Richerson, Peter J. 1943-

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Richerson, Peter J. 1943-


Born October 11, 1943; son of Orlando Chester and Catherine (Haughawout) Richerson; married Lois Annette Callaghan, February 12, 1978 (divorced, 2005); married Lesley Newson, March 26, 2006; children: (first marriage) Scott, Kate. Education:University of California, Davis, B.S., 1965, Ph.D., 1969.


Home—210 Full Cir., Davis, CA 95618.Office—Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, 3146A Wickson Hall, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616.E-mail—[email protected]


University of California, Davis, postdoctoral researcher, 1969-71; assistant professor, 1971-77, associate professor, 1977-83, professor, 1983-2006, distinguished professor of environmental science and policy, 2006—, associate director of Institute of Ecology, 1977-80, director, 1983-90. Visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, 1977-78, at Duke University, 1984, and at Exeter University, 2004; visiting fellow, Neurosciences Institute, 1984, and University of Bielefeld, 1991. Limnology advisor forlocal government.


Human Behavior and Evolution Society (treasurer, 1999-2005), Society for Human Ecology (president, 1994-95), Limnology and Oceanography, American Society of Naturalists, Ecological Society of America, International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Davis Faculty Association (member of board of directors), Alpha Zeta, Phi Beta Kappa.


Guggenheim fellow, 1984; J.I. Staley Prize (with R. Boyd) for contributions to the human sciences, 1989; commendation for research and service, Lake County Board of Supervisors, 2001; fellow, California Academy of Sciences, 2006.



(Editor, with Charles R. Goldman and James McEvoy III) Environmental Quality and Water Development,W.H. Freeman (San Francisco, CA), 1973.

(Editor, with James McEvoy III) Human Ecology: An Environmental Approach, Duxbury Press (North Scituate, MA), 1976.

(With Robert Boyd) Culture and the Evolutionary Process, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1985.

(With Robert Boyd) The Origin and Evolution of Cultures, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Robert Boyd) Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2005.

Member of editorial boards, Human Ecology Reviewand Journal of Bioeconomics.


Peter J. Richerson has frequently collaborated with Robert Boyd on scholarly works concerning culture and evolution. Their first book intended for a general readership was Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution.In this study, Richerson and Boyd argue that in order to fully understand human behavior, one must take into account the socially transmitted aspects of human culture as well as the biological factors that have an impact on human behavior. This stance represents a middle ground between the anticultural bias of the evolutionary psychologists and the antievolutionary position of certain social scientists. Alex Mesoudi, a contributor to the Quarterly Review of Biology, felt that the book deserved praise for "its attempt to bridge not only the natural and the social sciences, but also different disciplines within the social sciences." Mesoudi found Not by Genes Alone a highly accessible work, illustrated with "fascinating" case studies. Don Brothwell, a reviewer for Antiquity, noted that the authors' subject "is relatively neglected, and is rarely as well debated as it is here." He recommended the work as "very thought provoking."



Antiquity, December, 2005, Don Brothwell, review ofNot by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, p. 954.

Quarterly Review of Biology, December, 2005, Alex Mesoudi, review of Not by Genes Alone, p. 506.


Peter J. Richerson Faculty Home Page, 21, 2006), biographical information on Peter J. Richerson.

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Richerson, Peter J. 1943-

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