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Lea Gleason

Grad Research Associate
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4101
IHO Affiliated Graduate Student
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4101
Student Information:
Graduate Student
Liberal Arts & Sciences


Lea Gleason is a US Air Force veteran and current graduate student in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology, within the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC). She is interested in human ultrasociality, gene-culture coevolution, and large-scale cooperation. She examines these topics through the context of warfare.

Her research aims to understand how cooperation evolves and scales up in societies without formal institutions. Gleason works with an acephalous egalitarian pastoralist group in Northwestern Kenya, known as the Turkana; Dr. Sarah Mathew, who is Gleason’s primary advisor, leads the project. Gleason is also broadly interested in the origin of culture, moral sentiments, and the evolution of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Masters Committee:

Dr. Sarah Mathew

Dr. Robert Boyd


Pres.   Ph.D. Anthropology - Arizona State University

2017   B.S. Anthropology, summa cum laude  (Minor - Biology) - Arizona State University

2012   B.S. Cybersecurity - University of Maryland, University College        

2012   A.A.S. Emergency Management - Community College of the Air Force

Research Interests

Genetic and Cultural Co-evolution, Human Prosociality and Cooperation, Origins of Culture, Human Behavioral Ecology, Social Learning

Research Group

Adaptation, Behavior, Culture and Society

Institute of Human Origins

Honors / Awards

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow

Professional Associations

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

Expertise Areas