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Anthropology | Courtney Meehan

Ph.D., Washington State University
Associate Professor
Evolutionary and Cultural Anthropology

My current research is centered on life history theory, child development, and reproductive strategies among hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists and agropastoralists. I am PI on a NSF research project focused on understanding the influence of cooperative breeding on children’s socioemotional and physical development and parental behavior. I am also co-PI on an international and interdisciplinary NSF grant examining the sociocultural, evolutionary, environmental, and microbial aspects of human milk composition. I conduct research in the Central African Republic (CAR) with the Aka, Ngandu and Mbati, and in SW Ethiopia with the Sidama. I teach courses on evolutionary theory, the anthropology of childhood, and grant writing and professional development.

Recent Courses:

ANTH 302 Childhood and Culture
ANTH 468 Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature
ANTH 591 Evolutionary and Cultural Anthropological Approaches to Childhood
ANTH 591 Grant Writing and Professional Development

Representative Publications:

Meehan CL. Helfrecht C. and Quinlan R. 2014. Allomaternal networks and children’s nutritional status: is flexibility key to cooperative breeding? American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 153 (4): 513-525.

Meehan CL. and Hawks S. 2014. Maternal and allomaternal responsiveness: the significance of cooperative caregiving in attachment theory. In Hiltrud Otto and Heidi Keller (eds.) Different Faces of Attachment: Cultural Variations of a Universal Human Need, pp. 113-140. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Meehan CL. and Hawks S. 2013. Cooperative breeding and attachment among the Aka foragers. In Naomi Quinn & Jeannette Mageo (eds.), Attachment Reconsidered: Cultural Perspectives on a Western Theory, pp. 85-113. New York, NY: Palgrave.

Meehan CL. 2013. Allomothers and child well-being. In Ben-Arieh, A et al. (eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being: Theories, Methods and Policies in Global Perspective, pp. 1787-1816. Dorcrecht: Springer.

Meehan CL. and Roulette JW. 2013. Early supplementary feeding among Central African foragers and farmers: a biocultural approach. Social Science and Medicine, 96:112-120.

Meehan CL, Quinlan R, and Malcom CD. 2013. Cooperative breeding and maternal energy expenditure among Aka foragers. American Journal of Human Biology, 25(1):42-57.

Meehan CL. 2009. Maternal time allocation in two cooperative childrearing societies. Human Nature, 20(4): 375-393.

Meehan CL. 2008. Allomaternal investment and relational uncertainty among the Ngandu farmers of the Central African Republic. Human Nature, 19:211-226.

Meehan CL. 2005. The effects of residential locality on parental and alloparental care among the Aka foragers of the Central African Republic. Human Nature, 16 (1) 58-80.



Courtney Meehan

Contact Information

College Hall 342