Graduate Program

UCSD has a first-class graduate program in sociocultural anthropology (ranked #9 in the USA in a recent survey), with a focus on psychological anthropology. However, for a variety of logistic reasons I won't bore you with, until recently there were no graduate students admitted in archaeology or biological anthropology. That has now changed, and our first BioAnthro grad students entered in 1998. We are committed to an integrated training in anthropology. The details are described on the official Department graduate program web page; visit there for the nuts-and-bolts of the program.

Our present Biological Anthropology faculty are:

Jim Moore (field studies of primate behavior and ecology, especially chimpanzees; 'primate models' of early hominids). Website

Margaret Schoeninger (biological anthropology, dietary reconstruction, bone chemistry, human nutritional ecology).

Katerina Semendeferi (Evolution of the human brain, comparative neuroanatomy of the hominoid brain, evolution of neural systems involved in primate cognition and emotions.) Website

Shirley Strum (primate behavior, especially baboons; social cognition in the wild; community-based conservation) [Dr. Strum lives in Nairobi and is resident at UCSD only during Spring quarter] Website

and adjunct faculty:

Fred Bercovitch [Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, San Diego Zoo] (evolution of primate reproductive strategies; comparative behavioral endocrinology and ecology) Website [CRES}

Alan Dixson [Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, San Diego Zoo] (evolution of primate reproduction) Website [CRES]
Our graduate focus is clearly on the primate side, with a core concept based on the evolution of the culture-bearing capacity in hominids which we approach from a strongly comparative perspective. As things stand now, this means that we are not the department of choice for students interested in human variation, forensics, molecular biology, functional morphology, etc. It is also worth noting that while we have links with the San Diego Zoo and interests in nonhuman primate cognition, there are no opportunities here for experimental/manipulative approaches to studying cognition.

After you've read this page and the linked Anthropology Department description, if you have further questions please contact: Jim Moore (, Katerina Semendeferi (, or Margaret Schoeninger (

If you are interested in working with Shirley Strum: you might want to contact her during the spring before the year in which you plan to apply (i.e., to enter in Fall quarter of 2005, you'd need to apply during the Fall of 2004, and so should contact her Spring of 2004). This way, if it seems like a phonecall or meeting is called for, we're not looking at quite such logistic problems.

Please note that the deadline for our receipt of all graduate applications and supporting materials is in early JANUARY for admission in the subsequent fall (see the Dept. page)for the current year's deadline date).

See the Department info packet for details. Let me just note here that it is very difficult for us to support foreign students (UC fees are significantly greater for non-citizens). You might want to try checking out the Wenner-Gren Foundation's
Developing Countries Training Fellowships program. For US citizens/nationals/permanent resident aliens, definitely check out NSF's Graduate Research Fellowships. These are tough to get but worth the effort. Note that you can apply three times: during your last year in college, during your first year of grad school, and during your first months of your second year. Since the submission deadline is in November, to take advantage of this as a senior you need to have your act together early. Keep in mind: if you get an NSF Fellowship, you aren't guaranteed acceptance to the grad school of your choice--but since it both demonstrates your ability to compete at a national level and pays your way, let's just say you probably won't need to worry about applying to a 'safety' school.

There are some additional sources of funding listed at the bottom of this page.

While on financial matters: you probably realize that academic jobs in anthropology are difficult to come by, and that a Ph. D. in the field is no guarantee of a career "doing anthropology". Be sure to have a look at Careers in Physical Anthropology and Careers in Anthropology for overviews of what you can do with an advanced degree in these fields. See below for some additional job/postdoc links .

A useful link if you are already here (and a glimpse at how UC works if you're not ;-) : Who can serve on doctoral committees.

Some representative publications

Fred Bercovitch

Bercovitch, F. B. (1988). Coalitions, cooperation and reproductive tactics among adult male baboons. Anim. Behav. 36: 1198-1209.

Bercovitch, F. B. (1989). Body size, sperm competition, and determinants of reproductive success in male savanna baboons. Evolution. 43: 1507-1521.

Bercovitch, F. B. (1995). Female cooperation, consortship maintenance, and male mating success in savanna baboons. Anim. Behav. 50: 137-149.

Bercovitch, F. B. (2001). Reproductive ecology of Old World monkeys. pp. 369-396 IN Ellison, P. (Ed.), Reproductive Ecology and Human Evolution. New York: Alldine/de Gruyter.

Bercovitch, F. B. & Berard, J. D. (1993). Life history costs and consequences of rapid reproductive maturation in female rhesus macaques. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 32: 103-109.

Bercovitch, F. B. & Strum, S. C. (1993). Dominance rank, resource availability, and reproductive maturation in female savanna baboons. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 33: 313-318.

Bercovitch, F. B., Widdig, A. & Nčrnberg, P. (2000). Maternal investment in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): reproductive costs and consequences of raising sons. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 48: 1-11.

