Tara Cepon Robins, Ph.D.

Tara Cepon Robins, Ph.D.

Tara Cepon Robins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Anthropology
CENT 120

About

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 high-income regions of the world. Specifically, my research explores how social and economic change, environmental marginalization, and inequality alter parasite exposure and bacterial diversity and how this change contributes to immune dysregulation. I conduct this research among the Shuar of Amazonian Ecuador with the Shuar Health and Life History Project, as well as in my own recently developed project in the southeastern United States (the Rural Embodiment and Child Health Project). I am interested in combining technologies from microbiology, genetics, and anthropology in order to understand the role that bacterial and helminth exposure plays in immune function, growth, development, and health.

Other research interests include Evolutionary Medicine, 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, minimally invasive biomarker development, skeletal biology and physical activity.

Education

  • PhD: University of Oregon (2015)
  • MSc: University of Oregon (2009)
  • BA: Marquette University (2007)

Select Publications

Courses Taught

ANTH 1030: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 3350: Forensic Anthropology

ANTH 3360: Methods in Biological Anthropology

ANTH 3370: Human Biology and Ecology

ANTH 3375: Humans on the Edge

ANTH 3390: Bioarchaeology

ANTH 4330: Parasites in Human Evolution

ANTH 4980: Critical Race Theory in Anthropology

ANTH 4980: Anthropology of Climate Change