Sabrina Sholts

Young Scientist, World Economic Forum

Research focuses on health impacts of human, animal and environmental interactions in a rapidly changing world. Work as a biological anthropologist is transdisciplinary, because perspective on human health is both ecological and evolutionary: interested in disease as a biological expression of maladjustment to the environment. Research integrates anthropology, genetics, microbiology, osteology and toxicology to study mammalian health risks in the Anthropocene as well as in the past, such as anthropogenic chemicals, heavy metals, zoonotic infectious diseases, and microbiome alterations. Ongoing projects include studies of how persistent organic pollutants affect skeletal development and growth, the role of heavy metals in neurodegeneration, challenges of animal health in human-managed and human-built environments, and effects of diet and lifestyle on the oral microbiome. Responsible for enhancing the scientific value of enormous collections of specimens and objects spanning our planet’s history; sees no better use of them for science or society than showing their relevance to major global challenges today, such as anthropogenic environmental change.

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