Biohistory and Evolutionary Medicine Laboratory
Dr. Hila May
Human evolution consists of both biological and cultural changes and developments.
Our biohistory and evolutionary medicine laboratory has two main fields of interest:
The study of the compromises between the desired human anatomical design and the realistic design developed during evolution. This compromise brings forth trade-offs between different anatomical structures during an evolutionary process of adaptation, and has an impact on modern human health.
Reconstruction of ancient populations' daily life, based on their skeletal remains.
Biohistorical studies of ancient populations are based on both morphological and molecular (ancient DNA) methods.
Reconstructing past populations' daily life is based on understanding division of labor, social stratification, intensity of physical activities, health, nutrition, and demography (sex ratio, mortality, family size, etc.).
Evolutionary medicine studies search for evolutionary explanations for common diseases found in modern human populations.
We estimate the costs and benefits behind anatomical changes which occurred throughout evolution in order to better understand how compromised designs are developed, and the possibility of pathological outcomes.