BIO A 450: Biodemography. Autumn 2018
Office: Department of Anthropology, Denny M237
Office: Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences, Padelford C019, Box 354320
Biodemography is the application of biological and evolutionary theory to an understanding of population processes like aging, mortality, fertility, maturation and growth. This course is an introduction to the methods, theory, literature and applications of biodemography. The course draws from ideas in demography, anthropology, evolutionary biology, population biology, and reproductive ecology.
What will this course do for you? (1) Provide a solid foundation for understanding the evolution of human patterns of mortality and fertility. (2) Introduce new tools, concepts, and ways of thinking about quantitative problems in biological anthropology, demography, and evolutionary biology. (3) Provide sufficient historical, intellectual, and mathematical backgrounds to help you evaluate contemporary research in biodemography.
T, Th, 10:30-12:20 Smith (SMI) 115. Please bring a scientific calculator to class.
I will frequently be available after class for office hours. Other times can be arranged. Feel free to call me or send email with questions or to set up an appointment.
There is no textbook for this course. There are many readings, however. Please complete readings prior to the corresponding lecture. Readings in italics are optional.
There will be 4 problem sets (18% each) that will, in aggregate, make up 72% of your final grade. A poster presentation will make up 28% of your grade.
Problem sets will be assigned every two weeks (or so). Each problem set is worth about 18% of your final grade. The problems will be based on lecture material and paper readings. Problem sets will be made up of both analytical problems and short written answers. I encourage you to work in groups on the problem sets. If so, use the opportunity to ensure you completely understand the problems—you will see similar problems on the exam. You may use any references (other books, readings, web pages) to work on the problems. Typically, problem sets will be oriented toward solving numerical problems and interpreting the results.
In part, the problem sets test your ability to do the work under time constraints. Therefore, the grade of a late problem set will depreciate by 10% per day, including any fraction of a day late. For example, if you would have gotten a 95% on the problem set, it would depreciate to 95x0.9=85.5% for being one day late, 95x0.922=77% for 2 days late, 9530.93=69% for day 3 and so on.
A final exam is scheduled for Monday, Dec 10, at 10:30 in the classroom. But it will not really be a final exam. Rather we will have a poster session in which everyone shares their projects. Attendance is required.
A short research poster on a biodemographic project is required. More information about the projects and doing a poster will be given out mid-term. These can be done in teams of two people.
There are three types of posters: (1) Review posters, (2) Original data analysis posters, (3) A research proposal poster.
A review poster should (a) summarize the recent literature in biodemography on the topic, (b) provide a brief synthesis of the material, (c) Provide visual material (tables and graphs) to help the reader understand the topic. Original data analysis posters will test some biodemographic hypothesis using data. These posters will provide the traditional (a) introduction, (b) materials and methods, (c) results, and (d) discussion. Finally, a research proposal poster will describe (a) the motivations for a project, (b) review the literature, (c) describe the data and analytical methods that will be used.
- Overheads Sep 27
- No additional overheads Oct 9
- Overheads Oct 11
- No additional overheads Oct 23
- Overheads Oct 25
- Lab Growth Rate Excel Spreadsheet (corrected) Oct 23
- Problem set 2 distributed (Tuesday)
- Worksheet for problem set 2
- Overheads Nov 6
- Overheads Nov 8
- Problem set 3 distributed (Tuesday)
- Poster presentation handout Nov 8
- Poster presentation handout
- Poster presentation hints and tips
- CSSCR poster printing instructions
- Example Poster in Powerpoint format
- More resources for creating scientific posters:
- Michael Alley: Scientific Posters
- NYU: Poster Basics
- UC Berkeley: "Scientific Poster Design" presentation (pdf)
- NCSU: Creating effective poster presentations
- Colin Purrington: Poster design tips
- Making a better research poster (video)
- U of Guelph: Dos and Donts of poster design (video)
- Gerry Overmeyr: Making an academic research poster using Power Point
- Adam Read: How to produe an academic poster (video)
- Michael Alley: Scientific Posters
- Presenting your poster:
- Altmann J, et al. (2010) Life history context of reproductive aging in a wild primate model. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1204:127-138.
- Beltrán-Sánchez H, Finch CE, Crimmins EM. (2015) Twentieth century surge of excess adult male mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.;112(29):8993-8998. doi:10.1073/pnas.1421942112.
