I am a biological anthropologist that investigates adaptation to environmental stressors and the developmental origins of variation in metabolism and cardio-metabolic disease risk. I joined the Yale Reproductive Ecology Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2017. I am currently working on developing a new biomarker for assessing energy balance for anthropological and public health studies. Additionally, I am examining the relationship between energy balance, environmental conditions, and life history patterns among the Shuar, a population indigenous to the Ecuadorian Amazon.
My past research examined evolutionary and lifestyle factors that influence metabolism and health among indigenous circumpolar populations. In particular, I explored the significance of brown adipose tissue for adapting to cold climates and its relationship with cardio-metabolic health among the Yakut of northeastern Siberia. This work was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, and the Leakey Foundation.
Broadly, my research explores how environmental conditions influence variation in metabolic rates and energy allocation across the life course. In collaboration with the Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project, I am continuing to investigate developmental plasticity in metabolic adaptations to cold stress and the health consequences of climate change for circumpolar populations. I am also interested in the relationship between other environmental factors, such as nutrition and psychosocial stress, and human energetics. Finally, I am committed to broadening diversity on two fronts. The first is the representation of populations in research by developing new methodological tools that are appropriate for a range of research settings; and the second is diversity of anthropologists by generating research opportunities for students.
Levy et al. (2018). Brown adipose tissue, energy expenditure, and biomarkers of cardio-metabolic health among the Yakut (Sakha) of Northeastern Siberia. American Journal of Human Biology (In Press).
Levy et al. (2016). Lifestyle mediates seasonal changes in metabolic health among the Yakut (Sakha) of northeastern Siberia. American Journal of Human Biology 28: 868-878.
Leonard et al. (2014). Seasonal variation in basal metabolic rates among the Yakut (Sakha) of northeastern Siberia. American Journal of Human Biology 26: 437-445.
Levy et al. (2013). Seasonal and socioeconomic influences on thyroid function among the Yakut (Sakha) of eastern Siberia. American Journal of Human Biology 25: 814-820.