The Sausage of Science is a weekly peer-to-peer science podcast affiliated with the Human Biology Association and American Journal of Human Biology. Cohosted by Drs. Cara Ocobock (University of Notre Dame) and Christopher Lynn (University of Alabama), the show features interviews with human biologists, anthropologists, and scholars from adjacent disciplines. We highlight new research, amplify work by junior scholars, publicize recently published books, pay tribute to deceased scholars, and promote the missions of HBA and AJHB. New episodes are posted every Monday during the academic year to Soundcloud and here.
SoS logo, designed by Lux Lynn.
Current Producers: Cristina Gildee and Dr. Eric Griffith
Webmaster: Courtney Manthey-Pierce
Learn more about the SoS Team & Guest Co-Hosts
Dr. Cara Ocobock
Dr. Cara Ocobock is the director of the Human Energetics Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame where she is also an assistant professor of anthropology. Her research program integrates human biology and anthropology, with a focus on the interaction between anatomy, physiology, evolution, and the environment. She explores the physiological and behavioral mechanisms necessary to cope with and adapt to extreme climate and physical activity. She is an Editorial Board member of the American Journal of Human Biology in charge of PR (with Chris), and strongly advocates for quality science communication and outreach. Find out more about Cara’s work at her website.
Dr. Christopher Lynn
Dr. Christopher Lynn is currently Chair of the Public Relations Committee for the Human Biological Association and Editorial Board member of the American Journal of Human Biology in charge of PR (with Cara). He is also Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama, where he specializes in biocultural medical anthropology, cultural impacts on health, and public engagement with science. He is author of Transcendental Medication: The Evolution of Mind, Culture, and Healing (Routledge 2022) and co-editor of Evolution Education in the American South: Culture, Politics, and Resources in and around Alabama (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). In addition to the Sausage of Science, Lynn is executive producer and co-host of the Inking of Immunity Podcast. Find out more about Chris’ research, public engagement, and teaching at https://cdlynn.people.ua.edu/.
Courtney Manthey-Pierce, M.A. is a Research Affiliate at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and a Research Collaborator for the Rural Embodiment and Community Health (REACH) project. Her research aims to examine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in ancestral populations to better understand the origins of the disease. Courtney will be joining the Snow Molecular Anthropology Laboratory at the University of Montana in 2024. Find out more about Courtney's research at www.HolyLaetoli.com.
Cristina is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Primate Evolutionary Biomechanics Lab at the University of Washington. Her research centers on the intersections between hominin biomechanics, bone biology, human reproduction, and their combined impact on aging. She is particularly interested in expanding the knowledge base we use to understand osteological aging. Much of the existing research is based on samples with limited demographics and phenotypes, limiting its applicability to humans at large. Her work is supported by the Healthy Aging and Longevity Institute's Biological Mechanisms of Healthy Aging Training Grant (NIH/NIA T32 AG066574) and the UW Medicine Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. She has previously presented on topics with applications for rehabilitation medicine, biomechanics, biomarker validation, and energetics. Find out more about Cristina's work at her website.
Dr. Eric Griffith
Dr. Eric Griffith received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as an MA in psychology from Boston University. He completed his dissertation fieldwork in central Mexico, focusing on the experiences of familial caregivers for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Eric’s research interests include biocultural anthropology, dementia, cognitive aging, health disparities, and mixed methods research. Eric is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University; he is assigned to the NIH-funded project “The influence of religion/spirituality on Alzheimer’s Disease and its related dementias (ADRD) for African Americans.”
Dr. Andrea Silva-Caballero
Dr. Andrea Silva-Caballero is a Wenner-Gren Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow based in the Anthropological Research Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a member of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Center. Andrea holds an MSc in Evolutionary Medicine awarded by the University of Durham, UK, where she also completed her Ph.D. in Biological anthropology. Her research reexamines the idea that the modern lifestyle is detrimental to human sleep health by examining and comparing adolescents’ sleep patterns in two rural sites and one urban site in Mexico. She is currently working on publishing the results of her exciting work.
Dr. Caroline Owens
As a biocultural anthropologist, I specialize in researching inequality and human well-being, often through the lens of food and nutrition. Much of my research is applied and involves collaborations with healthcare and nonprofit organizations. As an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University, I also lead the Health Equity and Anthropology Research (HEAR) Lab: https://labs.wsu.edu/hear/
Delaney Glass is a biocultural anthropologist who examines cultural and biological drivers and population health consequences of early life adversity and social inequalities on child and adolescent linear growth/body size, pubertal development, mental health, and well-being among Arab populations and in Jordan. She uses frameworks and methods from medical anthropology, evolutionary biology, qualitative health research, and data science with specialties in secondary data analysis, team science, and primary fieldwork. You can contact her via her website: dglass.netlify.app. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Washington and is an incoming Assistant Professor of Biocultural Medical Anthropology at The University of Toronto in summer 2024.
Dr. Elizabeth Holdsworth
Dr. Elizabeth Holdsworth is a biocultural anthropologist studying the early life determinants of health disparities. She conducts research with mothers and infants to better understand how social inequality differentially exposes people to adverse and stressful environments, and its impact on infant growth and development. Her research uses frameworks from evolutionary theory such as developmental plasticity and from epidemiology such as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). She studies multiple biological mechanisms to answer these questions, including the epigenome, microbiome, and neuroendocrine biomarkers such as cortisol. Dr. Holdsworth is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The Ohio State University.
Dr. Mallika Sarma is a Translational Research Institute for Space Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Human Spaceflight Lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research examines bio-behavioral adaptations to extreme environments, emphasizing the stress response system and effects on connected physiological and behavioral systems with applications to clinical settings and the spaceflight environment. She finished her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Learn more about Mallika’s work at her website.
Dr. Theresa Gildner
Dr. Theresa Gildner studies how lifestyle variation and environmental conditions influence infectious disease risk (especially parasitic disease), and how these factors can produce and perpetuate health inequities. Her work utilizes a biocultural approach, strongly rooted in life history theory, to examine how lifestyle variation influences individual physiology and immune function. She is also interested in understanding how these interactions can be used to design more effective disease intervention programs.