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Dr. Josh Snodgrass -- Research Interests

My research focuses on human health and adaptation and sits at the intersection of human physiology, evolutionary biology, nutritional sciences, epidemiology, and the social/behavioral sciences. My research focuses on four main topics:

1)
Human adaptation to environmental stressors such as extreme cold
2) The influence of economic and cultural change on health, especially cardiovascular disease and diabetes
3) Human/primate energetics and the evolution of the human diet
4) The role of chronic psychosocial stress in shaping health and disease

I am part of several large collaborative research teams and am involved in field research projects in northeastern Siberia (Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project), the Amazon region of Ecuador (The Shuar Health and Life History Project), and several locations within Oregon.

I am also involved with the World Health Organization's multi-country Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), a longitudinal study of health and well-being in older adults that focuses on nationally representative samples in six countries (China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa).

I also direct a human biology research laboratory that focuses on the development and application of minimally invasive techniques (e.g., dried blood spots and saliva) for assessing health and physiology in population-based research.

Ongoing Research Projects

Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project
Since 2001, I have conducted research in northeastern Siberia as part of a collaborative research project (The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project) that includes scientists from Russia and the United States. I co-direct the project along with Bill Leonard of Northwestern University. The project has two major research lines. The first examines adaptation to the circumpolar environment, with a focus on evaluating evidence for metabolic adaptation to cold stress among indigenous Siberians. In short, this research has tested the hypothesis that human groups native to the cold have elevated resting metabolic rates as a result of chronic cold stress. Our findings to date have supported this conclusion and we continue to do research along these lines.

Second, our research has focused on investigating the health effects of economic and social changes on indigenous Siberians in the post-Soviet period, with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We are investigating the factors, such as dietary change, altered patterns of physical activity, and levels of chronic psychological stress, that may contribute to the increased burden of stroke and heart disease that has emerged in the past decade. Click here for the Siberia project website.

The project has received funding from NSF (Office of Polar Programs), the University of Oregon, Northwestern University,
the FSRI Institute of Health (Yakutsk, Russia), Sigma Xi, the Leakey Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Yakut Science Center (Yakutsk, Russia).

siberia 2011 research
                  team
Research Team in Berdygestiakh, Sakha Republic in January 2011

a snowy
                  Berdygestiakh in January
View of Berdygestiakh (Gorny ulus, Sakha Republic, Russia) in Winter 2011

Bill
                      Leonard
Bill Leonard measuring basal metabolic rate (Berdygestiakh, Sakha Republic, Russia), Summer 2009

josh snodgrass doubly
                  labeled water
Collecting urine samples for analysis of total energy expenditure using the doubly labeled water technique

  ajhb
                      cover 2005     ajhb
                      cover 2007
Recent covers of the American Journal of Human Biology featuring our research
                                             
Project Website
http://www.bonesandbehavior.org/siberia.html

Primary Project Personnel
Bill Leonard, Northwestern University

Larissa Tarskaia, Russian Academy of Sciences and University of Kansas

Other Senior Collaborators (Past and Present)
Michael Crawford, University of Kansas
Mark Sorensen, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Sharon Williams, Purdue University/AAAS

Russian Collaborators
Scientists from the Yakut Scientific Center (Drs. Tomsky, Egorova, Maharova, Matveeva, Pinigina, Halyev, and
Romanova) and the Sakha Institute of Health (Drs. Krivoshapkin, Klimova,
Fedorova, and Baltakhinova)

Graduate Student and Postdoc Collaborators
Tara Cepon, University of Oregon
Stephanie Levy, Northwestern University
Melissa Liebert, University of Oregon
Erica Squires, University of Oregon
Hannah Wilson, Northwestern University

Undergraduate Student Involvement
Vimal Balu, University of Oregon
Katie Schweber, University of Oregon
Elizabeth Streeter, University of Oregon

Selected Publications

Snodgrass JJ. Health of indigenous circumpolar populations. Annu Rev Anthropol, in press.

Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, Klimova TM, Fedorova VI, Baltakhinova ME, Krivoshapkin VG. 2011. Metabolic adaptation in the Yakut (Sakha). Yakut Medical Journal 2(34): 11-14 (in Russian).
pdfpic

Cepon TJ, Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, Klimova TM, Fedorova VI, Baltakhinova ME, Krivoshapkin VG. 2011. Circumpolar adaptation, social change, and the development of autoimmune thyroid disorders among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia. Am J Hum Biol 23: 703-709.
pdfpic

Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, et al. 2010. Impaired fasting glucose and the metabolic syndrome among an indigenous Siberian population. Int J Circumpol Health 69: 87-98.
pdfpic

Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Sorensen MV, et al. 2008. The influence of basal metabolic rate on blood pressure
among indigenous Siberians. Am J Phys Anthropol 137: 145-155.


