Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, 2014
M.P.H., Epidemiology, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, 2006
B.A., Anthropology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, 2004
Major Area of Research
Cultural meaning, cultural determinants of health, chronic stress, social status, social inequity, lowland Bolivia
Introduction to Global Health
I am a biocultural, medical anthropologist with an MPH in epidemiology. My research incorporates approaches from cultural and biological anthropology as well as public health and epidemiology. The central question I try to address in my work is why chronic stress tracks along the fault lines of social inequity among rapidly globalizing populations. Other interests include political economy, sociocultural epidemiology, stress biomarker measurement, integrative and cross-disciplinary research and Latin America. I conduct fieldwork in Bolivian Amazonia and am currently analyzing results from retrospective biomarkers of chronic stress collected among Tsimane' forager-horticulturalists during 2013. My courses include Medical Anthropology, Epidemiology and (tentatively) Global Health.
Prior to my arrival at Baylor I completed a two-year postgraduate fellowship with the California Epidemiologic Investigation Service (Cal-EIS) at the Office of AIDS, California Department of Public Health and University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health from 2006-2008. In 2014 I finished my doctoral studies at the University of Florida in cultural anthropology. My dissertation fieldwork, funded by two NSF grants, makes a unique contribution to medical anthropology and global health by investigating the role of culture as a durable and dynamic stress buffer among Tsimane' forager-horticulturalists who seem to defy the usual connection between globalization, inequality and psychosocial stress. The Tsimane’ present a puzzle because despite two decades of rapid culture change and market integration they have some of the world's lowest average levels of short-term stress biomarker measures and related adverse health outcomes. My dissertation attempts to solve this puzzle and thereby advance our understanding of the links between culture and the stress process.