Welcome to the Muehlenbein laboratory at Baylor University! We are a group of biological and evolutionary anthropologists interested in a variety of research subjects, including evolutionary endocrinology, ecological immunology, reproductive ecology, human life history evolution, behavioral endocrinology, animal behavior and ecology, evolutionary psychology, infectious disease ecology, and emerging infectious diseases.
Ecotourism activities should attempt to educate visitors while minimizing modification or degradation of natural resources and broadly benefit the social and natural environments by involving the participation of local communities. However, rapid, unmonitored development of ecotourism projects in protected areas can produce deleterious effects on the very species we wish to conserve. Zoonotic (nonhuman animal … Continue reading Conservation medicine, travel health, and primate-based tourism
Hormones and infectious diseases underpin most aspects of our research. We maintain both field- and laboratory-based research projects that build upon one another in an effort to identify logical direction in research on fundamental questions regarding the physiologies and behaviors of humans, monkeys and apes, with particular focus on explicating the proximate and ultimate causes … Continue reading Evolutionary endocrinology and ecological Immunology
It is known that infectious diseases are able to influence the behavior of humans and other animals. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of “sickness behavior,” which has been well studied in animals. Briefly, sick animals exhibit organized changes across a variety of behaviors: they become anhedonic, exhibit depression and reduced food intake, and reduce … Continue reading Psychoneuroimmunology
Results based on immune assays currently popular in human evolutionary biology (e.g., secretory IgA from saliva, neopterin and beta-2 microglobulin from urine, c-reactive protein and Epstein-Barr virus antibodies from blood spots, etc.) are difficult to interpret because they represent non-specific markers of general inflammation that can also be elevated for a variety of other reasons, … Continue reading Assay development