SAGE Center Lecture by Nina Jablonski

January 19, 2023
Psychology 1312
Nina Jablonski, The Pennsylvania State University


Nina Jablonski is Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. After receiving her PhD from the University of Washington, Dr. Jablonski held lectureships at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Western Australia. After a stint as Curator at the California Academy of Sciences, she joined the faculty in 2006 at The Pennsylvania State University. A biological anthropologist and paleobiologist, Dr. Jablonski studies primate and human evolution, especially adaptations to the environment. Her research program is focused in four major areas.  Her paleoanthropological research focuses primarily on the evolution of Old World monkeys, and draws upon field- and museum-based research undertaken in Africa and Asia. Her research on human adaptations to the environment centers on the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, including the health consequences of humanity’s mostly naked and colorful skin. The third area of research is related to the second, and is concerned with understanding the history and social consequences of skin-color-based race concepts. The fourth area of concentration is science education for youth, especially education about human evolution and human physical diversity. Jablonski has directed and continues to lead major, externally funded research projects in all of these areas. Dr. Jablonski has received numerous honors and awards, including membership into the National Academy of Sciences (2021), the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2015) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002) and awarding of a Guggenheim fellowship (2012). Her 2009 TED talk "Skin Color is an Illusion" has received almost 1.5 million views.