Research Interests

website photoCurrent Curriculum Vita (as of 8/3/2019)

I am an assistant professor in Biological Anthropology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. I received my Ph.D. (2015) and M.S. (2009) in Biological Anthropology from the University of Oregon, and my B.A. (2007) in Anthropology and History from Marquette University.

I am interested in using novel and integrative methods to test the Hygiene Hypothesis and Disappearing Microbiota Hypothesis, which posit that decreased exposure in parasites and bacterial diversity, respectively, have resulted in the increase in allergic and autoimmune disorders that we are seeing in economically developed nations. Specifically, my research explores how social and economic change alters parasite exposure and bacterial diversity and how this change contributes to immune dysregulation among the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador. I am interested in combining technologies from microbiology, genetics, and anthropology in order to understand the role that bacterial and helminth exposure plays in normal human immune function.

Other research interests include disgust psychology as a mechanism for pathogen avoidance, circumpolar adaptation and health, processes and mechanisms related to the development of atopic disorders, endocrine and cardiovascular health, immunology, psychosocial stress, skeletal biology and physical activity.

Research Projects

Shuar Health and Life History Project

Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project

World Health Organization’s Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE)

Bones and Behavior

Cepon Field Lab 2: Shuar Health and Life History Project

Cepon Field Laboratory for stool sample processing, preservation and helminth identification. (Copyright 2012 by Tara J. Cepon)

Ascaris lumbricoides

Roundworm egg at 40x magnification. (Copyright 2012 by Tara J. Cepon)

March 2, 2012 at 6:43 am Leave a comment


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