James Holland Jones
King Center on Global Development
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
Department of Earth System Science
Woods Institute for the Environment
James Holland Jones is an associate professor of Earth System Science and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. Jones is a biological anthropologist with interests in biodemography, life history theory, and the human ecology of infectious disease. Biological anthropology is the study of the origins and maintenance of human diversity and the axis of diversity that defines my research interests is the stunning variation across populations and through time in the fundamental quantities of demography: age-specific mortality and fertility rates. Two major sources of variation in human mortality are the differential impact of (1) infectious disease and (2) violence across populations and through time. Theory, in turn, predicts that fertility should respond to the variation in mortality. As a consequence, Jones sees studying both infectious disease and violence as necessary predicates for understanding the diversity of the human demographic experience. Jones' work is broadly comparative and he uses studies of nonhuman primate life histories and infectious diseases to provide a broad perspective on these phenomena in humans. Jones has a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard.