Benjamin Campbell

Associate Professor


PhD, Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, 1990
MA, Anthropology, Harvard University, 1986
MA, Zoology, Indiana University, 1983
BA, Biology, Indiana University, 1982

Courses Taught

Anthro 203 - Indigenous Religion
Anthro 301 - Human Evolution and Variation
Anthro 404 - Hormones and Behavior
Anthro 407 - Neuroanthropology


My research falls in the general area of life history; the evolutionary study of the human life course. I have taken an approach in which hormones form a critical link between energetics and the timing of important life events including childhood growth, pubertal maturation, and physical decline with aging. My earlier work on the male life course among Turkana And Arrial pastoralists of Northern Kenya, funded by NSF and the Wenner-Gren Foundation showed that male reproductive function is sensitive to energetic conditions.  My research on pubertal maturation, testosterone and related behaviors in Zimbabwe, funded by NIH, helped to demonstrate that testosterone does play a role in the onset of male sexual behavior, but that other social factors such as religion are also important.  More recently, my focus has been on the brain as a mediating factor in the connection between energetics and human life history.  I have hypothesized that adrenal hormone DHEA plays a critical role in human brain development.  I have been part of work by NIH Normal Brain and Development Study that supports this hypothesis.   I am currently designing a study among the Ju’Hoansi of Namibia to test the impact of nutritional status on the timing of adrenarche and its implications for development.  In addition to Hormones and Behavior, I teach courses on Neuroanthropology, Human Population Variation and Evolution and Disease. I have supervised graduate students on a number of different topics, including primate seasonality, the understanding of evolution among college students, and representations of evolution in creationists museums.

Other Relevant Activities

Co-organizer, Human Migration Conference, University of Kansas, March 1 & 2, 2010

Selected Publications

Campbell, B. C. (2019). Life Stages. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Sciences.
Farooqi, N. A., Scotti, M., Yu, A., Lew, J., Monnier, P., Botteron, K. N., Campbell, B. C., Booij, L., Herba, C. M., Seguin, J. R., Castellanos-Ryan, N., McCraken, J. T., & Nguyen, V. T. (2019). Sex-specific contribution of DHEA-Cortisol ratio to Prefrontal-hippocampal structural development, cognitive abilities and personality traits. Journal of NeuroEndocrinology, 31, e12682.
Nguyen, T., Wud, M., Lewd, J., , Albaugh, M., N, J, Fonov, V. S., Collins, D. L., Campbell, B. C., Booij, L., Herba, C., Monnier, P., Ducharme, S., & McCraken, J. T. (2017). Dehydroepiandrosterone may impact working memory by shaping cortico-hippocampal structure covariance during development. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 86, 110-121.
Campbell, B. C. (2012). Stone Age Body Image: Male Embodiment and Vitality in Subsistence Societies. Downey, G., & Lende, D. (Eds.). The Encultured Brain: An Introduction To Neuroanthropology, 237-259.
Campbell, B. C. (2011). Adrenarche and Middle Childhood. Human Nature, 22, 327-349.
Campbell, B. C., Gray, P. B., & Radak, J. (2011). In the Company of Men: Quality of Life and Social Support Among the Ariaal of Northern Kenya. Cross-Cultural Journal of Gerontology, 26, 221-237.
Campbell, B. C. (2010). Energetics and the Human Brain. Muhlenbein, M. (Ed.). Human Evolutionary Biology, 425-438.
Campbell, B. C., & Garcia, J. R. (2009). Neuroanthropology: Evolution and Emotional Embodiment. Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, 1(Article 4), 1-6.
Campbell, B. C., Leslie, P. W., & Campbell, K. L. (2006). Age-related patterns of urinary gonadotropins among Turkana men of northern Kenya. Social Biology, 53, 31-45.