News

Listen to this interview with Dr. Nunn at last year's International Primatological Society meeting.

Dr. Nunn organized the plenary session of the 2017 HBA meetings titled "An Evolutionary Perspective on Sleep and Health Disparities." Dr. Samson gave presented a talk titled "Evidence that humans evolved to be natural, nighttime sleep sentinels."

Dr. Nunn is a guest editor for the recently released special theme issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Check it out here.

See more coverage from the The Duke ... read more

Ph.D student Caroline Amoroso is helping to organize an upcoming conference entitled Disgust, Morality, and Society. The conference will be help at Duke University from April 6-7th and will feature Val Curtis as a keynote speaker. See the attached flyer for more info!

David Samson has two papers in press on sleep patterns in Hazda and Malagasy societies. Check out David's website for more info on these publications!

Read the interview to learn all about Melissa's experience with the Duke Global Health program, interests in evolutionary medicine, and microbiome research!

Awakening to the Significance of Sleep and Health Disparities: A Global Evolutionary Perspective will take place on December 1st. See http://tricem.dreamhosters.com/?p=536 for more information.

Dr. Nunn will give a talk entitled Shining Evolutionary Light on Human Sleep and Health at the Anthropogeny for Medicine and Health Symposium, sponsored by the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, in San Diego CA on October 14th. You can tune in live at https://carta. ... read more

Dr. Nunn has authored a chapter entitled "Infectious Disease and Primate Conservation" in the soon to be released textbook "An Introduction to Primate Conservation." Read more about the book here.


Nunn, C.L. and Gillespie, T.R., Infectious Disease and ... read more

Thanks to generous funding from Duke Bass Connections Charlie Nunn, Melissa Manus, and others from the Nunn Lab are working as members of a highly interdisciplinary team to study how indoor cookstoves affect air quality and human health in Madagascar. The team is also investigating how cooking practices might further affect health when the need ... read more

The Nunn Lab, along with TriCEM (Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine), recently helped make the second annual meeting of the International Society for Evolution Medicine and Public Health a success! Read more about the conference here.

Mary Caperton Morton has written an article in Earth Magazine about sleep research being conducted in the Nunn Lab by Dr. Samson and Dr. Nunn! You can read the full article attached to this news item.

Congratulations to Melissa Manus, who has graduated with her Masters of Science in Global Health!

The Nunn Lab will be hiring a new Associate in Research this summer. The position is an exciting research opportunity with a focus on phylogenetic comparative methods and human evolution. We are looking for applicants that have recently or are about to complete an undergraduate degree in evolutionary anthropology, biology, computational biology, or a related field. Please see the attached job ... read more

Randi Griffin, newly minted Ph. D. candidate in the Nunn Lab, has had a paper published in PLOS one. The paper, co-authored with another Ph.D candidate in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Gabe Yapuncich, critiques a method of comparative phylogenetic analysis that may have been improperly used in several recent studies. You can find the paper ... read more

Randi Griffin is officially a Ph. D. candidate, having successfully defended her dissertation proposal on Thursday. Randi intends to perform a large comparative analysis of skull shape across the primate taxonomy. Randi hopes her analysis will provide support for several hypotheses of skull shape evolution. Congratulations, Randi!

Dr. David Samson's most recent publication with Dr. Charlie Nunn led to an interview with acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer. In the resulting publication in the New York Times, David and Charlie discuss their discoveries about the unique nature of human sleep, and what they think this indicates about primate evolution. You can read the piece ... read more

Caroline Amoroso, a Ph.D. candidate in the Nunn Lab, was informed today that she has been awarded $15,000 from the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation! Caroline intends to use this money to travel to Madagascar this summer, where she will study parasite avoidance in lemurs. She hopes to determine if lemurs are able to perceive signals from water concerning the risk of parasite transmission, ... read more

India Schneider-Crease, a doctoral candidate in the Nunn Lab, spent most of her summer in the field in Ethiopia studying the parasites of gelada monkeys. While there, she advised local agencies on how to reduce disease transmission between humans and wildlife. India also spoke frequently about the conservation of geladas, particularly the importance of not conflating geladas and baboons. In a ... read more

