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Kerrie Lewis Graham

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Durham, U.K., 2003 
Phone: (512) 245-2473
Office: ELA 236


I am a biological anthropologist
and my interests converge on the unifying theme of brain, behavior, and evolution. I am especially interested in the value of early social interactions to the honing of the body and brain during sensitive periods of development, and how this may both reflect and contribute to the development and evolution of life in social groups. I frequently use play behavior as a model to investigate cognitive and behavioral evolution. I am a proponent for the use of phylogenetic comparative methods to draw inferences about the past based on data from extant species. My primary interest is nonhuman primates. More recently, I have begun to include human play behavior into my research agenda, where I am particularly interested in computer and video gaming activities. I have additional interests in captive animal welfare and the history of science.

Selected publications:
Huber, H.F. & Lewis, K.P. 2011. An assessment of gum-based environmental enrichment for captive gummivorous primates. Zoo Biology, 30: 71-8.
Graham, K.L. 2010. A coevolutionary relationship between striatum size and social play in nonhuman primates. American Journal of Primatology, 73, 1, 1-9.
Graham, K.L. & Burghardt, G.M. 2010. Current perspectives on the biological study of play: Signs of progress. Quarterly Review of Biology, 85, 4: 393-418.
Graham, K.L. 2010. Virtual playgrounds? Assessing the playfulness of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. American Journal of Play, 3, 1: 106-125.
Lewis, K.P. 2010. From landscapes to playscapes: The evolution of play in humans and other animals. In Robert R. Sands & Linda R. Sands (Eds.). Anthropology of Human Movement and Sport: An Introduction to a Biocultural Perspective. Lexington Books: Lanham, M.D. Pp. 61-89. 

Lewis, K.P. & Barton, R.A. 2006. Amygdala size and hypothalamus size predict social play frequency in non-human primates: A comparative analysis using independent contrasts. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120, 1: 31-37.

Lewis, K.P., Jaffe, S., & Brannon, E.M. 2005. Analog number representations in mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz): Evidence from a search task. Animal Cognition, 8, 4: 247-252.

Lewis, K.P. 2005. Social Play in the Great Apes. In P.K. Smith & A.D. Pellegrini (Eds.). The Nature of Play: Great Apes and Humans. Guilford: New York. Pp. 27-53.

Lewis, K.P. & Barton, R.A. 2004. Playing for keeps: Evolutionary relationships between the cerebellum and social play behaviour in non-human primates. Human Nature, 15: 5-22.

Lewis, K.P. 2000. A comparative study of primate play behaviour: Implications for the study of cognition. Folia Primatologica, 71: 417-421.

Courses taught:
ANTH 2414                  Biological Anthropology
ANTH 3376D/5374M     History of Evolutionary Thought
ANTH 3328/5328          Primate Cognition
ANTH 376C/5374L        Comparative Juvenile Behavior
ANTH 5312                  Seminar in Biological Anthropology