Blackwell Lab at UCSB

In our lab we investigate the fundamental questions of life history theory: How do organisms allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and somatic maintenance? How do organisms use cues in their environments to predict future demands? How do early environments affect health and well-being later in life? How does our modern environment differ from the conditions under which we evolved, and what are the consequences of our novel environment on health and ontogeny?

We focus on both field and laboratory work to examine human biology and behavior in ecological context. In the lab we measure hormones, white blood cells, and other biomarkers to characterize stress responses and life history allocations. In the field we study pathogen exposure, social structure, stress, and lifestyle change through market integration and globalization.

About Me

Office: 2049 HSSB
Office Phone: 805-893-4234

Professor Aaron Blackwell is a human biologist and behavioral ecologist whose research examines health and life history in small scale Amazonian societies. His research examines how immune function develops in populations exposed to high levels of pathogens and how early life experiences shape health later in life in both small scale and industrialized populations. His research incorporates both field and laboratory work to examine biological outcomes. His other interests include examining how market integration affects health and development, senescence and aging, and ecological effects on parental investment and growth.

Professor Blackwell is co-director of the Human Biodemography laboratory, with Michael Gurven, and director of the Human Biology and Ecological Immunology Laboratory.