How Women's Tradeoffs Shape Biology: Evolutionary Implications for Work, Childcare, and Health


Start Date: Mar 26, 2021 - 10:00am

Location: Presented via Zoom

Dr. Katherine Starkweather will present her talk How Women's Tradeoffs Shape Biology: Evolutionary Implications for Work, Childcare, and Health on Friday, March 26 at 10 am as part of the Spring 2021 Anthropology Colloquia Series.  The talk will be presented via zoom. You can access the talk here.  There is no passcode.

Dr. Katie Starkweather is a biological anthropologist and human behavioral ecologist who studies how ecology and behavior interact to influence biological outcomes in humans. Specifically, she is interested in the importance of women's economic production throughout evolutionary history, including its implications for the evolution of gendered divisions of labor and its influences on reproduction and maternal, paternal, and child health. She has worked in Matlab, Bangladesh with a community of traditionally boat-dwelling, semi-nomadic Shodagor fisher-traders since 2011. In 2017, Dr. Starkweather began directing the Shodagor Longitudinal Health and Demography Project, funded by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, which is an ongoing, longitudinal study of the impact of household economics and childcare on the health and reproductive decisions of household members. During this time, she has collected demographic, reproductive, anthropometric, and health data, as well as GPS movement data for men's fishing and women's trading, and cross-sectional social network data. In 2019, Dr. Starkweather began collecting biomarkers of health in the population as part of an NSF-funded project investigating the health impacts of women's tradeoffs between work and childcare.

Dr. Starkweather received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Missouri. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture from 2016-2018, and a National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Dr. Melissa Emery Thompson at the University of New Mexico. In January 2021, she started her current position as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Hosted by the Department of Anthropology, the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies, and the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) the Department Colloquia Speaker Series will be held virtually via Zoom on Fridays at 10 am, and will be made available on our You Tube account following the event.  Upcoming speakers include (more details forthcoming): 

April 2                   Jonathan Dombrosky (UNM)

April 9                   Osbjorn Pearson (UNM)

April 16                Jada Benn Torres (Vanderbilt University)

April 23                Nicholas Emlen (University of Tübingen)

April 30                 Suzanne Gaskins (Northeastern Illinois)

May 7                    Zwedi Tsegai (Max Planck Institute)