Biography: Carol Worthman

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Dr. Worthman attended Pomona College, receiving a BA in Botany and Biology. She then attended the University of California at San Diego Medical School, Department of Endocrinology. Next, she was trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Nutrition and Food Science before receiving her PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University.

Professor Worth­man is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor at Emory University. She is also the director of the Comparative Human Biology Lab, which strives to complete empirical research in the field and laboratory, develop standardized methods and integrative theory, and apply findings to the conduct of human affairs. labbShe takes a bio­cul­tural approach in the pur­suit of com­par­a­tive inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research on human devel­op­ment, repro­duc­tive ecol­ogy, and bio­cul­tural bases of dif­fer­en­tial men­tal and phys­i­cal health. Out of her lab, and under her direct mentorship, many prominent biological anthropologists have emerged. Dr. Ryan Brown who teaches jointly at University California San Fransisco and University of California Berkeley and works for RAND Corporation; Dr. Daniel Hruschka at Arizona State University; Dr. Thomas McDade at Northwestern University; Dr. Melissa Melby at University of Delaware; Dr. James Rilling at Emory University; and Dr. Jason DeCaro at University of Alabama are all renowned in their field.

Dr. Worthman has conducted cross-cultural ethno­graphic and bioso­cial research in Kenya, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and the United States. Her research in Kenya evaluating the relationship between physical development and the cognitive/behavioral changes has been cited as the study that “proved the feasibility of conducting a multi-factorial study of adolescence.” She notes she is concerned with the psychological and physical development of health, because a cross-disciplinary approach results in the best outcomes. In New Directions in Psychological Anthropology, she recommends “liberal doses of communication” between the two sub disciplines, because there are “areas of concern common to biological and psychological anthropology.”

Dr. Worthman states, she has “aimed to promote a more distributive approach to the use of biological measures in social science by offering advice and collaboration to non-laboratory based researchers… at varying stages of seniority (students to senior investigators) and from a wide range of disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, clinical chemistry; medical, cultural, and physical anthropology; developmental and social psychology).”

She has been published extensively in journals and text books within many different disciplines. She has also presented at a wide range of conferences. Her research is frequently cited in news articles, especially her research on sleep patterns, evolutionary aspects of sleep, and alternative sleep models in other countries. Her mixed-methods approach was groundbreaking, and her innovations solidified the implementation of biocultural research in the field of anthropology.


Photographs from Google Image

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