Daniel G. Bates champions significant contributions in the study of human ecology. Human ecology links the disciplines of anthropology, biology, geography, demography, and economics in a distinctive theoretical model. It is concerned with the interplay between humans and their environments. Human ecology is based on evolutionary theory and seeks to understand and explain how cultural symbols guide human interaction with the environment. Bates is the editor of the bimonthly journal Human Ecology, a worldwide, leading peer-reviewed journal in anthropology and environmental studies. Bates is also coeditor of a book series in environmental studies and has five books in print. He served as a consultant to the World Bank Inspection Panel, the U.S. International Development Agency, the Government of Kenya, a legal firm representing the Government of Turkey, and the Caspian Development Advisory Panel. He has field experience in Turkey, Iran, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Egypt, Kenya, and Uganda. His third edition of Human Adaptive Strategies came out in 2005. Throughout his career, he published numerous texts on human ecology and cultural anthropology. He also served as a special issue editor of Anthropology Quarterly and as the section editor for the Anthropology and the Environment Section in the American Anthropological Association newsletter.
Bates is presently professor emeritus of anthropology and research at Hunter College and the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. He studied at Robert College, Istanbul; the University of Freiburg; and the University of Michigan (PhD, 1970). Bates’s doctoral dissertation in anthropology was titled The Yoruk of Southeastern Turkey: A Study of Social Organization and Land Use. It was published as Nomads and Farmers: The Yoruk ofSoutheastern Turkey. The Yoruk are nomadic sheep-herders. Their culture has changed greatly, as they now move their flocks from winter and summer pasturelands with trucks and tractor-drawn wagons. Bates’s ongoing research with the Yoruk shows how their cultural traditions adapt as they grow increasingly dependent on the market economy.
Most of Bates’s professional activities have been in Turkey, where he taught at Istanbul Bilgi University (1998-2002). He maintains an ongoing affiliation with the University at Bilgi. His fieldwork in Bulgaria concerned the ethnic Turkish minority’s responses to policies of the previous communist regime and its place in the democratic transition. Bates’s earlier work among nomadic pastoralists and farmers in Turkey and Iran focused on patterns of land use, intergroup relations, and household organization and demography.
- Bates, D. G. (2005). Human adaptive strategies: Ecology, culture, and politics (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
- Bates, D. G., & Lees, S. (1990). The ecology of cumulative change. In E. Moran (Ed.), The ecosystem concept in anthropology (2nd ed., pp. 247-278). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Bates, D. G., & Rassam, A. (2001). Peoples and cultures of the Middle East (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.