Nčrnberg, P., Sauermann, U., Kayser, M., Lanfer, C., Manz, E., Widdig, A., Berard, J. D., Bercovitch, F. B., Kessler, M., Schmidtke, J. & Krawczak, M. (1998). Paternity assessment in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Multilocus DNA fingerprinting and PCR marker typing. Amer. J. Primatol. 44: 1-18.

Widdig, A., Nčrnberg, P., Krawczak, M., Streich, W. J. & Bercovitch, F. B. (2001). Paternal relatedness and age proximity regulate social relationships among adult female rhesus macaques. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 98: 13769-13773.

Alan Dixson

Brown, G. R. & Dixson, A. F. (2000). The development of behavioural sex differences in infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Primates. 41: 63-77.

Dixson, A. F. (1998). Primate Sexuality: Comparative Studies of the Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes and Man. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dixson, A. F. (1998). Sexual selection and the evolution of the seminal vesicles in primates. Folia primatol. 69: 300-306.

Dixson, A. F. (1999). Evolutionary perspectives on primate mating systems and behavior. pp. 45-64 IN Carter, C. S., Lederhendler, I. & Kirkpatrick, B. (Ed.), The Integrative Neurobiology of Affiliation. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.

Dixson, A. F. & Nevison, C. M. (1997). The socioendocrinology of adolescent development in male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Hormones and Behavior. 31: 126-135.

Rose, R. W., Nevison, C. M. & Dixson, A. F. (1997). Testes weight, body weight and mating systems in marsupials and monotremes. J. Zool. Lond. 243: 523-531.

Setchell, J. M. & Dixson, A. F. (2001). Changes in the secondary sexual adornments of male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are associated with gain and loss of alpha status. Hormones and Behavior. 39: 177-184.

Setchell, J. M. & Dixson, A. F. (2002). Developmental variables and dominance rank in adolescent male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). American Journal of Primatology. 56: 9-25.

Setchell, J. M., Lee, P. C., Wickings, E. J. & Dixson, A. F. (2002). Reproductive parameters and maternal investment in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). International Journal of Primatology. 23: 51-68.

Jim Moore

Moore, J. (1984). The evolution of reciprocal sharing. Ethol. Sociobiol. 5: 5-14.

Moore, J. (1984). Female transfer in primates. Int. J. Primatol. 5: 537-589.

Moore, J. (1992). "Savanna" chimpanzees. pp. 99-118 IN Nishida, T., McGrew, W. C., Marler, P., Pickford, M. & de Waal, F. B. M. (Ed.), Topics in Primatology, Vol. I: Human Origins. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.

Moore, J. (1992). Dispersal, nepotism, and primate social behavior. Int. J. Primatol. 13: 361-378.

Moore, J. (1999). Population density, social pathology, and behavioral ecology. Primates. 40: 5-26.

Moore, J. (1993). Inbreeding and outbreeding in primates: What's wrong with "the dispersing sex"? pp. 392-426 IN Thornhill, N. W. (Ed.), The Natural History of Inbreeding and Outbreeding: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Moore, J. (1996). Savanna chimpanzees, referential models and the last common ancestor. pp. 275-292 IN McGrew, W. C., Marchant, L. & Nishida, T. (Ed.), Great Ape Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Moore, J. & Ali, R. (1984). Are dispersal and inbreeding avoidance related? Anim. Behav. 32: 94-112.

Morin, P. A., Moore, J., Chakraborty, R., Jin, L., Goodall, J. & Woodruff, D. S. (1994). Kin selection, social structure, gene flow, and the evolution of chimpanzees. Science. 265: 1193-1201.

Margaret Schoeninger

Hutchinson, D. L., Larsen, C. S., Schoeninger, M. J. & Norr, L. (1998). Regional variation in the pattern of maize adoption and use in Florida and Georgia. American Antiquity. 63: 397-416.

Schoeninger, M. J. (1989). Reconstructing Prehistoric Human Diet. Homo. 39: 78-99.

Schoeninger, M. J. (1996). Stable isotope studies in human evolution. Evol. Anthropol. 4: 83-98.

Schoeninger, M. J., Bunn, H. T., Murray, S., Pickering, T. & Moore, J. (2001). Meat-eating by the fourth African ape. pp. 179-195 IN Stanford, C. B. & Bunn, H. T. (Ed.), Meat-eating and Human Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.

Schoeninger, M. J., Bunn, H. T., Murray, S. S. & Marlett, J. A. (2001). Composition of tubers used by Hadza foragers of Tanzania. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 14: 15-25.

Schoeninger, M. J., Iwaniec, U. T. & Glander, K. E. (1997). Stable isotope ratios indicate diet and habitat use in New World monkeys. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 103: 69-83.

Schoeninger, M. J., Iwaniec, U. T. & Nash, L. T. (1998). Ecological attributes recorded in stable isotope ratios of arboreal prosimian hair. Oecologia. 113: 222-230.

Schoeninger, M. J., Moore, J. & Sept, J. M. (1999). Subsistence strategies of two 'savanna' chimpanzee populations: the stable isotope evidence. Am. J. Primatol. 49: 297-314.

Schoeninger, M. J. & Moore, K. (1992). Bone Stable Isotope Studies in Archaeology. Journal of World Prehistory. 6: 247-296.