Dr. Charles Nunn and Dr. Peter Kappeler have compiled and edited a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B on the sociality-health-fitness nexus in animal societies. More information on the issue can be found here. The entire issue is available online ... read more

Graduate students Andrea Springer and Georgia Titcomb will be visiting the Nunn Lab for the next three weeks as part of an effort to create new agent based models of disease transmission. Led by Drs. Charles Nunn and Mathias Franz, the effort also includes Nunn Lab post-doc Debapriyo Chakraborty, graduate student Caroline Rusk Amoroso, and lab manager Alexander Vining. For the first part of ... read more

The BBC has done an excellent write up of some of Dr. David Samson's research on the evolution of primate sleep. Check out the article "Apes Reveal Secrets to Good Sleep" here.

David Despain, a science and health writer, has posted an article about primate sleep and some of the sleep research being done in the Nunn Lab. The article, which you can find here, touches on the key question posed by sleep research, the comparative nature of the research being done by the Nunn Lab, and ... read more

The 2015 Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) symposium was held on Friday, April 10th. Organized by Nunn Lab graduate student Caroline Rusk Amoroso, the event included a keynote address by Dr. Anne Pusey, multiple research talks, a panel discussion on combating gender bias, and a poster session. You can check out the WiSE at Duke website and read more about the symposium ... read more

Alexander, the lab manager for the Nunn Lab, has published a paper containing the research he completed just prior to joining the Nunn Lab last fall. Published in Animal Cognition, the paper investigates the meta-cognitive abilities of capuchin monkeys and compares this to previous research with macaques, apes, and young children. You can find the paper online ... read more

Dr. Charles Nunn, along with Peter Kappeler, has compiled and edited the May 2015 issue of Philosophical Transactions B. The issue focuses on the sociality-health-fitness nexus in animal societies. In addition to his role in editing, Charlie is an author on the introduction to the issue and multiple paper contained within. You can see the issue online ... read more

Caroline, only in her second year graduate student, has successfully defended her dissertation proposal well ahead of schedule. We are all very excited by the work Caroline has done and by the ideas she has for the next few years. Congratulations Caroline!

The International Society for Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health (ISEMPH) held its inaugural meeting last weekend, March 19-21. The program, Co-Sponsored by the Center for Evolutionary Medicine at Arizona State University, sought to bring scientists, clinicians, teachers, students, and others together to promote the field of evolutionary medicine and foster the development of exciting ... read more

Randi, a second year graduate student in the Nunn Lab, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The award will fund Randi for her next three years of research on infectious disease. Congratulations Randi!

Post-Doc David Samson has published a new paper, "Orangutans (Pongo spp.) have deeper, more efficient sleep than baboons (Papio papio) in captivity," in American Journal of Physical Anthropology. You can find the paper and read more here. Congratulations David!

Collin McCabe and Charles Nunn, in partnership with Simon Reader, have recently published an article through Royal Society Publishing. The article, entitled "Infectious disease, behavioural flexibility, and the evolution of culture in primates," discusses the role of parasitism in the evolution of culture given findings of a positive association between higher pathogen richness and rates of ... read more

The new Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM) launched yesterday, with lab PI Charles Nunn serving as the Director. TriCEM will draw upon the diverse concentration of academic and professional resources related to evolutionary medicine in the Triangle Area to foster collaborations and research projects.


You can read more about the center in a feature from the NESCent ... read more

India Schneider-Crease, a graduate student in the Nunn Lab, has returned from a three month field excursion in Ethiopia. While there, she collected 773 fecal samples and 500 urine samples from gelada baboons and has brought the samples back to the lab for analysis. In the coming weeks, India will be conducting gastrointestinal parasite analysis on the fecal samples, while the urine samples are ... read more

Nunn Lab undergraduate Alexa Frink has recently been awarded the Molly H. Glander Student Research Grant and the Duke Independent Study Grant for her upcoming work at the Duke Lemur Center.


Working in partnership with Ph. D. student Caroline Amoroso, Alexa is exploring the behavioral immune system in non-human primates. Parasite avoidance behaviors are hypothesized to evolve in ... read more