Joshua Marshack

Joshua Marshack

Anthropology
Inducted in 2014

Joshua L. Marshack is a Ph.D. candidate and Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also received his bachelor’s degree as a John B. Ervin Scholar.  Mr. Marshack’s dissertation, “Affiliation, agonism, and patterns of association in savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal—Implications for hominoid evolution and chimpanzee conservation”, is based on his observations of a wild-living community of savanna chimpanzees at Fongoli in the Republic of Senegal.  Documenting agonism (i.e., aggressive and submissive behaviors), affiliation, and patterns of association, through carefully collecting over 1200 hours of data at a site developed by Dr. Jill D. Pruetz of Iowa State University, Mr. Marshack recorded conspicuous active social behaviors, as well as more passive interactions.  His research focuses on the social and ecological context of aggressive and friendly behaviors, including copulations, grooming, spats, and time spent in proximity.  Throughout, Mr. Marshack seeks to add to our understanding of the role agonism plays in the daily lives of social animals and to challenge the assumption that intense aggression is evolutionarily adaptive in chimpanzees or in their human cousins.  He has presented his work in a variety of academic venues, including the annual meeting of the American Association for Physical Anthropologists.  Among his other interests are the history of race and racism and the philosophy of science.  He is co-founder of the Martian Anthropologist, an electronic journal reporting on the intersection of the Arts & Sciences, the literary and the anthropological.