The Human Biology Laboratory examines the biological and behavioral characteristics of human populations from a biocultural and evolutionary perspective. We take an integrative, comparative approach to studies of human biology and health. Many of our projects focus on what shapes human biology, behavior and health from the cellular to societal levels. We use a diverse set of methods including study of the gut microbiome, biomarkers of immune function and inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic risk, and psychosocial stress. Our lab strengths are in biomarker collection and laboratory analysis, nutrition, anthropometry, statistical modeling, and ethnographic assessment of behavior and lifestyle.
Students in the lab participate in the Human Biology, Ecology and Evolution and Medical Anthropology programs and conduct research locally and globally into the factors shaping human health. Recent student research projects include the investigation of: the dual impact of poor environmental quality and increasing overweight/obesity on child immune function in the Galapagos, Ecuador, the sociocultural and psychosocial factors influencing infant feeding practices in the United States, and the maternal psychosocial factors associated with how and what infants are fed during the transition to solids in African-American families.