Snodgrass JJ, Sorensen MV, Tarskaia LA, Leonard WR. 2007. Adaptive dimensions of health research among
indigenous Siberians. Am J Hum Biol 19: 165-180.


Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, et al. 2005. Basal metabolic rate in the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia.
Am J Hum Biol 17: 155-172.



Shuar Health and Life History Project
The Shuar Health and Life History Project is a collaborative research project that I co-direct with Larry Sugiyama.
The goal of the Shuar Health and Life History Project is threefold. First, we are investigating the effects of market
integration on Shuar health. The project focuses on the effects of cultural and economic change on growth and
nutritional status among Shuar kids, as well as the changing pattern of chronic disease prevalence (e.g., cardiovascular, metabolic, and skeletal health) among Shuar adults. Second, we are using a life history perspective to better understand
the trade-offs between different branches of immune function in Shuar kids, and to use this information to better understand how energy is allocated to competing priorities such as maintenance, growth, and reproduction. Finally,
we seek to provide health information to participants and community partners in order to assist in targeting prevention
and treatment efforts. Research is centered in the Morona-Santiago region of Ecuador.

This research has been funded by NSF (Physical Anthropology), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Leakey Foundation,
the Sasakawa Fund, and the University of Oregon. In the past, the project has received funding from NIH (via the UC
Santa Barbara Center for Evolutionary Psychology) and the Evonuk Foundation.


ecuador
Upano River

shuar kids
Shuar kids

melissa
                  liebert ruby fried interview
Melissa Liebert and former undergraduate Ruby Fried conducting an interview

ecuador research team
                  2008
The Shuar Health and Life History Research Team in Ecuador in 2008

felicia
                  madimenos bmd measurement
Felicia Madimenos performing a bone scan as part of her dissertation research

shuar cooking
                  demonstration
Cooking demonstration of traditional Shuar foods

ajhb
                      cover 2010
Recent American Journal of Human Biology cover featuring our research

Project Website
http://www.bonesandbehavior.org/shuar/

Primary Project Personnel
Larry Sugiyama, University of Oregon
Tara Cepon, University of Oregon
Melissa Liebert, University of Oregon
Felicia Madimenos, Ithaca College

Other Senior Collaborators
Rick Bribiescas, Yale University
Aaron Blackwell, University of California, Santa Barbara
Thom McDade, Northwestern University

Ecuadorian Collaborators
Washington Tiwi, Federacíon Interprovincial de Centros Shuar
Jose Pozo, Ministerio de Salud Pública del Ecuador


Graduate Student Collaborators (Past and Present)
Alese Colehour, University of Oregon
Tiffany Gandolfo,
(MS completed at University of Oregon in 2010)
Theresa Gildner, University of Oregon
Julia Ridgeway-Diaz (MS completed at University of Oregon in 2011)
Terry Rueckert (MS completed at University of Oregon in 2011)
Heather Shattuck-Faegre, Harvard University
Erica Squires, University of Oregon
Paula Tallman, Northwestern University
Sam Urlacher, Harvard University

Undergraduate Student Involvement
Ruby Fried, University of Oregon (now a graduate student at Northwestern University)
Sierra Thompson, University of Oregon
Heather Shattuck-Faegre (now a graduate student at Harvard University)

Selected Project Publications
Liebert MA, Snodgrass JJ, Blackwell AD, Madimenos FC, Cepon TJ, and Sugiyama LS. 2013. Implications of market integration for cardiovascular and metabolic health among an indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian population. Ann Hum Biol 40: 228-242. (link to article)

McDade TW, Tallman PS, Madimenos FC, Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, Sugiyama L, and Snodgrass JJ. 2012. Analysis of variability of high sensitivity C-reactive protein in lowland Ecuador reveals no evidence of chronic low-grade inflammation. Am J Hum Biol
24: 675-681. pdfpic

Madimenos FC, Snodgrass JJ, Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, and Sugiyama LS. 2012. Reproductive effects on skeletal health in Shuar women of Amazonian Ecuador: A life history perspective. Am J Hum Biol 24: 841-852. pdfpic

Madimenos FC, Snodgrass JJ, Blackwell AD, Liebert MA, Sugiyama LS. 2011. Physical activity in an indigenous Ecuadorian forager-horticulturalist population as measured using accelerometry. Am J Hum Biol 23: 488-497.
pdfpic

melissa liebert at aapa 2012
Graduate student Melissa Liebert presenting a poster at a recent
 meeting of the Human Biology Association in Portland, OR.


