I am an anthropologist and biologist who uses evolutionary theory to better understand variation in human biology, behavior, and health. I am particularly interested in how humans have evolved to manage energetic resources early in life and the impact of economic development on children's growth, immune function, stress, and lifetime metabolic health (e.g., obesity, 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 daily energy expenditure (via doubly labeled water stable isotope tracking), basal metabolism (via respirometry) and immune biomarkers and hormones (via ELISA and other methods). My long-term field research is performed collaboratively with Indigenous populations in Ecuador and Papua New Guinea. My work addresses fundamental topics in anthropology and biology, but it also strives to reduce health disparities and to improve the lives of the amazing 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 Good Morning America, Healthline, El País, Daily Mail, and The Scientist magazine. I have discussed the implications of my work for improving child health at the United Nations headquarters and elsewhere.
See my department profile. Follow me on Twitter @SSUrlacher. Listen to me on recent Sausage of Science or Brains On podcasts. Come chat in person as part of the Mayborn Museum Portal to the Public Network.
Please contact me with education and public outreach opportunities!