologist, she was a pioneer of the study of primate behavior and has been a driving force in the development of evolutionary and biocultural approaches to the study of human behavior and sociality.

Joe Manson, associate professor of anthropology at UCLA, studies primate social behavior from an evolutionary perspective, with particular emphases on mate choice, female-female cooperation and competition, relationship dynamics and negotiation, escalated aggression and social learning. Since 1990, his empirical research has focused on white-faced capuchin monkeys.

The event’s full schedule is available at

Cost: $12 general admission, $7 for students outside CSUF, free to CSUF campus and Continuing Learning Experience members
Sponsor: CSUF College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Gerontology, Anthropology Department and Transaction/Aldine, publisher of Human Nature
Media Contacts:

John Bock, Anthropology, 657-278-5574 or
Mimi Ko Cruz, Public Affairs, 657-278-7586 or

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