Blackwell AD, Gurven MD, Sugiyama LS, Madimenos FC, Liebert MA, Martin MA, Kaplan HS, Snodgrass JJ. 2011. Evidence for a peak shift in a humoral response to helminths: Age profiles of IgE in the Shuar of Ecuador, the Tsimane of Bolivia, and the U.S. NHANES. PLoS Neglect Trop D.
pdfpic

Madimenos FC, Snodgrass JJ, Blackwell AD, Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, Sugiyama LS. 2011. Normative calcaneal quantitative ultrasound data for the indigenous Shuar and non-Shuar Colonos of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Arch Osteoporosis 6: 39-49.
pdfpic

Blackwell AD, Snodgrass JJ, Madimenos FC, Sugiyama LS. 2010. Life history, immune function, and intestinal helminths: Trade-offs among immunoglobulin E, C-reactive protein, and growth in an Amazonian population. Am J Hum Biol 22: 836-848. pdfpic (cover photo)

Blackwell AD et al. 2008. Growth and market integration in Amazonia: A comparison of growth indicators between
Shuar, Shiwiar, and nonindigenous school children. Am J Hum Biol 21: 161-171.



Stress, discrimination, and health among Latin American immigrants in Oregon
I am also part of a collaborative research project that uses biomarkers of stress to examine the effects of discrimination on health among Latin American immigrants in Oregon. The project is a collaborative effort with Charles Martinez and Heather McClure of the the Latino Research Team at the University of Oregon (formerly of the Oregon Social Learning Center) and the Farmworker Housing  Development Corporation. The project was initiated in 2007 and, with financial support from NIH, Oregon Social Learning Center, the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies at the University of Oregon, and my lab, we conducted three waves of pilot data collection. We analyzed samples from the project in my lab and are in the process of publishing the results of the study. We are also writing grants to continue and expand the research.

fhdc
Mural painted by residents at the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation

Primary Collaborators
Heather McClure, University of Oregon
Charles Martinez, Jr., University of Oregon
Mark Eddy, University of Washington
Roberto Jimenez, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation

Graduate Student Collaborators

Felicia Madimenos, University of Oregon
Erica Squires, University of Oregon


Undergraduate Student Involvement
Keshia Baker, University of Oregon
Sara Epstein, University of Oregon
Isabella Valderrama, University of Oregon


Selected Publications

McClure et al. 2013. Integrating biomarkers into research with Latino immigrants in the United States. Adv Anthropol 3: 112-120. (link to article)

Squires et al. 2012. Diurnal cortisol rhythms among Latino immigrants in Oregon, USA. J Physiol Anthropol 31: 19.
pdfpic

McClure et al. 2010. Discrimination-related stress, blood pressure, and immune function among Latin American immigrants in Oregon. J Biosocial Sci 42: 433-461.
pdfpic

McClure et al. 2010. Discrimination, psychosocial stress, and health among Latin American immigrants in Oregon.
Am J Hum Biol 22: 421-423.
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Development of biomarkers for assessing health and physiology in population-based research
My research also involves the development and validation of new, minimally invasive techniques for assessing
health and physiology in population-based research. During my NIA-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship I worked
closely with Thom McDade and Sharon Williams to develop new techniques, using ELISA and Luminex platforms,
that allow researchers to measure different aspects of health and physiology.


heather shattuck-faegre at
                  shmc lab
Former undergraduate Heather Shattuck-Faegre
running assays in my biomarker lab at the Sacred Heart Medical Center


Main Collaborators
Thom McDade, Northwestern University
Sharon Williams, Purdue University


Graduate Student Collaborators
Erica Squires, University of Oregon

Selected Publications

McDade TW, Williams SR, Snodgrass JJ. 2007. What a drop can do: Dried blood spots as a minimally-invasive
method for integrating biomarkers in population-based research. Demography 44: 899-925.


Snodgrass JJ, Williams SR, McDade. 2006. Measurement of human pituitary hormones in dried blood spots by
multiplex immunoassay. Am J Phys Anthropol (Suppl) 42: 168.

Snodgrass JJ. 2006. Viability of capillary blood collection for use in population-based health research. Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Los Angeles, CA.


