Evolution & Human Health

Our research focuses broadly on evolutionary applications to human health and disease. Our work is motivated by fundamental questions in life history theory. We use a combination of genomics, comparative biology and evolutionary theory to help understand trade-offs between survival and reproduction across different levels of biological organization, from molecules to organisms and everything in between.


Cancer Prevalence Across Vertebrates

New preprint on bioRxiv!!!  

Cancer is pervasive across multicellular species. Are there any patterns that can explain differences in cancer prevalence across species?

The Microchimerism, Human Health and Evolution Project

We have launched our new website on the study of microchimerism and its role in human health and disease. 

Female Health Across the Tree of Life

New paper in PNAS Nexus

Across the tree of life, female animals share biological characteristics that place them at risk for similar diseases and disorders. Greater awareness of these shared vulnerabilities can accelerate insight and innovation in women’s health.

Funding Alert!!

We are all multitudes.

We were awarded a John Templeton Grant to study microchimerism and human health from an evolutionary perspective!

Microchimerism Research

Undergraduate researchers join the team!!!  

We are back in the lab and training Amy and Emilie on methods to quantify microchimeric cells in maternal blood.

Postpartum Health Project 2020

Are you postpartum – or about to be?

Help us beter understand maternal health! We are recruiting indivdiuals to study postpartum immune function & maternal health. Please click for more details!

Elephant Genome & Disease Defense

New preprint on bioRxiv

Draft genome assembly for the Asian elephant and an improved African elephant assembly, showing differences in disease defense, including cancer. 

Life History & Cancer in Mammals

New paper in EMPH

We report on cancer prevalence and life history traits in mammals. We find support for Peto’s Paradox and suggest a trade-off between reproduction & cancer defenses! 

The promise of comparative oncology

New paper in iScience

Check out our new review on cancer across vetebrates.

Funding Alert!

Carmen Hové awarded NSF DDIG

Carmen  was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant!! She will be studying the link between maternal immune function, maternal health, and breastfeeding behavior in postpartum mothers.

Congrats Carmen!!!!

Congrats Maya!

Maya Szafraniec becomes ethics fellow
Maya Szafranic joins the American Association of Physical Anthropologist (AAPA) Ethics Committee. 

Wildlife Cancer

Collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Services

Investigating the incidence and type of cancer in wild animals, including elephants, zebras, and rhinoceros. Read more about our cancer across species project and the goals of ACE here.



Comparative Biology

Evolutionary Theory


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