Dr. Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi does research in Gujarat, India


Dr. Daniel Goldstein in Belgium


Recently graduated anthropology major continues her work and studies


Dr. Dorothy Hodgson and Maasai activist Ndini Kimesera Sikar at the U.N. in NYC


Student discusses honors poster on “Undocumented Mexican Women in New Brunswick”


Dr. David Hughes at Fukushima Workshop, Tokyo


Graduate student meets orangutan as a T.A. in Borneo with Rutgers Study Abroad "Primates, Ecology and Conservation in Indonesia"


Student discusses Honors work at historic site in Trappe, PA with Chair, Dr. Craig Feibel

Lee Cronk

cronk headshot f12(PhD, Northwestern U, 1989; Professor, SAS) Human behavioral ecology, human evolutionary ecology; Africa, Caribbean This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



cronk headshot f12
Professor, Department of Anthropology
Biological Sciences Building, Rm. 309
Department phone (848) 932-9285
Department fax number (732) 932-1564
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Dr. Cronk is also affiliated with the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, the Perceptual Science Graduate Training Program, and the Program in Evolutionary Biology. He is a member of the Evolutionary Anthropology Society, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, and the International Society for Human Ethology.

 HGP logoDr. Cronk is also co-director, with C. Athena Aktipis of Arizona State University, of the Human Generosity Project. For more information, click here: http://humangenerosity.org


Click here for Dr. Cronk's author page on Amazon.com.

Read about Dr. Cronk's research in Rutgers Focus.

Click here to read Dr. Cronk's Meeting at Grand Central Blog.

Research and Teaching Interests

Human evolutionary ecology, including behavioral ecology, cultural ecology, and cognitive ecology; signaling theory; culture; cooperation; Africa, Caribbean.


Ph.D., Anthropology, Northwestern University, 1989.

Dissertation: The Behavioral Ecology of Change Among the Mukogodo of Kenya.

M.A., Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1983.

B.A., Anthropology, with distinction, Northwestern University, 1982.

Employment History

2006 - present Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University.

2012-2013 Member, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ

2008-2009 Member, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ

1999 – 2006 Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University.

1995-1999 Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University.

1989-1995 Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University.

Selected Publications

Cronk, Lee. 2015. Human cooperation: Evolutionary approaches to a complex phenomenon. Handbook on Evolution and Society: Toward an Evolutionary Social Science, edited by Jonathan Turner, Richard Machalek, and Alexandra Maryanski, pp. 441-459. St. Paul, MN: Paradigm Publishing.

Hao, Yan, C. Athena Aktipis, Dieter Armbruster, and Lee Cronk. 2015. Need-based transfers on a network: A model of risk-pooling in ecologically volatile environments. Evolution and Human Behavior 36(4):265-273.

Soler, Montserrat, Frank Batiste, and Lee Cronk. 2014. In the eye (and ears) of the beholder: receiver psychology and human signal design. Evolutionary Anthropology 23:136-145. PDF: soler et al on receiver psych EA 2014.pdf

 lee cronk mgc cover image1



Cronk, Lee, and Beth L. Leech.  2013.  Meeting at Grand Central:  Understanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.

Cronk, Lee. 2013. Human behavioral ecology. In Encyclopedia of Social Theory in Anthropology. Richard Warms and Jon McGee, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wagh, Kshitij, Aatish Bhatia, Gabriela Alexe, Anupama Reddy, Vijay Ravikumar, Michael Seiler, Michael Boemo, Ming Yao, Lee Cronk, Asad Naqvi, Shridar Ganesan, Arnold J. Levine, and Gyan Bhanot. 2012. Lactase persistence and lipid pathway selection in the Maasai. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44751. [pdf]

De Aguiar, Rolando, and Lee Cronk.  2011.  Stratification and supernatural punishment:  Cooperation or obedience?  Religion, Brain and Behavior 1(1):73-75. [pdf]

Aktipis, C. Athena, Lee Cronk, and Rolando de Aguiar. 2011. Risk-pooling and herd survival: An agent-based model of a Maasai gift-giving system. Human Ecology 39:131-140. pdf [pdf]

Gerkey, Drew, and Lee Cronk. 2010. Why do we need to coordinate when classifying kin? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33:385-386. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, Drew Gerkey, and William Irons.  2009.  Interviews as experiments: Using audience effects to examine social relationships.  Field Methods. 21:331-346. [pdf]

Campbell, Lorne, Lee Cronk, Jeffry Simpson, Alison Milroy, Carol Wigington, and Bria Dunham.  2009.  The association between men’s ratings of women as desirable long-term mates and individual differences in women’s sexual attitudes and behaviors.  Personality and Individual Differences 46:509-513. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and Helen Wasielewski.  2008.   An unfamiliar social norm rapidly produces framing effects in an economic game.  Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 6(4):283-308. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee.  2007.  Boy or girl: Gender preferences from a Darwinian point of view.  Reproductive Biomedicine Online 15(suppl. 2):21-30. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and Bria Dunham.  2007.  Amounts spent on engagement rings reflect aspects of male and female mate quality.  Human Nature 18(4):329-333. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee.  2007.  The influence of cultural framing on play in the trust game: A Maasai example.  Evolution and Human Behavior 28:352-358. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. and Andrew Gerkey. 2007. Kinship and descent. In The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, edited by Robin Dunbar and Louise Barrett. Pp. 463-478. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [click here]

