I am an anthropologist and biologist who uses evolutionary theory to better understand variation in human physiology, behavior, and health. I am particularly interested in how humans have evolved to manage energetic resources across the life course and the impact of economic development on child growth, immune function, and metabolic health (e.g., obesity, chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes).
The Human Evolutionary Biology and Health Lab that I direct in the Department of Anthropology at Baylor University specializes in the measurement of total daily energy expenditure (via doubly labeled water stable isotope analysis), basal metabolism (via indirect calorimetry) and immune/growth biomarkers and hormones (via ELISA and other methods). My long-term field research is performed with small-scale populations in Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, and Mexico. My work addresses fundamental topics in anthropology and evolutionary biology, but it also strives to reduce health disparities and to improve the lives of the people that participate in my research.
My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the LSB Leakey Foundation, the Czech Science Foundation, and others. It has been featured by several media outlets, including The Scientist magazine, Discover magazine, and Science Daily. I have discussed the implications of my work for improving child health at the United Nations headquarters and elsewhere. Please contact me with education and public outreach opportunities!
See my department profile.
Follow me on Twitter @SSUrlacher.