William H. Durham

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William H. Durham
Alma materStanford University
University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts alumni
Scientific career
FieldsBiological anthropology
evoultionary biology

William H. Durham, a biological anthropologist and evolutionary biologist,[1][2] is the Bing Professor Emeritus in Human Biology at Stanford University.[3]


William Durham earned a B.S. at Stanford University in 1971, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s (1973) and PhD (1977).[2]


Durham joined Stanford as a faculty member in 1977. He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1989-1990) and Stanford's Director of the human biology program (1992-1995).[1] He has been the Bing Professor in Human Biology, as well as a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford. He is now professor emeritus.[3]

Durham was a founding co-director of the research Center for Responsible Travel at Stanford (CREST) in 2003. In 2011, he became a co-director with Rodolfo Dirzo of the Osa-Golfito Initiative (INOGO) which works with Costa Ricans to develop sustainability strategy.[3][2]


Durham has studied the demography, genetics, and resource management of the San Blas Kuna of Panama, El Salvador and Honduras, and deforestation in Mexico, Central, and South America.[1]

Based on his work in West Africa and Latin America, Durham has developed a theory of coevolution which he uses to examine the ways in which the interactions of genetics, the environment, and human culture affect groups within human populations.[2]


Durham was Editor of the Annual Review of Anthropology from 1993–2008.[4] His published books include: [3]

  • Durham, William H. (1979). Scarcity and Survival in Central America. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-1000-8. William H Durham.
    • Escasez y sobrevivencia en Centroamérica: orígenes ecológicos de la guerra del fútbol, UCA Editores, 1988, ISBN 978-84-8405-108-4
  • Durham, William H. (1991). Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2156-1. (reprint 1992, ISBN 978-0-8047-2156-1)
  • Michael Painter; William H. Durham, eds. (1995). The Social Causes of Environmental Destruction in Latin America. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-06560-8.
  • Arthur P. Wolf; William H. Durham, eds. (2005). Inbreeding, incest, and the incest taboo: the state of knowledge at the turn of the century. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-5141-4.
  • Amanda Stronza; William H. Durham, eds. (2008). Ecotourism and Conservation in the Americas. CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-400-2.
  • Durham, William H. (2021). Exuberant life : an evolutionary approach to conservation in Galápagos. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780197531518.



  1. ^ a b c d e f "William Durham". Counterbalance Foundation. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "William H. Durham". MacArthur Fellows Program. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "William Durham Senior Fellow, Emeritus Bing Professor in Human Biology, Emeritus". Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  4. ^ Durham, William H. (2008). "Preface: Keep Evolving!". Annual Review of Anthropology. 37 (1): annurev.an.37.091808.100001. doi:10.1146/annurev.an.37.091808.100001. ISSN 0084-6570.