23rd B. F. Stone Lyceum: "The Biology of Monogamy"


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PA Auditorium
Medical Lecture Hall


Dr. Joel Sattgast
(910) 480-8593


Dr. Scott Robertson, Assistant Professor of Biology, will be the featured speaker for the 23rd B. F. Stone Lyceum, and he will be joined by respondents Dr. Matthew Dobra, Nimocks Professor of Business, and Dr. Kevin Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy.

A quick Google search for “biology of monogamy” will offer nearly a million results and run the gamut in terms of accuracy. Science findings on the topic are often sensationalized, and frankly it is too early to draw firm conclusions about every aspect of reproductive behavior. However, much of love can be explained via chemical processes, and reproductive strategies, be they monogamy or polygamy, that may be linked to ecological processes.

Reproductive strategies have garnered considerable attention and prompted extensive research. This interest is due in part to the presence of monogamy in roughly 17% of human cultures and its relative rarity in other non-avian vertebrates. Yet the ultimate cause, persistence, and definition of monogamy continue to incite disagreement among modern biologists.

In this talk, Robertson will detail what we know to be the driving factors behind romantic love and attachment and provide evidence that reproductive strategy is highly plastic in individual mammals. Moreover, he will show that individuals change their reproductive strategy based on the resource landscape in which they exist. Taken together, his data provides empirical evidence that resources drive monogamous behavior in mammals.

Please join us for a night of engaged discussion and exchanging of ideas.


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