behavioral ecology, evolutionary medicine, indigenous health
I am an evolutionary anthropologist aiming to explain behavior and physiological systems as adaptive solutions to competing demands of limited resource allocation. I employ ethnographic field settings as laboratories for testing hypotheses about human variation in behavior, psychology and physiology.
Currently my research focuses on two broad, inter-related areas:
(1) biodemography of human health, lifespan and aging. I am interested in the roles of pathogens, diet, activity and reproduction in shaping the aging process - including immune function and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
(2) transitions in social and economic behavior. I study how pro-sociality and risk management strategies change with socioeconomic transformation.
I am co-director of the Tsimane Life History and Health Project, funded by NIH/NIA and NSF. I am Chair of the Integrative Anthropological Sciences Unit of the Anthropology Dept., and Area Director of Biodemography and Evolution at the Broom Center for Demography.
I have conducted fieldwork with three South American indigenous populations, the Ache of Paraguay, and the Tsimane and Mosetene of Bolivia.