Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Photo of Starkweather, Katie E.

Katie E. Starkweather, PhD

Assistant Professor

Anthropology, Biological


I am a Biological Anthropologist and Human Behavioral Ecologist who uses evolutionary frameworks to study how ecology and behavior interact to influence health, nutritional, and reproductive outcomes in humans. I am specifically interested in the tradeoffs women make between work and childcare, and how these tradeoffs shape gendered divisions of labor, household economics, and parental investment, as well as biological outcomes for all family members.

I conduct fieldwork in rural Bangladesh where I have worked with traditionally boat-dwelling, semi-nomadic Shodagor communities since 2011. I direct the Shodagor Longitudinal Health and Demography Project, through which my field team collects year-round, longitudinal data on measures of household economics, time expenditures, subsistence mobility, and individual health and reproduction. We also collect seasonal anthropometric measurements, and in 2019 began collecting biomarkers of inflammation, stress, anemia, and diabetes.

For more details see -

Selected Grants

National Science Foundation, The Seasonal Behavioral Ecology of Respiratory Disease in a Tropical, Subsistence-Based Community, Principal Investigator

University of Illinois at Chicago, LAS Committee on Social Science Research, Grant Development, Principal Investigator

National Science Foundation, SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - Variation in Women’s Economic Tradeoffs and Risk Preferences, Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Starkweather, Kathrine E., Reynolds, Adam Z, Zohora, Fatema tuz, and Alam, Nurul (2022) Shodagor women’s work and cooperative childcare networks. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Starkweather, Kathrine E., Shenk, Mary K, and McElreath, Richard (2020). Biological constraints and socioecological influences on divisions of labour and women’s risk. Evolutionary Human Sciences.

Starkweather, Kathrine E., Keith, Monica H., Prall, Sean P., Alam, Nurul, and Emery Thompson, Melissa (2021). Paternal care and growth rates in Shodagor children. Developmental Psychobiology.

Starkweather, Kathrine E. and Keith, Monica H. (2019). One piece of the matrilineal puzzle: The socioecology of maternal uncle investment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 374.

Starkweather, Kathrine E. and Keith, Monica H. (2018). Estimating Impacts of the Nuclear Family and Heritability of Nutritional Outcomes in a Boat-Dwelling Community. American Journal of Human Biology, 30, e23105.

Starkweather, Kathrine E. (2017). Shodagor Family Strategies: Balancing work and family on the water. Human Nature, 28, 138-166.

Starkweather, Kathrine E. and Hames, Raymond B. (2012). A Survey of Non-Classical Polyandry. Human Nature, 23: 149-172.


2016 PhD Anthropology, University of Missouri
2010 MA Anthropology, University of Nebraska
2005 BA Psychology, West Texas A&M University