Peter T. Ellison

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Peter Thorpe Ellison (born 1951) is an American anthropologist who researches human reproductive ecology. His work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship and membership of the National Academy of Sciences, among other honors. He has also served as the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Human Biology and American Journal of Physical Anthropology and editor of Annual Review of Anthropology.

Peter T. Ellison
Born1951 (age 69–70)
Partner(s)Priscilla "Pippi" née Lindsay
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University

Early life and educationEdit

Peter Thorpe Ellison was born in 1951[1] to parents John W. Ellison, an Episcopal reverend, and Mary née Thorpe.[2] He initially went to St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he at first majored in humanities. Upon reading Darwin's On the Origin of Species, he became more interested in biology and transferred to the University of Vermont, finishing his undergraduate degree in 1975.[3] He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with his master's degree in 1980.[4] He later attended Harvard University for his PhD.[5]


Ellison researches how the human reproductive system interacts with external factors, which is known as human reproductive ecology.[6] After finishing his PhD, he accepted a position in 1983 to remain at Harvard, where he currently works. He has served as the chair of Department of Anthropology and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at different points.[4]

He has been the editor-in-chief of several academic journals, including the American Journal of Human Biology, Annual Review of Anthropology, and American Journal of Physical Anthropology.[7][8] He has authored or edited several books, including Reproductive Ecology and Human Evolution (2001), On Fertile Ground (2001), and Endocrinology of Social Relationships (2009).[9]

Awards and honorsEdit

In 1998 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his research.[10] He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.[6] In 2019 he received the Franz Boas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Human Biology Association.[7] He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

His wife, Priscilla "Pippi" née Lindsay, also attended St. John's, which is where they met as freshman.[5] They were married at age 21 and both transferred to the University of Vermont.[3]


  1. ^ "Ellison, Peter Thorpe". Worldcat. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Mary E. Ellison". The Concord Journal. 8 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b Weaver, Thomas. "The Origins of an Academic: Harvard Prof/UVM alumnus returns for President's Lecture". University of Vermont.
  4. ^ a b c "Peter T. Ellison, PhD" (PDF). Harvard University. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  5. ^ a b Weaver, Tom (October 2003). "Of Darwin and Dribble" (PDF). University of Vermont.
  6. ^ a b "Peter T. Ellison". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Professor Peter Ellison, 2019 HBA Boas Award Winner". Harvard University Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  8. ^ Durham, William H. (2008). "Preface: Keep Evolving!". Annual Review of Anthropology. 37 (1): doi:10.1146/ ISSN 0084-6570.
  9. ^ "Dr. Peter Ellison". Harvard University. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  10. ^ Tabak, Emily N. (15 April 1998). "Four Professors Receive Guggenheim Awards". The Harvard Crimson.