Consultant; Adaptive Optics and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah; Co-author, The Ten Thousand Year Explosion
GREGORY COCHRAN is a consultant in adaptive optics and an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah. Originally trained in physics, he has worked in defense and aerospace research, specializing in adaptive optics, image processing, and algorithm development. In recent years he has become interested in modern biology, developing some new ideas in evolutionary medicine and genetic anthropology.
With Paul Ewald, he has argued that common and poorly understood fitness reducing syndromes are likely caused by infectious agents: this includes syndromes whose main symptoms are maladaptive behaviors. With Henry Harpending, he has published work on the genetic basis of variant behavioral strategies in humans and on current human evolutionary trends.
Recently, he has become interested in how natural selection can generate rapid change in cognitive and personality traits: particular examples include the recently published analysis of the evolution of intelligence among the Ashkenazi Jews, and current work concerning human origins and the beginnings of modern human behavior, both in collaboration with Henry Harpending. He is coauthor (with Henry Harpendening) of The Ten Thousand Year Explosion.