Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
David Nolin, Ph.D.


David Nolin, Ph.D.

Penn State University
Postdoctoral Scholar: Shenk Lab, Department of Anthropology
Faculty Affiliate: Population Research InstituteCenter for Human Ecology

I am an evolutionary cultural anthropologist with methodological expertise in biostatistics, social network analysis, and demography, and a theoretical specialization in human behavioral ecology. My field research focuses on cooperative institutions in the traditional fishing and whaling village of Lamalera, Indonesia. My current work in the Shenk Research Group is a cross-cultural study of marital assortment by wealth in small-scale societies and how such assortment contributes to persistent inequality.

Current Work


  1. The evolution of human sociality and cooperation, especially as manifested in social networks of cooperative production and food sharing.
  2. The origins of and persistence of inequality in small-scale societies and its relationship to social institutions such as marriage and inheritance.
  3. The evolutionary demography of human marriage and reproduction, especially marriage delay and fertility decline.