College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Dr. Rob Quinlan

Rob Quinlan

Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia
Associate Professor
Evolutionary and Cultural Anthropology

Courses - Publications - Graduate Students

Interest and Current Research

I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and I did a NIH post-doctoral fellowship in Human Biology at the University of Hawai’i. I regularly teach Human Issues in International Development; Quantitative Methods in Anthropology; History of Anthropological Thought; and graduate seminars on various topics in sociocultural anthropology and behavioral ecology.

My main interests are in behavioral ecology, medical & psychological anthropology, methods, cross-cultural analysis, and East Africa. My research focuses on relations among environmental risk, human reproductive behavior, life history, and cultural and psychological factors associated with risk. After many years of research in the West Indies, I relocated my field research to East Africa in 2011 where I am engaged in a study of life history and population pressures in Ethiopia. I am also co-PI on a NSF study of the evolution of antibiotic resistance among agro-pastoralists in Northern Tanzania. I’m also very interested in developing research capacity in East African Universities, especially at Hawassa University in Ethiopia.  



  • ANTH 418 Human Issues in International Development
  • ANTH 390 History of Anthropological Though
  • ANTH 529 Graduate Seminar in Enthography of SW Ethiopia
  • ANTH 537 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology


Representative Publications:

Macfarlan, S., Quinlan, R. & Remiker, M. 2013 Cooperative Behaviour and Prosocial Reputation Dynamics in a Dominican Village. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science. (in press).

Meehan, C. Quinlan, R. Malcom, C.** 2012 Cooperative Breeding and Maternal Energy Expenditure among Aka Foragers. American Journal of Human Biology. 25(1):42-57.

Placek, C.D.** and Quinlan, R.J. 2012. Adolescent fertility and risky environments: a population level perspective across the life-span. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, 279:4003-4008.

Flinn, M.V., Duncan, C., Ponzi, D., Quinlan, R.L., Decker, S.A. and Leone, D.V. 2012) Hormones in the wild: Monitoring the endocrinology of family relationships. Parenting: Science and Practice, 11(6):124-133.

Caudell, M.** & Quinlan, R. (2012) Global resource availability, mortality and fertility: A Path Analytic Approach. Human Biology, 84(2):101-125.

Quinlan, R. (2010) Extrinsic Mortality Effects on Reproductive Strategies in a Caribbean Community. Human Nature,21(2):124-139.

Quinlan, R.J. (2008) Human Pair-Bonds: Evolutionary Functions, Ecological Variation and Adaptive Development. Evolutionary Anthropology. 17: 227-238.

Quinlan, Robert J. and Marsha B. Quinlan. (2008) Human Lactation, Pairbonds & Alloparents: A Cross-Cultural Analysis.In Human Nature 19(1) (2008): 87-102.

Quinlan, Robert J. and Marsha B. Quinlan. (2007) Modernization and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Caribbean Horticultural Village. In Medical Anthropology Quarterly 21(2):169-192.

Quinlan, Robert J. and Marsha B. Quinlan (2007) Parenting and cultures of risk: A comparative analysis of infidelity, aggression and witchcraft. American Anthropologist, 109(1): 164-179.


Current Students

Mark Caudel, PhD Evolutionary Program
Alissa Miller, PhD Evoluionary Program
Caitlyn Placek, PhD Evolutionary Program, (co-chair)

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Curriculum Vitae
College Hall 219


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