The Urlacher Lab @ Baylor University

We investigate the evolved bio-energetic pathways that drive variation in human development, metabolism & health

Our biocultural approach integrates field and laboratory methods spanning several disciplines. We develop new models and methods, test hypotheses, and strive to reduce health disparities.

Our research lies at the intersection of the fields of human biology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary medicine, and global health. We are particularly interested in how children adaptively allocate calories to competing physiological tasks (e.g., growth, immune activity, brain development) and the impact of early adversity on lifetime metabolic disease risk.

Recent News & Press

HEBHL and collaborators receive CIFAR Catalyst grant ($39,467) to study the effects of the transition from informal settlments to subsized housing on Chilean children’s growth development. 

Undergraduate lab member, Kate Pogue, receives URSA grant ($5,000) to apply machine learning for the study of diet trends and adiposity in an Indigenous Amazonian population experiencing market integration.

HEBHL receives NICHD R15 grant to determine theimpact of environmental enteric dysfunction on the growth and energy expenditure of school-age children

Learn more about this project

Recent Key Publications

The energetics of childhood: Current knowledge and insights into human variation, evolution, and health

Urlacher SS. (2023)

Yearbook of Biological Anthropology

Minimally invasive biomarkers in human and nonhuman primate evolutionary biology: Tools for understanding variation and adaptation.

Urlacher SS, Kim LY, Luan T, Young L, Adjetey B. (2022)

American Journal of Human Biology

Childhood Daily Energy Expenditure Does Not Decrease with Market Integration and Is Not Related to Adiposity in Amazonia

Urlacher et al. (2021)

The Journal of Nutrition


We are passionate about sharing our research findings and improving our communities through science education and outreach.