Sean Prall

Assistant Professor
224 Swallow Hall

Postdoc, Center for Behavior, Evolution, & Culture, UCLA, 2016-2019

PhD in Anthropology, Indiana University, 2014

BA in Anthropology, Boise State University, 2008


My interests lie in human health and reproduction, reproductive decision making, and evolutionary ecology. In particular I examine costs and trade-offs associated with investments in reproduction. I do this with a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, including anthropometrics, demography, endocrinology, actigraphy, validated health surveys, dyadic peer ratings, alongside semi-structured demographic interviews and measures of social norms. My work is informed by a mix of evolutionary and behavioral ecology, cultural evolutionary theory, and evolutionary psychology, especially they relate to reproductive concerns. I am also a co-director of the Kunene Rural Health and Demography Project, a contributor to the ENDOW project, and a collaborator on the Shodagor Longitudinal Health and Demography Project.

Frequently Taught Courses
  • Anthro 1000 - Introduction to anthropology: biology, prehistory, and culture
  • Anthro 1560 - Outbreaks and the anthropology of emerging disease
  • Anthro 2580 - Evolution of human sexuality
  • Anthro 4300/7300 - Comparative social organization
  • Anthro 4580/7580 - Evolutionary medicine
Select Publications

Prall SP, Scelza BA. 2022. The effect of mating market dynamics on partner preference and relationship quality among Himba pastoralistsScience Advances 8(18):eabm5629

Prall SP, Scelza BA. 2020. Resource demands reduce partner discrimination in Himba womenEvolutionary Human Sciences 2:E45.

Prall SP, Scelza BA. 2020. Why men invest in non-biological offspring: paternal care and paternity confidence among Himba pastoralistsProceedings of the Royal Society B287:20192890.

Scelza BA, Prall SP, Blumenfeld T, Crittenden AN, Gurven M, Kline M, Koster J, Kuschnik G, Mattison SM, Pillsworth E, Shenk MK, Starkweather K, Stieglitz J, Sum CY, Yamaguchi K, McElreath R. 2020. Patterns of paternal investment predict cross-cultural variation in jealous responseNature Human Behaviour 4:20-26.

See my personal website for a full list of publications

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-2pm in person, or by appointment

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