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Thomas Kraft

University of California, Santa Barbara
Postdoctoral Scholar

My research combines intensive ethnographic fieldwork and statistical modeling to investigate variation in human social behavior, social networks, and health. My work seeks to understand how processes of acculturation influence health via changes in social behavior and organization, and the mechanisms by which chronic non-communicable diseases increase in prevalence in transitioning subsistence populations. At UCSB I am working as a postdoctoral scholar with Professor Michael Gurven to address these questions in the Tsimane, a transitioning population of forager-horticulturalists in lowland Bolivia that are experiencing rapid change. I have also conducted work with the Batek, a transitioning population of rainforest hunter-gatherers in Peninsular Malaysia, as part of an interdisciplinary long-term research investigation that began in the early 1970's. Together, these projects leverage quantitative ethnographic data with longitudinal studies to answer theoretical and empirical questions in the fields of biomedicine and human behavioral ecology.

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