Bobbi S. Low



PhD, University of Texas (evolutionary zoology)

MA, University of Texas (evolutionary zoology)

BA, University of Louisville (biology)



Bobbi S. Low is Professor Emerita in the School for Environment And Sustainability, University of Michigan, and a faculty associate at Institute for Social Research and the Center for Study of Complex Systems. Her research centers on behavioral ecology and life history theory, and how these influence the patterns we see. She specializes in the evolution and behavioral ecology of resource acquisition; resource ecology of mating systems (including human systems); how environmental conditions constrain the evolution of life histories (especially women’s lives); conflicts of interest in conservation and resource management (particularly in common-pool resource regimes); and, as part of an interdisciplinary group, subsistence patterns and inequality cross-culturally. Her approach links empirical data, analysis, and theory. She has chaired or co-chaired over 150 graduate student theses, and has won awards for both undergraduate and doctoral mentorship. Her interdisciplinary interests have led to three books: Why Sex Matters (now in its second edition); Methods and Models in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation (with Stan Braude); Institutions, Ecosystems, and Sustainability (with Elinor Ostrom, Bob Costanza, and James Wilson); a small monograph (Family Patterns in Nineteenth-Century Sweden, with Alice Clarke and Ken Lockridge); and numerous papers.


President, Human Behavior and Evolution Society (2002-2005).

Director of the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program at the University of Michigan (2002).

Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award (2007).

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President, Human Behavior and Evolution Society (2002-2005).

Secretary, Human Behavior and Evolution Society (1990-93).