The Study on Global Ageing and
Adult Health (SAGE)
Since 2005, I have been an investigator on the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). SAGE is a multi-wave panel survey of age-related changes in health and well-being, with nationally representative population surveys in six countries (China, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Ghana, and India). SAGE is directed by PI Somnath Chatterji and co-PI Paul Kowal. The study is currently funded by NIH NIA. My role began as a consultant on the biomarker component of the study. In that capacity, I collaborated with Sharon Williams of Purdue University to train WHO participating scientists, coordinate biomarker collection, and standardize the laboratory protocols for the six countries  participating in the study. My role on the project has expanded to a key investigator and I am currently analyzing data from Wave 1 data and preparing manuscripts for publication.

who sage lab training
                  south africa
At a lab training in Durban, South Africa as part of the WHO SAGE project

Main Collaborators

Somnath Chatterji, WHO
Paul Kowal, WHO and University of Newcastle (Australia)
Sharon Williams, Purdue University/AAAS


Graduate Student Collaborators
Tara Cepon, University of Oregon
Theresa Gildner, University of Oregon
Melissa Liebert, University of Oregon

Felicia Madimenos, University of Oregon

Undergraduate Student Involvement
Lauren Hawkins, University of Oregon


Selected Publications
Kowal P, Chatterji S, Naidoo N, Biritwum R, Wu F, Lopez Ridaura R, Maximova T, Arokiasamy P, Phaswana-Mafuya N, Williams SR, Snodgrass JJ, Minicuci N, D’Este C, Boerma JT. 2012. Cohort profile: The WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). Int J Epidemiol, in press.

Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, Madimenos FC, Mathur A, Williams SR, Naidoo N, Snodgrass JJ. Self-reported physical activity and measured energy expenditure using accelerometers: Results of a SAGE sub-study in India. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, CA.


Human/primate energetics and the evolution of the human diet

Since 1998, I have collaborated with Bill Leonard and Marcia Robertson on research that addresses the evolution
of the human diet. Some of the issues we have addressed in this research include the evolution of early hominid
diets, brain evolution in the genus
Homo, early primate ecology and energetics, and Neandertal energetics.
Click
here for a recent article from Science on the evolution of the human diet, which discusses some of my research. Click
here for a recent article in Nature, from an issue focused on the emerging field of nutrigenomics, that includes some quotes from me on the evolution of the human diet. I've also started several other collaborations related to human energetics and the evolution of the human diet, including with Susan Antón and Magda Muchlinski.


with leslie aiello and jonathan wells in
                  sintra
With Leslie Aiello and Jonathan Wells at the Wenner-Gren Conference
"Human Biology and the Origins of Homo" in Sintra, Portugal (March 2011)


human biology and
                    the origins of homo
Participants at the Wenner-Gren Conference
"Human Biology and the Origins of Homo" in Sintra, Portugal (March 2011)


Selected Publications
Antón SC and Snodgrass JJ. 2012. Origin and evolution of genus Homo: A new perspective. Curr Anthropol 53 (Supplement 6): S479-S496. (link to article)

Snodgrass JJ. 2012. Human energetics. In: Stinson et al. (eds.) Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Approach (2nd Edition). New York: Wiley, pp. 327-386. (link to chapter)

Muchlinski MN, Snodgrass JJ, and Terranova CJ. 2012. Muscle mass scaling in primates: An energetic and ecological perspective. Am J Primatol. (link to article)

Leonard WR, Snodgrass JJ, Robertson ML. 2012. Comparative and evolutionary perspectives on human brain growth. In: Cameron and Bogin (eds.) Human Growth and Development (2nd Edition). New York: Elsevier, pp. 397-414.

Leonard WR, Robertson ML, Snodgrass JJ. 2010. What did humans evolve to eat? Metabolic implications of major trends in hominid evolution. In: Moffat and Prowse (eds.) Human Diet and Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective: Past Meets Present. New York: Berghahn Books.
pdf
                  icon

Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Robertson ML. 2009. The energetics of encephalization in early hominids. In: JJ Hublin
& M Richards (eds.)
Evolution of Hominid Diets: Integrating Approaches to the Study of Palaeolithic
Subsistence
. Dordrecht, Springer.


Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR. 2009. Neandertal energetics revisited: Insights into population dynamics and life
history evolution. PaleoAnthropology 2009: 220-237.

   
Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Robertson ML. 2007. Primate bioenergetics: An evolutionary perspective. In: M Ravosa
& M Dagosto (eds.) Primate Origins: Adaptations and Evolution. New York, Springer, pp. 703-737.


Leonard WR, Snodgrass JJ, Robertson ML. 2007. Effects of brain evolution on human nutrition and metabolism.
Annu Rev Nutr 27: 311-327.


Leonard WR, Robertson ML, Snodgrass JJ, Kuzawa CW. 2003. Metabolic correlates of hominid brain expansion.
Comp Biochem Physiol 136A: 5-15.



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