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Model for human sexual selection

Research Achievements

Model for human sexual selection

Dan Baldassarre (WSU Biology Trainee) is currently working on an interdisciplinary project with Amanda Parrish (UW Anthropology Trainee) to use a statistical model that was developed for studies of birds, and apply it to kinship data collected from a population of humans (specifically, field data on mating patterns and reproductive success in a small-scale Melanesian society). The model (developed by Mike Webster) dissects individual mating success to determine the total potential for selection and partition it into component parts, thus revealing the most likely mechanisms by which sexual selection might operate in the population. This is a unique application of a model developed for non-humans (specifically, for monogamous birds) to humans, and should lead to a significant publication.