Reproductive Ecology Lab
Dr. Valeggiaís field research is strongly supported by laboratory work, shedding light on the proximate explanations for changes in fertility patterns and life history trajectories, and for epidemiological correlates of lifestyle transitions. At the Reproductive Ecology Laboratory she is using recently developed techniques based on minimally invasive collection of saliva, urine, and blood spots. Monitoring the return to postpartum fecundity, detecting ovulatory cycles in a large number of women in the field, or collecting biomarkers for cardiovascular disease risk is now possible with minimal disruption of normal daily life via collection of urinary or salivary samples or dried blood spots. Several longitudinal, population-scale studies that use biomarkers are now underway. The Reproductive Ecology Laboratory is located on the fourth floor of the Department of Anthropology and is comprised of 400 square feet of Biosafety Level 2 certified wet-lab space. The laboratory is fully equipped to support enzyme-immunoassay analysis of human blood, saliva, and urine, and includes equipment for the assessment of body composition and anthropometry.