Raymond Hames is an evolutionary anthropologist recognized for his research on remote native peoples in the upper Orinoco Basin in Venezuela. His research encompasses the extent to which economic and ecological behavior can be understood from a behavioral ecological perspective fitness. Hames was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Azusa and Pasadena, California. He graduated from the University of California – Santa Barbara in 1972 with a BA, served in the Peace Corps in 1970, and earned his doctorate from Santa Barbara 1978. In 1979 he was awarded a Harry Frank Guggenheim post-doctoral fellowship while at Penn State and joined the anthropology faculty at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1980. While in Nebraska he was appointed Cultural Anthropology Program Officer at NSF in 1991, served as treasurer for the Human Behavior and Evolution Society for ten years, and served in presidential roles for the Evolutionary Anthropology Society of the American Anthropological Association from 2010-2016.

Research Interests

His field research focusses on native peoples (Yanomamö and Ye'kwana) of the southern Venezuela with funding from the NSF and LSB Leakey Foundations. His initial field research interest was in human ecology with an emphasis on quantitative descriptions of resource extraction, conservation, food and labor exchanges, and time allocation to economic as well as social activities. In subsequent field seasons he turned his attention to marriage, kinship, and parental investment from a behavioral ecological perspective. At the same time, his research is rather eclectic with comparative work on warfare, human sexuality, behavioral methods, and skin color variation. His major research findings reveal that parental care of infants and children is widely distributed among kin who serve as alloparents; from a cross-cultural perspective, polyandrous marriages are much more frequent than commonly believed; resource conservation in small scale societies is side-effect of low demand made on local resources, and; biological kinship is a strong predictor of cooperative behavior.

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology