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Shane Macfarlan Lab Group

Shane Macfarlan is an evolutionary cultural anthropologist with a variety of research interests including: cooperation and conflict, evolutionary historical demography, rural livelihoods, social network analysis, human-ecosystem dynamics, cross-cultural research, and Latin America and the Caribbean. His lab group is composed of undergraduate and graduate students. Current projects occurring in his lab include: 1) the Evolutionary Ecology of the Baja California Peninsula; 2) Evolutionary Historical Demography; and 3) Cross-Cultural Analysis of Post-Combat Rituals and Rewards for Treating Moral Injury. Shane is always looking for undergraduate and graduate students to assist in his lab. Research opportunities can be facilitated through a number of mechanisms, including: the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, undergraduate research credit hours, and work study.


Lab Members

Emily Post

Graduate Student Research Assistant

Izabella Bourland

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachel Coy

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Matheus Cruz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nathan Darmiento

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Connor Davis

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Savannah Kapp

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lauren Lewis

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jamie Nakano

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Andrea Uehling

Undergraduate Research Assistant


Lab Group Successes!

See our lab group’s new paper on Marriage Dynamics in 19th Century Baja California Sur, Mexico, in the journal, Biodemography and Social Biology (for access to the full article, email Shane:

Congratulations to Rachel Coy for winning the 2020 Monson Prize for outstanding undergraduate research on War Rituals in Small Scale-Societies!

Congratulations to Emily Post for publishing her Master’s Thesis on Gender Bias in Reputations in the journal, Cross Cultural Research (for access to the full article email Shane or Emily)!

Congratulations to Connor Davis for receiving a Dee Family Foundation UROP Scholars Award for Fall 2020!

Congratulations to Shane Macfarlan for receiving the 2020 Sustainability Integration Leadership Award


UROP Students Spring 2020

Project: Evolutionary Ecology of the Baja California Peninsula

Izabella Bourland - Sex Ratio at Birth in the Baja California Sur Peninsula

Savannah Kapp - Reproductive Fitness: Historical Demography of Baja California Sur

Project: Cross-Cultural Analysis of Post-Combat Rituals and Rewards for Treating Moral Injury

Rachel Coy - Cross Cultural Analysis of Post Combat Rituals in Small Scale Societies

Lauren Hainsworth - Cultural Rewards to Participants of Warfare

Jamie Nakano - Cross-Cultural Negative Outcomes of Warfare Among Warriors

Andrea Uehling - Warriors: A Cross Cultural Study of War Veterans and Their Rewards

Project: Social Network Analysis

Connor Davis - Evaluating the Connections of Utah State Legislators using Social Network Analysis


Learning Abroad in Baja California Sur, Mexico 2021

Culture, Ecology, & Sustainability

I will be teaching a culturally immersive learning abroad course in Summer 2021 in the pueblo of Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico. This course offers students the opportunity to examine the intersection of BCS’s culture, history, and ecology through an anthropological and ecological lens, using the pueblo of Todos Santos as a case site. Students will apply ethnographic and ecological methods to answer research questions related to the growth of the population, social relationships within the community, and sustainable development.

Last Updated: 3/24/21