Agustín Fuentes

Professor of Anthropology
123 Aaron Burr Hall
Office Hours
Monday: 9:00 am-10:00 am
Wednesday: 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

By appointment only


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1994


Human evolution, Human variation, Human health and wellbeing, Race/Racism, Sex/Gender, Multispecies anthropology, Ethnoprimatology, Evolutionary theory, and debates surrounding Human Nature(s)

Short Bio
Prof. Fuentes is an anthropologist whose research focuses on the biosocial, delving into the entanglement of biological systems with the social and cultural lives of humans, our ancestors, and a few of the other animals with whom humanity shares close relations. From chasing monkeys in jungles and cities, to exploring the lives of our evolutionary ancestors, to examining human health, behavior, and diversity across the globe, Professor Fuentes is interested in both the big questions and the small details of what makes humans and our close relations tick. Earning his BA/BS in Anthropology and Zoology and his MA and PhD in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, he has conducted research across four continents, multiple species, and two-million years of human history. His current projects include exploring cooperation, creativity, and belief in human evolution, multispecies anthropologies, evolutionary theory and processes, and engaging race and racism. Fuentes is an active public scientist, a well-known blogger, lecturer, tweeter, and an explorer for National Geographic. Fuentes was recently awarded the Inaugural Communication & Outreach Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the President’s Award from the American Anthropological Association, and elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selected Publications

Fuentes, A. (2022) Race, Monogamy, and other lies they told you: busting myths about human nature 2nd edition. University of California Press

Fuentes, A, (2019) Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. Yale University Press/Templeton Press

Fuentes, A. (2017) The Creative Spark: how imagination made humans exceptional  Dutton/Penguin
2017 Romanian Translation (Publica), 2017 Chinese Translation (CITIC Publishing House), 2018 Spanish Translation (Ariel/Planeta), 2018 Korean Translation (Chungrim Publishing Co.)

Dore, K.M., Riley, E.P. and Fuentes, A. (2017) Ethnoprimatology: A Practical Guide to Research at the Human-Nonhuman Interface Cambridge University Press

Fuentes, A. and Visala, A. (2016) Conversations on Human Nature. Left Coast Press/Routledge

Fuentes, A. (2012) Race, Monogamy and other lies they told you: busting myths about human nature University of California Press (winner: 2016 WW Howells award)

MacClancy, J. and Fuentes, A. (2013) Ethics in the field: contemporary challenges. Berghahn Press

Panter-Brick, C. and Fuentes, A. (2008) Health, Risk, and Adversity Berghahn Press

Recent Articles
Fuentes, A. (2023) Humans are biocultural, science should be too. Science 382(6672). DOI: 10.1126/science.adl151

Bangstad, S. and Fuentes, A. (2023) Race and racism The Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Rachel Cantave Ed.

Marcantonio, R. and Fuentes, A. (2023) Environmental violence: a tool for planetary health research. The Lancet Planetary Health, 7(10):e859 - e867

Fuentes, A. (2023) Distinctively Human? Meaning-making and world shaping as core processes of the human niche. Zygon 58(2):425-442

Dauda, B., Molina S. J., Allen D. S., Fuentes A., Ghosh N., Mauro M., Neale B. M., Panofsky A., Sohail M., Zhang S,R., Lewis, A. (2023) Ancestry: How researchers use it and what they mean by it. Front. Genet. 14  DOI:10.3389/fgene.2023.1044555

Hernández-Ochoa, JL, Gastelum-Vargas, M, Fuentes, A, Vergara-Silva, F. (2023) La construcción de un mundo: la importancia del juego en la evolución.  ArtefaCToS. Revista de estudios de la ciencia y la tecnologíae 12(1): 151-178 A DOI:

Yáñez, B. Fuentes, A., Silva, C.P., Figueiro, G., Menéndez, L.P., García-Deister, V., de la Fuente-Castro, C., González-Duarte, C., Tamburrini, C. and Argüelles, J.M. (2023) Pace and space in the practice of aDNA research: Concerns from the periphery. Am. Jour. Bio. Anthro. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24683

Fuentes A (2022) Evolving Belief, Evolving Minds: Evolutionary Insights into the Development and Functioning of Human Society. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 16:928297. DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.928297  

Sarma, M.S., Gildner, T.E., Howells, M.E., Lew-Levy, S., Trumble, B.C. and Fuentes, A. (2021) There and back again: The biosocial dynamics of returning from the field. Am J Hum Biol. 2021;e23673.

