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James Holland Jones

James Holland Jones

Stanford University
Faculty Fellow, 2021-22
Faculty Fellow, 2020-21
Fellow, 2015-16 Study #33

James Holland Jones is an associate professor of earth system science and a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Originally trained as an anthropologist, he has additional training and expertise in demography, statistics, and epidemiology. Jones works on a variety of projects relating to human decision-making and population phenomena, including the analysis of livelihood-based changes in mobility in response to climate change and their implications for the transmission dynamics of sexually-transmitted infections, the coupled dynamics of behavior-change and COVID-19 transmission, the role of dynamic exchange networks in managing environmental risks among subsistence populations, the reconstruction of prehistoric demographic patterns and how these inform debates about climate-mediated collapse, and the impact of structural racism on epidemic outcomes.

Jones also has a broad interest in the intersection of evolutionary and economic theory, which served as the foundation for his CASBS fellowship in 2015-16. Having taken a hiatus on the book project to develop more basic theory on the subject, he is back to working on The Most Rational People in the World.

He teaches classes, both within Stanford Earth and for Human Biology, such as “Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease,” “Biological and Social Networks,” “Demography and Life History Theory,” and “Adaptation.” He also teaches a freshman seminar that goes by the same name as his book project, “The Most Rational People in the World.” Along with his wife, Libra Hilde (CASBS class of 2017-18), he is a resident fellow at Castaño House.

As a faculty fellow an 2020-21, Jones will co-lead the new program on nature-human-machine partnerships. He hopes to bring not only his interest in evolving coupled-socio-ecological systems but his obsession with CliFi to this task (

For more information, please find his website at: