From Mice to Men

John B Calhoun 's research was refined from his interest in bird migration in high school through his study of the size and distribution of rat populations in the wild to, finally, how a single mouse universe responded to overpopulation. He hoped that his research would shed some light on the problems humans faced as population size and density increased.


This site will be devoted to the life and work of John B Calhoun.  At present it is evolving.  We have photos, links to sites with reading material or videos, and a number of his papers.

Some of the information included in this site you will not find any where else.  Some articles are from my private collection.  Some biographical information comes from my personal experience with Jack Calhoun, who was my father.

During his life time his work was criticized as not relevant to the human condition.  How can you compare humans to mice?  His answer, which may have been in a conversation we had or may have been remarks over heard or made at the family dinner table, was this:  The comparison is not that if overcrowding causes a certain loss of behavior in mice it will do the same in humans.  The comparison is that overcrowding causes a breakdown in behavior beginning with the most complex behaviors for that species.  What is complex for a mouse is going to be quite different from what is complex for a human.

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