Jeremy Koster

Jeremy Koster

Associate Professor

Braunstein Hall


A&S Anthropology - 0380

Professional Summary

Professor Koster studies the relationship between socio-ecological variation and economic decision-making. Focusing on both the production and distribution of material resources, his research elucidates the adaptive strategies that individuals use to subsist in marginal environments. Particularly interested in social dilemmas relating to divisible resources, Koster studies how individuals engage with their kinship networks to mitigate subsistence risks and maximize returns on labor. He also examines the contexts that lead people to contribute to public goods, such as the conservation of natural resources.

Graduate students who are interested in working with Prof. Koster will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork among indigenous Nicaraguan horticulturalists. His students acquire proficiency with research design, behavioral observation and survey methods, and statistical analysis with R software. For prospective students, it is understood that opportunities are not equally available, so Dr. Koster aims to assess applicants based on the opportunities that they have had.

Google Scholar profile


Ph.D., Penn State University 2007 (Anthropology)

Research Support

Grant: #SMA-1743019 Investigators:Koster, Jeremy 04-01-2017 -08-31-2021 National Science Foundation The effect of social networks on inequality: A longitudinal cross-cultural investigation Role:PI $880,000.00 Active Level:Federal

Abbreviated Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Walker R, Beckerman S, Flinn M, Gurven M, von Rueden C, Kramer K, Greaves R, Córdoba L, Villar D, Hagen E, Koster J, Sugiyama L, Hunter T, Hill K. 2013. Living with kin in lowland horticultural societies. Current Anthropology 54: 96-103.

Koster J, Grote M, Winterhalder B. 2013. Effects on household labor of temporary out-migration by male household heads in Nicaragua and Peru: An analysis of spot-check time allocation data using mixed-effects models. Human Ecology 41: 221-237.

McElreath R, Koster J. 2014 Using multilevel models to estimate variation in foraging returns: Effects of failure rate, harvest size, age, and individual heterogeneity. Human Nature 25: 100-120.

Koster J, Leckie G. 2014. Food sharing networks in lowland Nicaragua:  An application of the social relations model to count data. Social Networks 38: 100-110.

Koster J, Leckie G, Miller A, Hames R. 2015. Multilevel modeling analysis of dyadic network data with an application to Ye’kwana food sharing. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 157: 507-512.

Winking J, Koster J. 2015. The fitness effects of men’s family investments: A test of three pathways in a single population. Human Nature 26: 292-312.

Koster JM, Bruno O, Burns JL. 2016. Wisdom of the elders? Ethnobiological knowledge across the lifespan. Current Anthropology 57: 113-121.

Koster JM, and McElreath R. 2017. Multinomial analysis of behavior: Statistical methods. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71: 138.

Koster JM. 2018. Family ties: The multilevel effects of households and kinship on the networks of individuals. Royal Society Open Science 5: 172159.

Cooper CG, Burns JL, Koster JM, Perri AR, Richards MP. 2018. Economic and demographic predictors of dietary variation and nutritional indicators in Nicaragua. American Journal of Human Biology 30: e23125.

Koster JM, Aven BL. 2018. The effects of individual status and group performance on network ties among teammates in the National Basketball Association. PLOS One 13: e0196013

Ross CT, Borgerhoff Mulder M, Oh S, Bowles S, Beheim B, Bunce J, Caudell M, Clark G, Colleran H, Cortez C, Draper P, Greaves RD, Gurven M, Headland T, Headland J, Hill K, Hewlett B, Kaplan HS, Koster J, Kramer K, Marlowe F. McElreath R, Nolin D, Quinlan M, Quinlan R, Revilla-Minaya C, Scelza B, Schacht R, Shenk M, Uehara R, Voland E, Willifuehr K, Winterhalder B,  Ziker J. 2018. Greater wealth inequality, less polygyny: Rethinking the polygyny threshold model. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15: 20180035.

Sznycer D, Xygalatas D, Alami S, An X, Ananyeva K, Fukushima S, Hitokoto H, Kharitonov A, Koster J, Onyishi C, Onyishi I, Romero P, Takemura K, Zhuang J, Cosmides L, Tooby J. 2018. Invariances in the architecture of pride across small-scale societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 8322-8327.

