Erika Lorraine Milam is an Associate Professor in the History Department and the Program in the History of Science at Princeton University. She studies the history of the modern life sciences, specializing in the history of evolutionary theory. Her current research explores how and why scientists have used animals as models for understanding human behavior. She graduated with a biology major from Carleton College and subsequently earned an M.S. in Biology (Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology) from the University of Michigan, where she also discovered her fascination with the history of science. She decided to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in the History of Science. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, in Berlin, Germany, she taught at the University of Maryland for several years.
Her first book, Looking for a Few Good Males: Female Choice in Evolutionary Biology (Johns Hopkins, 2010), focused on evolutionary theory and the connections between biological investigations of reproductive and courtship behavior in animals and humans, from Charles Darwin in the mid-19th century to Sociobiology in the 1970s.
Her current research turns to the controversy over instinctual aggression in defining human nature in the 1960s and '70s.