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Evolutionary Anthropologist, Rutgers, Department of Anthropology

Human Behavioral Ecologist

Research Director, Biosocial Research Foundation,

New Jersey

Amy Jacobson, PhD, is deeply committed to using evolutionary anthropology to educate and expand existing perspectives on important issues such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity, medicine and religion with the expectation that public policy and social norms - informed by science and reason - will lead to better outcomes and a more just and productive future for humanity.


She is currently writing a textbook for her course on Human Aggression, which offers insight into how best to effectively interpret and apply this knowledge to encourage prosocial, positive sum engagement, between and within individuals and groups.

Her research on mate choice, aggression and violence, in both primates and humans, has broad implications for understanding human behavior - from conflict within an individual to war and genocide between ethnic groups.

Comprehending behavior as the culmination of interactions between complex evolutionary processes - genetic, environmental, developmental and adaptive - informs our efforts to create both cultural and biological environments that mitigate negative outcomes. Interpreting behavior as evolved adaptations selected to solve specific ecological problems, allows for a depth (through time) and breadth (across cultures) of understanding that is powerful and informative. Teaching students to view the world using evolutionary logic is imperative to increasing tolerance and empathy towards others.

Currently, Jacobson is involved in several active research projects.


Dr. Jacobson has worked closely with American evolutionary biologist and sociobiologist Robert Trivers.

She earned a PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology from Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, in 2005.

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