Hello HUBI alumni,
I hope this newsletter finds you thriving and content with whatever activities you have been pursuing since you graduated from IU. You and your peers have been doing diverse and amazing things since graduation. It’s always fun to read about your endeavors and especially rewarding to hear how your broad interdisciplinary training in the Human Biology program continues to serve you well!
It’s been another great year in Human Biology at IUB. The program continues to flourish with over 500 majors. We have so many that last summer the College provided us with another advisor to better serve our growing numbers of majors, so we welcomed Michael Beck to the HUBI program. We offered the first HUBI non-majors course this past year on the topic of stress and health – some of you will remember this topic from a HUBI B400 class I taught several years ago. It seemed like a relevant topic for new freshman, and the course introduced students to the interdisciplinary and team-based work that typifies our major classes. The class was small (20 students) so I got to teach it more like a HUBI B400 course and get to know the students well. In contrast, I taught ANTH B200 (another HUBI course requirement) in the spring to 160+ students! It was fun to return to that class after almost 10 years – much to be updated as there have been numerous new fossil discoveries since then. And I got to meet many current HUBI majors in that course as well.
This year we also welcomed our new faculty member, Michael Wasserman, to the program. We share Dr. Wasserman with the Anthropology department. This upcoming year he and Dr. Libby will teach a new HUBI B200 course on the science and politics of climate change and human biology – a topic that is ever more relevant and urgent!
You may have also noticed our updated website when you submitted your alumni information. The site features many pictures of our classes and students and stories from our current and past students.
I just returned from a 10 day trip to the American southwest, where it was both very hot (in Arizona and New Mexico) and very snowy (in the southern Rockies). It is a beautiful part of the country, and such an ecological contrast to the verdant lushness and humidity of southern Indiana. On the research front, I continue to publish my research on milk consumption and child growth in India, and just published a paper with one of my graduate students (Catalina Fernandez), which is a critique of the hypothesis that increased copy number of the salivary amylase gene is due to increased starch consumption in human populations (in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, if you’re interested – some of you may remember discussion of this topic from HUBI B200). I am working with a Cox Research Scholar on a project on gluten – trying to understand the evolutionary history of gluten intolerance in relation to the cultural status of gluten containing foods (such as bread and beer). Stay tuned for more updates on that front.
Finally, this year we graduated our 9th class in Human Biology and we are busy thinking of ways to celebrate our 10th anniversary next year. We hope to be able to invite our alumni to this celebration, and we’ll be in touch as our plans develop.
All the best to you and keep in touch!