Robin G. Nelson


Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Santa Clara University

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Santa Clara University. I am a biological anthropologist who utilizes evolutionary theory in studies of the link between human sociality and health outcomes. My dissertation research examined the extent to which variability in received investment from kin and social contacts affected the phenotypic expression of biological trait indicators of health status amongst Jamaican adults. My most recent project explores the relationship between health outcomes and residential context for Jamaican children. This project focuses on the growth and development of children living in state-sponsored residential childcare facilities. I am investigating what happens to the social and physical health of children when the home, as it is articulated culturally in West Indian communities, is not available to them. With this increased focus on critical periods of human growth and development, I remain interested in researching culturally salient forms of social and financial capital and the health of peoples in the Caribbean.