• 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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Recent News

Nose form was shaped by climate

By A'ndrea Elyse Messer

March 16, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Big, small, broad, narrow, long or short, turned up, pug, hooked, bulbous or prominent, humans inherit their nose shape from their parents, but ultimately, the shape of someone's nose and that of their parents was formed by a long process of adaptation to our local climate, according to an international team of researchers.

"We are interested in recent human evolution and what explains the evident variation in things like skin color, hair color and the face itself," said Mark D. Shriver, professor of anthropology, Penn State. "We focused on nose traits that differ across populations and looked at geographical variation with respect to temperature and humidity."

The researchers noted today (Mar. 17) in PLOS Genetics that "An important function of the nose and nasal cavity is to condition inspired air before it reaches the lower respiratory tract."

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Gates hoping to inspire love of STEM through genealogy

By Jesse J. Holland


Finding Your Roots curriculum receives $659,000 in grants; PBS series returns in Jan.

A new curriculum based on Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s popular PBS documentary series, Finding Your Roots, received two grants this week: one for $355,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to create Genetics and Genealogy Summer Camps for Middle School-Aged Youth; and one for $304,000 from the National Science Foundation to establish a college program, according to a news release.

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Center for Human Evolution and Diversity

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