 Marcantonio, R., Javeline, D. and Fuentes, A. (2021) Global distribution and coincidence of pollution, climate impacts, and health risk in the Anthropocene. PLoS ONE 16(7):e0254060.  

 Fuentes A and Peterson J.V. (2021) Social media and public perception as core aspect of public health: The cautionary case of @realdonaldtrump and COVID-19. PLoS ONE 16(5): e0251179.

 Hansen, M.F., Gill, M., Nawangsari, V.A., Sanchez, K.L., Cheyne, S.M., Nijman, V. and Fuentes, A (2021) Conservation of Long-tailed Macaques: Implications of the Updated IUCN Status and the CoVID-19 Pandemic. Primate Conservation 35:1-11 

Snively, D. and Fuentes, A. (2021) Masculinity, and Not Femininity, as Gendered “Nature” in Cinematic Adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In R. Gibson and JM. VanderVeen Eds. Gender, Supernatural Beings,and the Liminality of Death. Lexington Books 

Fuentes, A. (2021) “The Descent of Man,” 150 years on. Science 372(6544):769 DOI: 10.1126/science.abj4606 

Fuentes, A. (2021) “On The Races of Man” 150 Years Later: Race, Racism, Science and Hope : A reflection on Darwin’s Chapter 7. On the Races of Man in Jeremy DeSilva ed. A Most Interesting Problem. Human evolution 150 years after Darwin’s Descent of Man. Pp 183-203, Princeton University Press. 

Kissel, M. and Fuentes, A. (2021) The Ripples of Modernity: how we can Extend Paleoanthropology with the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis Evolutionary Anthropology. 30(1):84-98

Guttman, M. Nelson, RG and Fuentes, A. (2021) Epidemic Errors in Understanding Masculinity, Maleness, and Violence. Current Anthropology 62:S5-S12 DOI:10.1086/712485 

Fuentes, A. (2021) Searching for the 'Roots' of Masculinity in Primates and the Human Evolutionary Past. Current Anthropology 62:S13-S25 DOI: 10.1086/711582 

Fuentes, A. (2021) Biological Anthropology’s critical engagement with genomics, evolution, race/racism, and ourselves: opportunities and challenges to making a difference in the academy and the world. Amer J of Pys Anth. 175(2): 326-338 DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24162 

Fuentes, A. (2020) A (Bio)anthropological View of the COVID-19 Era Midstream: Beyond the Infection. Anthropology Now, 12:1, 24-32, DOI: 10.1080/19428200.2020.1760635

Marcantonio, R. and Fuentes, A. (2020) A Clear Past and A Murky Future: Life in the Anthropocene on the Pampana River, Sierra Leone. LAND 9, 72; 

Fuentes, A. (2019) Identities, Experiences, and Beliefs: On Challenging Normativities in Biological Anthropology. American Anthropologist 121(2) DOI: 10.1111/aman.13227

Fuentes, A. (2019) Holobionts, multispecies ecologies, and the biopolitics of care: Emerging landscapes of praxis in a medical anthropology of the Anthropocene. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 33(1):156-162 

 Fuentes, A (2018) Towards integrative anthropology again and again: disorderly becomings of a (biological) anthropologist. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 43:3-4, 333-347 DOI:10.1080/03080188.2018.1524236 

Kissel, M. and Fuentes, A. (2018) ‘Behavioral modernity’ as a process, not an event, in the human niche. Time and Mind 11(2):163-183, DOI:10.1080/1751696X.2018.1469230 

Fuentes, A. (2018) How humans and apes are different, and why it matters. Journal of Anthropological Research 74(2):151-167 

Anton, A.C., Malhi, R.S., and Fuentes, A. (2018) Race and diversity in U.S. Biological Anthropology: A decade of AAPA initiatives. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 165(S65):158-180 DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23382

Fuentes A. (2017) Human niche, human behaviour, human nature. Interface Focus 7: 20160136.

Kissel, M. and Fuentes, A. (2017) Semiosis in the Pleistocene. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27(3): 1-16 

Fuentes, A. and Baynes-Rock, M. (2017) Anthropogenic Landscapes, Human Action and the Process of Co-Construction with other Species: Making Anthromes in the Anthropocene. Land 6 (15) 

Fuentes, A. (2016) "The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, Ethnography, and the Human Niche: Toward an Integrated Anthropology." Current Anthropology 57, Supplement 13:13-26

Fuentes, A. and Rouse, C. (2016) "New Articulations of Biological Difference in the 21st Century: a conversation" Anthropology Now 9(3)