NCEAS Project 7760

Analyzing pattern and process in human cultural diversity

  • Michael E. Hochberg

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group20th May—2nd June 2004Participant List  
Working Group13th—17th December 2004Participant List  

Members Only Area

A major challenge for ecology is to understand the role of humans in the future of life on Earth. Meeting this challenge is a tremendous and, in many ways, obscure enterprise because our species is extraordinarily complex and rapidly changing, and since assessing many aspects of human biology is fraught with social taboos and political impediments. Answers from the ecological sciences will form a small, but important part of the corpus. If we are willing to accept the analogy that humanity is comprised of an ensemble of communities, then many of the concepts of community ecology should apply to human society. As long as one is very clear about the limitations of this analogy, community ecology can be used as a constructive tool in understanding our species (Diamond 1999), its impact on its environment (Moses & Brown 2003), and the future.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Lafferty, Kevin D. 2006. Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. Vol: online. Pages doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3641.
Journal Article Nettle, Daniel; Grace, James B.; Choisy, Marc; Cornell, Howard V.; Guegan, Jean-Francois; Hochberg, Michael E. 2007. Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability. PLoS ONE. Vol: 2(9). Pages e929.