Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1980
Office: McGraw 161
Research Interests: biological anthropology; biology/culture interaction; human behavioral biology; parenting; primate behavior
Meredith F. Small was trained as a primate behaviorist and spent many years observing various species of macaques in captivity and in the wild. Her primatology focused on female mating behavior, alloparental care, and biological and physiological measure of reproductive success. Today, Dr. Small is interesting in the intersection of biology and culture and the evolution of human behavior. For the past few years she has focused on how biology and culture influence parenting styles. Although Dr. Small has published widely in academic journals, she currently works most often with the popular media. She is the author of four trade books, and she is a regular contributor for Discover, Natural History Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others. Her articles cover a wide range of topic from chimpanzee hunting to family structure among the Bari of Venezuela. Small is also a commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
- Kids: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Raise Our Children. Doubleday.
- Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way we Parent. Anchor Books (Doubleday).
- What's Love Got to do with it? The Evolution of Human Mating. Anchor Books (Doubleday).
- Female Choices: Sexual Behavior of Female Primates. Cornell University Press.
Selected Science Journalism
How many fathers are best for a child? Discover April.
- Mother's little helpers. New Scientist 181:44-47.
- The happy fat. New Scientist 175:34-37.
- What you can learn from dunk monkeys. Discover July: 41-44.
- So near and yet so far. Natural History June: 76-77.
- String theory. Natural History 111:14-15. Small, M.F.
Do animals have culture? Scientific American 284:104-106.