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Evolutionary Ecology and Human Health

This is a new class, frist taught in the Spring quarter 2010.

Course Description: 

This course examines human adaptation and plasticity (i.e., the ability of an individual with a given genotype to change its phenotype), human environments, and their relationship to health and well-being. We treat the term “environment” in the broadest sense to include not just the physical and biotic but the social and psychological as well. Topics covered include the evolution of plasticity and reaction norms, the physiology of stress and the inflammatory response, demography, reproductive decision-making, urbanization, migration, infectious disease, social capital and social networks, nutrition, nutritional deficiencies, growth, metabolic syndrome, social inequalities. No prior coursework in ecological or medical anthropology is required.