Post Doctoral Scholars
I am a human behavioural ecologist with an interdisciplinary background in ecology/evolution and environmental sciences. I have developed a keen interest for the study of behavioural changes according to access of different type of resources such as material (i.e.: land size, herd size) and social resources (i.e.: everyday support network, kin network and investment). My research focuses on variation of individual and family livelihood strategies in answer to a modification of their socio-economic and demographic environment. Specifically, I look at communities facing recent changes in developing countries. I am currently working on two sets of data I collected in Ethiopia and in Uganda.
The first one, which was also my PhD subject, is about low-skilled labour migration from the countryside to the urban centres in Ethiopia. I try to understand patterns of resource allocation in households and communities and their importance for risk evaluation and decision for moving.
The second one is about school education of children in a rural community in Uganda. There, I focus on the power balance between the child’s parents in terms of potential conflicts between maternal and paternal interests. In this community, some children are not going to school, others are dropping very early. I am trying to understand how decision of school education is made at the parents’ level and which children are at disadvantage (for example, in terms of gender, birth order and according to family resources).
These two topics involve populations relying traditionally on a subsistence economy and that currently know some greater influence from a skills-based economy. For both studies, I use an interdisciplinary approach mixing life history theory and economics in an evolutionary framework. I employ the notion of kin selection, parental investment, co-operation and aim to define the main resources that might influence individual fitness. These include human and social capital (such as education, social status, support network), and different types of material wealth. My research uses a mixed-method data collection with qualitative anthropological data and quantitative demographic and socio-economics data.
I am post-doctoral researcher working with Jamie Jones in the Department of Anthropology and the Woods Institute for the Environment. I have a B.A. (Hunter College, CUNY) and a M.Sc. (University College London) in Anthropology, and a PhD from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. My main research focus concerns ecological and social determinants of infectious diseases among resource vulnerable and migratory populations. For my dissertation, I incorporated molecular epidemiology, human resource ecology, and mathematical modeling to explore risk for herpes simplex virus type 2 and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in a highly remote population of semi-nomadic pastoralists in northwestern Namibia. I am now studying the social networks of rural, backyard poultry farmers in Bangladesh to assess the outbreak potential and transmission pathways of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1). My other research interests include comparative fertility and reproductive health in light of globalization and poverty.
Philip Labo studied both biology and computer science as an undergraduate at Penn. He received his B.A., in biology, in 2004. During that time he also worked as a programmer/analyst for the Plasmodium falciparum genome database (plasmodb.org). Philip left Penn for Stanford in Fall 2005 to pursue a doctorate in statistics. His doctoral research focused on the modeling of adaptive evolution in certain populations of baker’s yeast. He also studied the modeling of adaptive evolution in general. During the Spring of 2011 he started working with Jamie Jones, of the Stanford Anthropology Department, on the analysis of evolutionary pressures on life history patterns in the Utah Population Database. Philip now works as a post-doctoral scholar with the Prematurity Research Center in the Stanford School of Medicine lending his statistical expertise to the study of preterm birth in United States. Jamie Jones and Paul Wise oversee his work.