The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Skin Pigmentation and Modern Human Life: How the Evolution of a Phenotypic Trait Illustrates the Ill Consequences of Modernity

Dr. Nina G. Jablonski (Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center)

When: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 4:00pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Junker Auditorium

Dr. Jablonski is an Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at Penn State. A biological anthropologist and paleobiologist, she studies the evolution of adaptations to the environment in Old World primates, including humans. 

Her research program is focused in two major areas. Her paleoanthropological research concerns the evolutionary history of Old World monkeys, and currently includes an active field project in China. Her research on the evolution of human adaptations to the environment centers on the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, and includes an active field project examining the relationship between skin pigmentation and vitamin D production.

Jablonski is currently collaborating on the development of new approaches to science education in the United States. These approaches have the dual aims of improving the understanding of evolution and human diversity, and stimulating interest among students pursuing STEM courses and careers. With the support of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and the active collaboration of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., she is leading a group of 30 scholars in the development of "genetics and geneaology" curricula for K-12 and undergraduate university students.


Dr. Jablonski's lecture will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend. The link to view it during and after the lecture is: