• David Almeida - Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
    "A transdisciplinary study of human evolution and diversity not only helps us understand how and why we became who we are, it is necessary for determining how we function day-to-day. My research examines the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of daily stress on health. How we experience and respond to daily life challenges is intricately tied to the evolution of human diversity."
    David Almeida - Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
  • Eric Plutzer - Professor of Political Science
    "For problems ranging from infectious disease to racial tensions in American cities, understanding that evolution matters but that genes are not deterministic and differ in their effects depending on social behavior and environment is a powerful way to better understand and solve many human challenges. Interdisciplinary research holds great promise for using our knowledge of evolution effectively to improve the human condition."
    Eric Plutzer - Professor of Political Science
  • Peter Hatemi - Professor of Political Science
    "If we are to make any headway in fighting diseases, reducing inequalities and the internecine fighting that appears to emerge so endemically when resources are scarce, values differ, and political approaches conflict, we must utilize multiple approaches, methods, be transdisciplinary and take into account the nature of human diversity, at every level, from our genes to our social identifications."
    Peter Hatemi - Professor of Political Science
  • Heather Toomey Zimmerman - Associate Professor of Education
    “Bringing together multiple disciplines to understand how people learn and reason about complex topics such as human evolution is important for today’s schools, museums, and other educational settings. The Center offers multiple perspectives of how research in this area is conducted, which will enhance young people’s views of how scientific knowledge is developed and of human diversity.”
    Heather Toomey Zimmerman - Associate Professor of Education
  • Nina Jablonski – CHED Director and Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology
    Human beings are products of rich and complex interactions between biology and culture that have developed over millions of years. Human evolutionary history informs our understanding of human behavior and culture, and vice versa. Examining only one side of this set of reciprocal interactions risks missing the plot entirely.
    Nina Jablonski – CHED Director and Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology
  • Mark Shriver - Professor of Biological Anthropology
    "Our Center is important for two reasons: 1) There are many interesting questions yet to answer about human evolution and physical, behavioral, and genetic variation, and 2) There seems to be a continuing divide between what anthropologists know and how they think about human evolution and diversity and how the general public and academic colleagues in other fields think about these topics."
    Mark Shriver - Professor of Biological Anthropology
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Center for Human Evolution and Diversity

The Center for Human Evolution and Diversity (CHED) promotes the transdisciplinary study of the human condition. CHED supports team-based, explicitly interdisciplinary basic research on the evolution of humans and human diversity.  It also supports educational research aimed at enhancing the STEM pipeline through the study of human biology and evolution, and promoting better public understanding of human evolution.  CHED’s core faculty have diverse intellectual backgrounds and affiliations.  CHED issues calls for internal (Penn State-based) grant proposals once a year, in September. Penn State faculty interested in learning more about or becoming affiliated with CHED should contact .

The annual call for seed grant proposals will be issued in September 2016 and proposals will be due on Friday 7 October 2016.

Read the RFP for seed grants and summary information about funded seed grants in FY15-16.

Latest Projects

Nina Jablonski, other CHED faculty, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. receive new grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of the development of “Finding Your Roots” summer camp programs for middle school students. 


For more information

Center for Human Evolution and Diversity

403C Carpenter Building, University Park, PA 16802

Phone_Icon.png (814) 867-0454