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Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Evolution 2014: Day 0

Posted 20 Jun 2014 / 0

I started off this year’s Evolution meeting early. The conference is — at its core —  a four-day affair. But the days leading into the “official” start on Friday evening feature larger workshops aimed at building skills. I chose to attend the Experiencing Evolution workshop. Here’s what this session promised: Evolution is a key biological concept, Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Assessment Methods, Behavior, Coevolution, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Evolution, Evolution Education, Evolutionary Modeling, Genetics, Grants & Funding, Higher Education, Individual-based Models, Lesson Ideas, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Phylogenetics, Population Genetics, Population Growth, Predation, Reproductive Fitness, Science in Art & Design, Sex and Reproduction, Society for the Study of Evolution, Talks & Seminars, Teaching, Teaching Tools

Evolution 2014: Evolution of cooperation in the high school classroom? You bet!

Posted 20 Jun 2014 / 0

Will Ratcliff presented an absolutely amazing set of laboratories that explore the evolution of multicellularity (http://www.snowflakeyeastlab.com/). They can be done with high school or college students, and allow students to see the benefits of cooperation and the action of multilevel selection in a few weeks’ worth of laboratory work. Really impressive classroom activity design!

A Minor Post, Competition, Conferences, Cooperation, Group Selection, Multilevel Selection, Predation, Society for the Study of Evolution

Writing and record-keeping as important tools in the evolution of large-scale human cooperation

Posted 25 Oct 2013 / 0

This View of Life “The Role Of Writing And Recordkeeping In The Cultural Evolution Of Human Cooperation” What is also so interesting about written language is that it is another means of defining a group: only those who are literate and can read the particular recorded language can fully benefit from the cooperation fostered by Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Empathy, Group Selection, Multilevel Selection

My review of “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation” is published in QRB

Posted 30 Aug 2013 / 0

I am excited to report that my review of Origins of Altruism and Cooperation was just published in the Quarterly Review of Biology. Although it requires some work to get through, this collection presents a really important counter-narrative to the prevailing attitude in evolutionary biology that altruism is simply self-interest in disguise. The book uses Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Books, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Empathy, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Kin Selection, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Primatology, Reciprocity, Social Networks, Social Norms

Freeman Dyson wins the contest, and then says the contest is stupid

Posted 07 Dec 2012 / 0

Institute for Advanced Study “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” One of my favorite skateboarders when I was young was Natas Kaupas, an innovative skater who pioneered a lot of modern streetstyle. Natas was one of those skaters who could do things that no other skateboarders could, but he was not particularly successful in one arena that was Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Cooperation, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Modeling (General), Multilevel Selection, Reciprocity

Enforcing norms may be for personal gain, not to maintain social order (at least amongst Santa Barbara undergraduates)

Posted 28 Sep 2012 / 2

PLoS ONE “What Are Punishment and Reputation for?” Once again, a valuable and ingenious experiment over-reaches on the meaning of its finding, and the over-reach bleeds into the popular media. This is a really valuable experiment in that it asks about the scale at which social norms are enforced. It is significant that participants in Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Cooperation, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Multilevel Selection, Psychological Adaptation, Punishment, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Networks, Social Norms

My ESA 2012 Poster is on Faculty of 1000 posters

Posted 19 Sep 2012 / 0

F1000 Posters “The Evolution of Sustainable Use: a flash-based classroom tool for teaching population biology and sustainable resource management“

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Carrying Capacity, Cooperation, Ecological Modeling, Marine Ecosystems, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Population Growth, Public Policy, Sustainability, Sustainable Harvesting, System Stability, Teaching, Teaching Tools, The Sustainable Use of Fisheries

ESA 2012 Overall Impressions

Posted 12 Aug 2012 / 0

What was the ‘big news’ at this year’s Ecological Society of America meeting? Given that this meeting is composed of so many different meetings running concurrently, this just might be an impossible question to answer fairly. But for me, this year’s meeting could be summarized as the ‘year of computational ecology’. At a great variety Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Biodiversity Loss, Conservation Biology, Cooperation, Ecological Modeling, Ecological Society of America, Ecology Education, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Justice, Group Selection, Marine Ecosystems, Multilevel Selection, Public Policy, Punishment, Resource Consumption, Social Capital, Sustainability, System Stability, Talks & Seminars, Teaching, Teaching Tools, The Sustainable Use of Fisheries

Steven Pinker makes it clear that he is not a “group selectionist”

Posted 26 Jun 2012 / 5

Frequently I feel like I am listening to an early 2000′s George W. Bush speech when the ‘opponents of group selection’ step up to the podium. Seemingly, you are either “with us or against us” when it comes to considering selection acting at a level above the individual. As someone who is open to thinking Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, Kin Selection, Memetic Fitness, Multilevel Selection, Natural Selection, Punishment, Web