Global Health


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Mother and baby lemurs

This project investigates the infectious disease exchange between human and nonhuman primates using two mycobacterial diseases – tuberculosis and leprosy – as case studies.

Blood collection tubes

This project examines the co-evolution of humans and our pathogens using an anthropological perspective that incorporates both evolutionary time depth, and short-term individual and species histories.

TB stain

This research addresses the issue of tuberculosis evolution in the Americas through the study of skeletal collections from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including those held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). 

Sea lion on rocks

This project will provide insight into the process by which pathogens adapt to new hosts and the impact of human migration and interaction on the spread of pathogens in the past. Researchers will test the hypothesis that prehistoric TB in the Americas was caused by strains in the M. tuberculosis group or complex (specifically strains found in seals and sea lions) that “jumped” into humans and then spread from human to human, moving north from South America into Central and North America via trade routes.

TB mycobacterium

The goal of this project is to analyze ancient DNA from skeletal samples dating before, during and after the “Age of Exploration” that show evidence of tubercular bone lesions and integrate these data with those of modern strains of tuberculosis to assess the evolutionary history of tuberculosis and its effects on human history.

Dr Amber Wutich

The Science of Water Art project is a collaborative research project involving professionals, community members, college students and children, examining the role that water plays in each of our lives. Specifically, the project provides insights into how Arizona youth view the vital resource of water as they share perceptions of climate change and water insecurity through art.

Couple walking on beach

This study seeks to understand the particular challenges people face in their everyday lives following bariatric surgery, and how these shape their long-term weight loss success.