2017 APS Mentor Award

David M. Buss

University of Texas at Austin


David Buss helped establish evolutionary psychology as a major research area in psychology through his extensive and provocative research on human mating strategies, sexual victimization, jealousy, stalking, and murder. Buss has also helped to create a growing community of scholars working on various problems in evolutionary psychology through his commitment and success in training more than a dozen doctoral students. These students have gone on to establish research programs in evolutionary psychology at major universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Japan.

One cannot attract graduate students to an emerging field without also nurturing excitement for the discipline among undergraduates. Buss teaches popular large undergraduate classes at the University of Texas and has been in high demand as a speaker for departmental colloquia and conferences. But probably his greatest impact in nurturing new generations of undergraduates has been through his highly successful textbook, Evolutionary Psychology, which is now in its 5th edition and has been translated into Chinese, German, Korean, Italian, Arabic, and Polish.

Buss is committed to teaching his graduate students the skills that are required for a productive research career. His mentoring emphasizes conceptual and analytical skills, expertise in using diverse research methodologies, and the development of writing skills. His graduate students are not lab assistants but budding independent investigators who learn how to ask and answer interesting research questions and then write up the results in a manner that will garner interest and impact.