Michael Wasserman

Assistant Professor

HUBI Program

IU Bloomington

Greetings, alumni! I am thrilled to be joining the HUBI program as a new assistant professor starting in fall 2016. I will be coming to IU from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where I currently teach environmental science, ecology, primatology, global health, human diet, and research courses at the undergraduate and master’s levels. In my new position, I will be based in both HUBI and the Anthropology Department and am looking forward to applying my interdisciplinary background by offering a number of HUBI courses focused on current environmental and human health issues. Climate change and loss of biodiversity are two of the most pressing threats we face today, and through the new courses I will be offering, we will explore how exponential growth in human population and consumption threatens both our own health and the sustainability of the natural ecosystems that human society depends upon. I look forward to meeting many of the current HUBI students in my fall 2016 B 400 course focused on EcoHealth in the Anthropocene.

I am also currently developing my Primate Environmental Endocrinology Laboratory (PEEL) at IU and look forward to advising many of the HUBI students on both field and laboratory research projects. My lab will offer students the opportunity to examine plant chemistry related to primate health and reproduction, as well as to conduct field research on monkeys and apes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Most of my research thus far has focused on the use of noninvasive field methodologies for measuring primate hormone levels to examine the influence of both natural and human-caused stressors on health and reproduction. During my

Ph.D. research at the University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral work at McGill University, and undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, I spent most of my time studying the colobus monkeys of Kibale National Park in Uganda. Over the past two years at St. Edward’s, I have been developing collaborations in Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Republic of Congo to begin comparative studies on ecological and anthropogenic stressors of the primate species living across these various tropical regions. My specific interests have focused on the importance of phytoestrogens, or estrogen-mimicking plant compounds, to primate ecology and evolution, as well as human health. I will continue exploring the influence of estrogenic plants on primate health, reproduction, and behavior across these field sites and look forward to incorporating HUBI students into this research.

Finally, I would like to introduce my wife and two children, who are also looking forward to joining the Bloomington community. Julie is a University of Florida graduate with interests in sustainable agriculture and ecology, while Kaia (six) and Nathaniel (two) love exploring the outdoors and digging in the garden. In my free time, you can find me at a park with my family, playing basketball, or traveling to my hometown in Ohio, so Kaia and Nathaniel can visit their grandparents and cousins. That’s one more benefit to moving from Austin to Bloomington: reducing the family road trip carbon footprint!