Cronk, Lee.  2006.  Intelligent design in cultural evolution.  Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29:352-353. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2006. Behavioral ecology and the social sciences. In Missing the Revolution: Evolutionary Psychology for Social Scientists, edited by Jerome Barkow. Pp. 167-185. Oxford: Oxford University Press [click here]

Cronk, Lee. 2005. The application of animal signaling theory to human phenomena: Some thoughts and clarifications. Social Science Information/Information sur les Sciences Sociales 44(4):603-620. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2005. Comment on “Signaling Theory, Strategic Interaction, and Symbolic Capital” by Rebecca Bliege Bird and Eric Alden Smith. Current Anthropology 46(2):239-240. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2004. Continuity, displaced reference, and deception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27(4):510-511. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2004. From Mukogodo to Maasai: Ethnicity and Cultural Change in Kenya. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [click here]

Cronk, Lee. 2002. From true Dorobo to Mukogodo Maasai: Contested ethnicity in Kenya. Ethnology 41(1):27-49. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and Shannon Steadman. 2002. Tourists as a common-pool resource: A study of dive shops on Utila, Honduras. In Economic Development: An Anthropological Approach, edited by Jeffrey Cohen and Norbert Dannhaeuser. Volume 19 of the Society for Economic Anthropology Monographs. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and D. Bruce Dickson. 2001. Public and hidden transcripts in the East African highlands. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 20:113-121. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2001. Anthropology and the evolutionary study of human behavior. Research in Biopolitics 8:1-30. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, Napoleon Chagnon, and William Irons, eds. 2000. Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. [click here]

Irons, William, and Lee Cronk. 2000. Twenty years of a new paradigm. In Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective, edited by L. Cronk, N. Chagnon, and W. Irons, pp. 3-26. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 2000. Female-biased parental investment and growth performance among the Mukogodo. In Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective, edited by L. Cronk, N. Chagnon, and W. Irons, pp. 203-221. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and Vaughn M. Bryant, Jr., eds. 2000. Through the Looking Glass: Readings in Anthropology. Second edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. [click here]

Cronk, Lee. 1999. That Complex Whole: Culture and the Evolution of Human Behavior. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [click here]

Cronk, Lee. 1999. Gethenian nature, human nature, and the nature of reproduction: A fantastic flight through ethnographic hyperspace. In Biopoetics: Evolutionary Explorations in the Arts, edited by Brett Cooke and Frederick Turner, pp. 205-218. New York: Paragon. [click here]

Cronk, Lee. 1998. Ethnographic text formation processes. Social Science Information/ Information sur les Sciences Sociales 37(2):321-349. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1995. Is there a role for culture in human behavioral ecology? Evolution and Human Behavior 16(3):181-205. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1995. Comment on "Gene-Culture Coevolutionary Theory: A Test Case" by Kevin N. Laland, Jochen Kumm, and Marcus W. Feldman. Current Anthropology 36(1):147-148. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1994. Group selection's new clothes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17(4):615-616. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1994. Sacrificing reality for the primitive accumulation of models.  Journal of Quantitative Anthropology 4:185-1889.  [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1994. Evolutionary theories of morality and the manipulative use of signals. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 29(1):81-101.[pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1994. The use of moralistic statements in social manipulation. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 29(3):351-355. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1993. Parental favoritism toward daughters. American Scientist 81:272-279. pdf [pdf]

Cronk, Lee, and Beth Leech. 1993. "Where's Koisa?" The World & I 8(1):612-621.

Cronk, Lee. 1992. Old dog, old tricks. The Sciences 32(1):13-15. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1991. Preferential parental investment in daughters over sons. Human Nature 2(4):387-417. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1991. Human behavioral ecology. Annual Review of Anthropology 20:25-53. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1991. Intention vs. behaviour in parental sex preferences among the Mukogodo of Kenya. Journal of Biosocial Science 23:229-240.

Cronk, Lee. 1991. Wealth, status, and reproductive success among the Mukogodo of Kenya. American Anthropologist 93:345-360. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1991. Hypothesis testing and social engineering. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14(2):305-306.

Cronk, Lee. 1990. Comment on "Explaining biased sex ratios in human populations: A critique of recent studies," by Daniela Sieff. Current Anthropology 31(1):35-6. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1990. Stratification, bridewealth, and marriage patterns among the Mukogodo and their neighbors, Laikipia District, Kenya. Research in Economic Anthropology 11:89-109.

Cronk, Lee. 1990. Family trust The Sciences 30(6):10-12. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1989. Low socioeconomic status and female-biased parental investment: The Mukogodo example. American Anthropologist 91(2):414-29. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1989. From hunters to herders: Subsistence change as a reproductive strategy among the Mukogodo. Current Anthropology 30(2):224-34. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1989. Strings attached. The Sciences 29(3):2-4. [pdf]

Cronk, Lee. 1988. Spontaneous order analysis and anthropology. Cultural Dynamics 1(3):282-308. [pdf]

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