Focus and Objectives

Our primary research objective is to define the evolved bio-energetic pathways that drive variation in human development, metabolism and health. To do so, we address a range of research questions that span the traditional disciplines of human biology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary medicine, and global health. We pursue both proximate (“How?”) and ultimate (“Why?”) levels of analysis.

 

We are a highly collaborative lab, with fantastic participants and collaborators!. We have ongoing projects and collaborations in the US, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Serbia, and elsewhere. Our projects combine diverse field and laboratory approaches, with a focus on community engagement and participant-friendly measurements. Our wet lab is housed in the state-of-the-art BSL2+ Anthropology Core Lab. We specialize in stable isotope (DLW) measurements of energy expenditure and the measurement of various biomarkers and hormones using ELISA methods. We also develop new biomarker analyses for use in dried blood spot samples.

 

How is human development shaped by the adaptive allocation of calories to competing physiological tasks (e.g., immune activity, brain development) across the life course?

Why are disadvantaged children and those experiencing rapid market integration at risk for the “dual burden” of growth faltering and obesity/poor metabolic health?

How does chronic stress impact child development and lifetime metabolism/health?

Why did childhood and the unique human life history pattern evolve?