Winking J, Eastwick P, Smith L, Koster J. The first examination of the investment model scale in a natural-fertility population. Personal Relationships 25: 497-516.

Perri AR, Koster JM, Otárola-Castillo E, Burns JL, Cooper CG. 2019. Dietary variation among indigenous Nicaraguan horticulturalists and their dogs: An ethnoarchaeological application of the Canine Surrogacy Approach. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 55: 101066.

Scelza BA, Prall SP, Blumenfield T, Crittenden AN, Gurven M, Kline M, Koster J, Kushnick G, Mattison SM, Pillsworth E, Shenk MK, Starkweather K, Stieglitz J, Sum C, Yamaguchi K, McElreath R. Patterns of paternal investment predict cross-cultural variation in jealous response. Nature Human Behaviour.

Koster J, Lukas D, Nolin D, Power E, Alvergne A, Mace R, Ross CT, Kramer K, Greaves R, Caudell M, MacFarlan S, Schniter E, Quinlan R, Mattison S, Reynolds A, Sum C, Massengill E. 2019. Kinship ties across the lifespan in human communities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20180069.

Koster JM. 2009. Hunting dogs in the lowland Neotropics. Journal of Anthropological Research 65: 575-610.

Tankersley KB, Koster JM. 2009. Sources of stable isotope variation in archaeological dog remains. North American Archaeologist 30: 361-375.

Koster JM, Hodgen JJ, Venegas MD, Copeland TJ. 2010. Is meat flavor a factor in hunters' prey choice decisions? Human Nature 21: 219-242.

Koster JM. 2011. Hypothetical rankings of prospective husbands for female kin in lowland Nicaragua: Consensus analysis indicates high agreement and associations with wealth and hunting skill. Evolution and Human Behavior 32: 356-363.

Koster JM. 2011. On the Analysis of Risk-Sensitive Foraging: A Comment on Codding et al. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B: Biological Sciences 278: 3171-3172.

Koster JM. 2011. Inter-household meat sharing among Mayangna and Miskito horticulturalists in Nicaragua. Human Nature 22: 394-415.

Koster JM, Tankersley KB. 2012. Heterogeneity of hunting ability and nutritional status among domestic dogs in lowland Nicaragua. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: E463-470.

Koster JM, Venegas MD. 2012. Learning aspects of subsistence hunting via a conformist bias could promote optimal foraging in lowland Nicaragua. Journal of Cognition and Culture 12: 203-222.

Koster JM. 2008. Hunting with dogs in Nicaragua: An optimal foraging approach. Current Anthropology 49: 935-944.

Koster JM. 2008. The impact of hunting with dogs on wildlife harvests in the Bosawas Reserve, Nicaragua. Environmental Conservation 35: 211-220.

Koster JM. 2008. Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) killed by hunters with dogs in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua. The Southwestern Naturalist 53: 414-416.

Other Publication

Koster JM. 2006. Assessing the sustainability of Baird’s tapir hunting in the Bosawas Reserve, Nicaragua. Tapir Conservation 15: 23-28.

Koster JM. 2006. The use of The Observer 5.0 and a Psion handheld computer in a remote fieldwork setting. Field Methods 18: 430-436.

Koster JM. 2009. Costly signaling and consensus analysis. Anthropology News 50 (7): 54.

Koster JM. 2010. Informant rankings via consensus analysis: A reply to Hill and Kintigh. Current Anthropology 51: 257-258.

Koster JM. 2012. An extended comment on the analysis of risk-sensitive foraging among the Aché of Paraguay and a brief reply to Codding et al. University of Cincinnati Graduate Student Journal of Anthropology 4: 14-18.

Book Chapter

Koster JM, Noss AJ. 2014. Hunting dogs and the extraction of wildlife as a resource. Free-Ranging Dogs and Wildlife Conservation. Edited by Matthew Gompper, pp. 265-285. Oxford University Press.

Research and Practice Interests

Economic anthropology, social network analysis, multilevel modeling, human behavioral ecology