Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

William Hamilton

  • Jussi LehtonenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1356-1


One of the most influential evolutionary theorists of the twentieth century. Hamilton made fundamental contributions to social evolution theory, the theory of sex allocation, the evolution of senescence, and many other topics.


Few evolutionary biologists have achieved the kind of legendary status that William Donald Hamilton holds. His reputation is of course mostly due to his enormously influential body of work and is only further bolstered by his unusual and quirky character which inspired countless stories. Hamilton may not have published a particularly large number of papers by today’s bloated standards, but his influence on modern evolutionary theory is almost unrivalled. His major contributions include kin selection theory, sex allocation theory, the modern mathematical approach to studying the evolution of senescence, the evolution of dispersal strategies, and the evolution of sex. Indirectly, or by extending work of other researchers, Hamilton...

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My research is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (project number DE180100526, “Unifying cornerstones of social evolution: Theory and Application”) from the Australian Government.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farid Pazhoohi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada