My research examines the co-evolution of human social structure, life history, economics, and health. My goal is to explain the origin of the core traits that define our species, and to explain variation in behavior and social organization and across human societies.
This work combines ethnographic research in Amazonia, cross-cultural analysis, and theoretical and computational modeling. I conduct fieldwork with the Tsimane', a group of forager-farmers native to the lowland tropics of Bolivia. (Click here for a recent brief piece on the Tsimane'.)
Active areas of research include: the co-evolution of human lifespan, fertility, and inter-generational transfers; the origins of human family structure; the endogenous formation of human social networks; and the emergence of social inequality, political hierarchy, and leadership. My father Philip Hooper, an endocrinologist at the University of Colorado, and I have also written a series of papers on the evolution of the adaptive stress response in humans and other species. My approach to this diversity of topics is anchored by the core unifying themes of energetics and metabolism, natural selection, and strategic adaptation to local socioecological context.
My wife, Ann Caldwell Hooper, is an evolutionary and health psychologist at the University of New Mexico. Her work addresses the evolutionary, developmental, psychological, and hormonal bases of physical activity and health behavior in traditional and western societies.
Hillard S. Kaplan, Paul L. Hooper, Jonathan Stieglitz, Lisa McAllister, and Michael Gurven "The causal relationship between fertility and infant mortality: Prospective analyses of a population in transition." In process at Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Stieglitz, Michael Gurven, Hillard S. Kaplan, and Paul L. Hooper "Task delegation among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of Bolivia." Under review at Current Anthropology
Philip L. Hooper
, Lawrence E. Hightower, and Paul L. Hooper "Loss of stress response as a consequence of viral infection: Implications for disease and therapy." Cell Stress and Chaperones
, 647-655. pdf
Paul L. Hooper (2012) "Modeling the evolution of religious institutions." Religion Brain and Behavior
, 209-212. pdf
Paul L. Hooper (2012) "Socioecology of networks." Social Evolution Forum
, available online: link
Michael Gurven, Jonathan Stieglitz, Paul L. Hooper, Cristina Gomes, and Hillard S. Kaplan "From the womb to the tomb: The role of transfers in shaping the evolved human life history." Experimental Journal of Gerontology
, 807-813. pdf
Timothy A. Kohler, Denton Cockburn, Paul L. Hooper, Kyle Bocinsky, and Ziad Kobti (2012) "The coevolution of group size and leadership: An agent-based public goods model for prehispanic Pueblo societies." Advances in Complex Systems 15(1-2)
Paul L. Hooper (2011) The structure of energy production and redistribution among Tsimane' forager-horticulturalists.
PhD Dissertation, Evolutionary Anthropology, University of New Mexico. link
Paul L. Hooper, Hillard S. Kaplan, and James L. Boone (2010) "A theory of leadership in human cooperative groups." Journal of Theoretical Biology 265(4)
, 633-646. pdf
Philip L. Hooper
, Paul L. Hooper, Michael Tytell and László Vígh (2010) "Xenohormesis: Health benefits from an eon of plant stress response evolution." Cell Stress and Chaperones
, 761-770. pdf
Hillard S. Kaplan, Michael Gurven, Jeffrey Winking, Paul L. Hooper and Jonathan Stieglitz (2010) "Learning, menopause, and the human adaptive complex." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1204
, 30-42. pdf
Michael Gurven, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Paul L. Hooper, Hillard Kaplan, Robert Quinlan, Rebecca Sear, Eric Schniter, Chris von Rueden, Samuel Bowles, Tom Hertz, and Adrian Bell (2010) "Domestication alone does not lead to inequality: Intergenerational wealth transmission among horticulturalists." Current Anthropology 51(1)
, 49-64. pdf
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Samuel Bowles, Tom Hertz, Adrian Bell, Jan Beise, Greg Clark, Ila Fazzio, Michael Gurven, Kim Hill, Paul L. Hooper, William Irons, Hillard Kaplan, et al. (2009) "Intergenerational wealth transmission and the dynamics of inequality in small-scale societies." Science 326(5953)
, 682-688. web link
Online supplement: pdf
Hillard S. Kaplan, Paul L. Hooper and Michael Gurven (2009) "The evolutionary and ecological roots of human social organization." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 364(1533)
, 3289-3299. pdf audio
Philip L. Hooper
and Paul L. Hooper (2009) "Inflammation, heat shock proteins, and type 2 diabetes." Cell Stress and Chaperones 14(2)
, 113-115. pdf
Paul L. Hooper and Geoffrey F. Miller
(2008) “Mutual mate choice can drive costly signaling even under perfect monogamy." Adaptive Behavior 16(1)
, 53-70. pdf
Supplementary table: pdf
Paul L. Hooper (2003) Forced population transfers in early Ottoman imperial strategy: A comparative approach.
Thesis, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University. pdf