Jablonski elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By A'ndrea Elyse Messer
April 28, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Nina G. Jablonski, Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology, Penn State, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

One of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy and American institutions and the humanities, arts and education.

The Academy membership encompasses over 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members and reflects the full range of disciplines and professions: mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, business, government, public affairs, and the arts. Among the Academy's Fellows are more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Jablonski's research focuses on primate -- including human -- evolution, with emphasis on interpretation of the fossil record in relation to environmental change. She is also interested in the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, and its ramifications for health, social interactions and well-being. She is the author of "Skin: A Natural History," Berkeley, University of California Press (2006) and "Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color," Berkeley, University of California Press (2012). She is engaged in public education about human evolution, human diversity, and racism.

In 2006, Jablonski came to Penn State as head of the department of anthropology. She became a distinguished professor in 2011 when she stepped down as department head and was named Evan Pugh Professor in 2014. Before joining Penn State, she was Irvine Chair of Anthropology, Curator of Anthropology, and Head of the Department of Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences. In 2002 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 2009 a member of the American Philosophical Society and in 2011 a Fellow of the Society of Biology (UK).

Jablonski received the W.W. Howells Award of the American Anthropological Association for best book in biological anthropology for 2007 for "Skin." She is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and numerous book chapters.

  • Nina Jablonski head shot

    Nina Jablonski.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated July 28, 2017