Jeremy Koster

Jeremy Koster


Professional Summary

Professor Koster is interested in longstanding questions about humans and their behavior. How do people cooperate to manage natural resources and other public goods? At what age do individuals learn ecologically relevant skills, and does this explain the unique features of human reproduction? How do families leverage their social networks to minimize their subsistence and economic risks? How have domesticated species, such as dogs, become so integral to human livelihoods?

Koster is the co-director of the ENDOW project, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration that examines the social determinants of wealth inequality in human communities. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project brings together a team of over 50 anthropologists to collect standardized data on social support networks, demography, educational attainment, material wealth, food security, and other variables at their respective field sites. Designed as a longitudinal study, the research provides a unique opportunity to study the dynamics of wealth inequality from a comparative perspective.

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 not all students have access to the same opportunities, so Dr. Koster aims to assess applicants based on what they have accomplished with the opportunities that they have had.

From 2021 to 2023, Professor Koster is on leave to the National Science Foundation. Academic colleagues are encouraged to contact him at:

Curriculum Vita

Google Scholar profile

For the dog lovers out there, here is a talk I gave about my research in Nicaragua:

And here is a write-up in Quartz of my collaborative work on the social networks of NBA players:


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

Research and Practice Interests

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