Joan Silk

School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ 85287





I am interested in how natural selection shapes the evolution of social behavior in animals that have large brains and long lives and live in complex social groups.   Much of my work has focused on the social strategies of female monkeys, and the complex dynamics of competition and cooperation. In the last decade, I have become more and more interested in questions that explicitly link studies of nonhuman primates to humans, particularly the origins and development of prosocial behavior.  I am now working on a new field project on anubis baboons in Kenya and will soon begin a new round of cross-cultural research on the development of prosocial behavior in children.

Photo by Eila Roberts