Katerina Semendeferi

Semendeferi, K. (1994). Evolution of the hominoid prefrontal cortex: a quantitative and image analysis of Areas 13 and 10. Ph. D. thesis, University of Iowa.

Semendeferi, K. (1998). The frontal lobes in humans and apes. In S.T. Parker and H.L. Miles (Eds.) The Mentality of Gorillas and Orangutans in Comparative Perspective

Semendeferi, K. and Damasio, H. (1997) Comparison of sulcal patterns in the living brain of the great apes. Society for Neuroscience, 1997, (abstracts), 515.9.

Semendeferi, K., Damasio, H., Frank, R. & van Hoesen, G. W. (1997). The evolution of the frontal lobes: a volumetric analysis based on three-dimensional reconstructions of magnetic resonance scans of human and ape brains. J. Hum. Evol. 32: 375-388.

Semendeferi, K., Armstrong, E., Schleicher, A., Zilles, K. & Van Hoesen, G. W. (2001). Prefrontal cortex in humans and apes: A comparative study of area 10. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 114: 224-241.

Semendeferi, K. & Damasio, H. (2000). The brain and its main anatomical subdivisions in living hominoids using magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Human Evolution. 38: 317-332.

Semendeferi, K., Lu, A., Schenker, N. & Damasio, H. (2002). Humans and great apes share a large frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience. 5: 272-276.

Shirley Strum

Fedigan, L. M. & Strum, S. C. (1997). Changing images of primate societies. Curr. Anthropol. 38: 677-681.

Latour, B. & Strum, S. C. (1986). Human social origins: Oh please, tell us another story. J. Social Biol. Struct. 9: 169-187.

Strum, S. C. (1982). Agonistic dominance in male baboons: An alternative view. Int. J. Primatol. 3: 175-202.

Strum, S. C. (1987). Almost Human. New York: Random House.

Strum, S. C. (1994). Reconciling aggression and social manipulation as a means of competition. 1. Life-history perspective. Int. J. Primatol. 15: 739-765.

Strum, S. C. & Fedigan, L. M. (2000). Primate encounters : models of science, gender, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Strum, S. C., Lindburg, D. G. & Hamburg, D. A. (1999). The new physical anthropology : science, humanism, and critical reflection. Advances in human evolution series. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. Western, D., Wright, R. M. & Strum, S. C. (1994). Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation. Washington D. C.: Island Press.


There are a number of external fellowships that support graduate study, and are designed for beginning graduate students. These are from places like the National Science Foundation (NSF) or the Ford Foundation. Since it takes time to process applications and make decisions and award money, you need to apply for these at the same time or before you apply for entry to grad school. The funding agencies know this, and know that as college seniors your plans aren't very well set yet. That's OK. If you get awarded a fellowship but decide not to go to grad school, you just decline the award! (no, you can't pocket it; they've thought of that).

Most graduate students are supported by internal fellowships granted to them by the department they attend; the commonest form is teaching fellowships given by the department (Teaching Fellow = Teaching Assistant). Departments get the money for these fellowships from the university, and usually get less than they would like to get; internal fellowship funds usually limit the number of prospective graduate students who can be admitted.

So if you have received independent funding from a national fellowship that is not tied to any one university, you are "free" to the school. Schools like free students :-) Also, if you are a winner (or even get honorable mention for the major fellowships) this tells schools that you are Hot Stuff already; nothing breeds success like success. Even knowing that you have submitted an application to e.g. NSF shows the schools you apply to that you are thinking ahead in terms of a career of grant-writing etc.

How much are we talking about? The 2001 NSF Graduate Fellowship is $20,500/year for 3 years, PLUS $10,500/year that goes to the university for tuition etc. Not too shabby...

Needless to say, these are competitive. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

DEADLINES VARY BUT ARE OFTEN EARLY IN THE FALL (e.g., first week of November for NSF).

Most of these have online applications; check them out! The following ones are all open to anthropology & other social science students.

National Science Foundation

Ford Foundation Fellowship for Minorities

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Marshall Scholarship

There are some others for medical/biological sciences only. UCSD students can see the Career Services website for those and for additional information; if you're not at UCSD, your school probably has a similar service.

Financing your research
Once you are in a graduate program, you are likely to need financial support for your dissertation research. The main (and obvious) thing to do here is talk it over with your advisor[s]; I include this paragraph here ONLY as an excuse to add a really nice link: Grant Opportunities for Graduate Students in Primate Behavior and Conservation that lists a variety of sources for such funding.

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Some listings for job and post-doc opportunities (thanks to Mary Baker for these!):

American Anthropological Assn

P-A Jobs (a list you can join to automatically be forwarded job announcements.

Sciencewise [there's something weird going on with their website; if this fails, try Sciencewise]

Primate Jobs

Animal Behavior Society (Sometimes lists jobs/postdocs on main page)

CSU system


Sciencemag Jobs

Career Mosaic

PHD jobs

Postdoctoral positions

New Scientist Jobs

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