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, cross-cultural analysis, and theoretical and computational modeling.

I conduct fieldwork with Tsimane' forager-farmers in Bolivian Amazonia (click here for a short piece on the Tsimane'), and with Tyvan nomadic pastoralists in southern Siberia.

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.


Paul L. Hooper, Simon DeDeo, Ann E. Caldwell Hooper, Michael Gurven, and Hillard S. Kaplan (2013) "Dynamical structure of a traditional Amazonian social network." Entropy 15(11) 4932-4955. pdf

Paul L. Hooper, Michael Gurven, and Hillard S. Kaplan "Social underpinnings of human biodemography." Submitted to Advances in Biodemography, National Research Council workshop.

Hillard S. Kaplan, John Bock, and Paul L. Hooper "Fertility theory: Embodied-capital theory of human life history evolution." Submitted to International Encylopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition.

Hillard S. Kaplan, Paul L. Hooper, Jonathan Stieglitz, 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 (2013) "Task delegation among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of Bolivia." Current Anthropology 54(2) 232-241. pdf

Philip L. Hooper, Lawrence E. Hightower and Paul L. Hooper (2012) "Loss of stress response as a consequence of viral infection: Implications for disease and therapy." Cell Stress and Chaperones 17(6), 647-655. pdf
Paul L. Hooper (2012) "Modeling the evolution of religious institutions." Religion Brain and Behavior 2(3), 209-212. pdf
Paul L. Hooper (2012) "Socioecology of networks." Cliodynamics 3(2), 353-356. link

Michael Gurven, Jonathan Stieglitz, Paul L. Hooper, Cristina Gomes and Hillard S. Kaplan (2012) "From the womb to the tomb: The role of transfers in shaping the evolved human life history." Experimental Journal of Gerontology 47(10), 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). pdf

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 15(6), 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. 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

links and collaborators

Santa Fe Institute

Tsimane' Health and Life History Project

Bret Beheim, Jim Boone, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Sam Bowles, Jim Brown, Annie Caldwell Hooper, Michael Cook, Simon DeDeo, Steve Gangestad, Mike Gurven, Larry Hightower, Phil Hooper, Hilly Kaplan, Tim Kohler, Jane Lancaster, Martin Muller, Paul Seabright, Eric Schniter, Eric Alden Smith, Jon Stieglitz, Josh Tybur, Chris von Rueden, Jeff Winking, John Ziker

CV pdf