Nina G. Jablonski is Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. A biological anthropologist and paleobiologist, she studies the evolution of adaptations to the environment in Old World primates including humans.
Her research program is focused in two major areas. Her paleoanthropological research concerns the evolutionary history of Old World monkeys, and currently includes an active field project in China. Her research on the evolution of human adaptations to the environment centers on the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, and includes an active field project examining the relationship between skin pigmentation and vitamin D production.
Jablonski is currently collaborating on the development of new approaches to science education in the United States. These approaches have the dual aims of improving the understanding of evolution and human diversity, and stimulating interest among students in pursuing STEM courses and careers. With the support of NESCent (the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) and active collaboration of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., she is leading a group of 30 scholars in the development of “genetics and genealogy” curricula for K-12 and undergraduate university students.
Jablonski also leads a major new scholarly initiative aimed at studying the effects of race in South African society. With the support of the STIAS (the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study), she is the convener of the “Effects of Race” (EOR) program, which will bring together a select group of senior and junior scholars yearly to formulate new approaches to the study of race and the mitigation of racial discrimination. Read more about EOR here.
Listen to the latest BBC CrowdScience podcast on skin color – Why do Humans have Different Coloured Skin?
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