Eli Strauss

Eli is a behavioral ecologist interested in the ecological and evolutionary forces underlying group living, with a focus on social hierarchies and the role they play in the broader context of the costs and benefits of sociality. Eli received his PhD in 2019 from Michigan State University, where he studied social dynamics in the complex, hierarchical societies of wild spotted hyenas. In his ongoing work, he is pursuing comparative research into basic principles underlying the ubiquity of inequality and social hierarchies across taxa. Eli also continues to work with the Mara Hyena Project to explore the processes that produce long-term patterns in social behavior, demography, and reproduction. In addition to questions about social biology, he is passionate about advancing quantitative methods for analyzing social data, and about the importance of mentorship in academia. Eli joins the lab as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow studying the ontogeny of dominance and other social traits, using vulturine guineafowl and spotted hyenas as systems in which to explore divergent pathways of social development.