- Bloom DE (2011) 7 billion and counting. Science 333:562-569.
- Boquet-Appel, J-P (2011) When the world’s population took off: the springboard of the Neolithic demographic transition. Science 333: 560-561.
- Bronikowski AM, et al. (2011) Aging in the natural world: comparative data reveal similar mortality patterns across primates. Science 331:1325-1328.
- Burger O, Baudisch A, Vaupel JW (2012) Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109:18210-18214.
- de Jesús Rovirosa-Hernández M, González MH, Guevara-Pérez MÁ, García-Orduña F, de los Ángeles Aguilar-Tirado A, Puga-Olguín A, Vásquez-Domínguez BP (2017) Menopause in Nonhuman Primates: A Comparative Study with Humans. InA Multidisciplinary Look at Menopause. InTech.
- Ferrell RJ, Rodríguez G, Holman D, O'Connor K, Wood JW, Weinstein M (2012) Hypoestrogenic ‘‘inactive phases’’ at the start of the menstrual cycle: changes with age and reproductive stage, and relationship to follicular depletion. Fertility and Sterility. 98(5):1246-1253. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.07.1101
- Finch CE, Holmes DJ (2010). Ovarian aging in developmental and evolutionary contexts. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1204, 82–94. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05610.x
- Feinleib M (2008) The epidemiologic transition model: Accomplishments and challenges. Annals of Epidemiology 18(11):865-867.
- Gage TB (2005) Are modern environments really bad for us? Revisiting the demographic and epidemiologic transitions. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 48:96-117.
- Holman DJ, Wood JW, Campbell KL (2000) Age-dependent decline of female fecundity is caused by early fetal loss. Chapter 9 in te Velde ER, Broekmans F, and Pearson P (eds.) Female Reproductive Ageing. Studies in Profertility series, Vol 9, Carnforth, UK: Parthenon Publishing Group. pp. 123-136.
- Howell N (1982) Village composition implied by a paleodemographic life table: the Libben site. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 59:263-269.
- Jones JH (2010) Demograpy. In Muehlenbein MP (ed.) Human evolutionary biology.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp 74-91.
- Kaplan H, Gurven M (2008) Top-down and bottom-up research in Biodemography. Demographic Research 19(44):1587–1602
- Kirkwood TB, Austad SN (2000). Why do we age?. Nature, 408(6809), 233.
- Kruger DJ, Nesse RM (2004) Sexual Selection and the Male/Female Mortality Ratio. Evolutionary Psychology 2:66-85.
- Larsen CS (2006) The agricultural revolution as environmental catastrophe: Implications for health and lifestyle in the Holocene. Quaternary International 150:12-20.
- Mace R (2000) Evolutionary ecology of human life history. Animal Behaviour 59(1):1-10. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1999.1287.
- Nishida T et al. (2003).Demography, female life history, and reproductive profiles among the chimpanzees of Mahale. American Journal of Primatology 59:99-121.
- O'Connor KA, Holman DJ, Wood JW. (1998) Declining fecundity and ovarian aging in natural fertility populations. Maturitas. 30:127-136. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-5122(98)00068-1
- Omran AR (1998) The epidemiologic transition theory revisited thirty years later. World Health Statistics Quarterly 51:99-119.
- McCracken K, Phillips DR (2016) Demographic and epidemiological transition. International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. 12:1-8.
- Rice WR (2018) The high abortion cost of human reproduction. bioRxiv 372193; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/372193
- Vaupel JW (2010) Biodemography of human ageing. Nature 464:536-542.
- Wilmoth (1997) In search of limits. In Between Zeus and the Salmon, eds. KW Wachter and CE Finch. Pp 38-64.
- Wood JW (1990) Fertility in anthropological populations. Annual review of anthropology, 19(1), pp.211-242.
- Wood JW, Holman DJ, O'Connor KA (2001) Did menopause evolve by antagonistic pleiotropy? In M. Schultz (ed.), Homo—unsere Herkunft und Zukunft. Gottingen: Cuvillier Verlag. pp. 483-90.
- Wood JW, Milner GR, Harpending H, Weiss KM (1992) The osteological paradox. Current Anthropology 33:343-370.