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Robert Boyd

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Origins Professor and Research Affiliate, Institute of Human Origins
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
IHO Research Affiliate and Origins Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
IHO Research Affiliate and Origins Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Biography

Prior to arriving at ASU, professor Robert Boyd taught at Duke University, Emory University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is considered a forerunner in the field of cultural evolution. Specifically, his research focuses on the evolutionary psychology of the mechanisms that give rise to – and influence – human culture, and how these mechanisms interact with population dynamic processes to shape human cultural variation.

This work is summarized in two books, co-authored with P. J. Richerson: Culture and the Evolutionary Process, and Not By Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution. Boyd has also co-authored an introductory textbook in biological anthropology, How Humans Evolved, with his wife, ASU primatologist Joan Silk. 

He and Silk have two grown children and live in Phoenix. His hobbies are rock climbing and bicycling.

Education

PhD, Ecology, University of California, Davis

Publications
  • K. Hill, B. M. Wood, J. Baggio, A. M. Hurtado, R. Boyd,. Hunter-Gatherer Inter-Band Interaction Rates: Implications for Cumulative Culture. PLoS One (2014).
  • Sarah Mathew Robert Boyd. The Cost of Cowardice. Evolution and Human Behavior (2014).
  • Michelle Kline, Robert Boyd, Joseph Henrich. Teaching and the Life History of Cultural Transmission in Fijian Villages. Human Nature (2013).
  • Alex Mesoudi, Kevin N. Laland, Robert Boyd, Briggs Buchanan, Emma Flynn, Robert N. McCauley, Jürgen Renn, Victoria Reyes-García, Stephen Shennan, Dietrich Stout, Claudio Tennie. The Cultural Evolution of Technology and Science. Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Society and Religion (2013).
  • Robert Boyd, Peter Richerson, Joseph Henrich. The cultural evolution of technology: Facts and theories. Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Society and Religion (2013).
  • Sarah Mathew, Robert Boyd, Mattijs van Veelen. Human cooperation among kin and close associates may require third-party punishment. Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Society and Religion (2013).
  • C. Perreault, C. Moya, and R. Boyd. A Bayesian approach to the evolution of social learning. Evolution and Human Behavior (2012).
  • J. Henrich, R. Boyd, and P. J. Richerson. The puzzle of monogamous marriage. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (B (2012).
  • Peter Hammerstein, Robert Boyd. Learning, Cognitive Limitations and Modelling of Social Behavior. Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making (2012).
  • T. Bugnyar, R. Boyd, B. Bossan, S. Gächter, T. Griffiths, P. Hammerstein, K. Jensen, T. Mussweiler, R. Nagel, and F. Warneken,. Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Cognition. Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making (2012).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 494Special Topics
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASM 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 497Honors Colloquium
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 591Seminar
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASM 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 494Special Topics
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 591Seminar
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 591Seminar
Presentations
  • Robert Boyd. Is causal understanding necessary for cultural adaptation?. Economic History Workshop, Department of Economics, Harvard (Nov 2015).
  • Robert Boyd. Does reciprocity explain human cooperation?. NimBios Lecture (Nov 2014).
  • Robert Boyd Sarah Mathew. Third-Party Punishment and the evolution of Human Language. Collective Intentionality IX (Sep 2014).
  • Robert Boyd Sarah Mathew. RECIPROCITY, THIRD-PARTY PUNISHMENT AND THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN LANGUAGE. EVOLANG X, Vienna (Apr 2014).
Service
  • Evolutionary Social Science Lecture Series, Organizer (2014 - 2015)
  • Graduate Research and Travel Support, Member (2014 - 2015)
  • Evolutionary Anthropology Search Committee, Chair (2014 - 2015)
Expertise Areas