Aaron Blackwell

Aaron Blackwell
Assistant Professor
Broom Center Affiliation(s)

Human Biodemography Lab under Michael Gurven

Aaron Blackwell is a human biologist and behavioral ecologist in the Department of Anthropology. His work examines growth, development, and aging in Amazonian forager-horticulturalists, with an emphasis on studying how immune function develops and is related to other life history traits. He currently works with the Shuar Life History project, with Larry Sugiyama and Josh Snodgrass at the University of Oregon, and the Tsimane Health and Life History Project, with Michael Gurven at UC Santa Barbara and Hillard Kaplan at the University of New Mexico.

Grants, Awards and Distinctions:

Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship. 2013.

Hellman Family Foundation Award. “Validation of Field Friendly Methods for Measuring Immune Function.” $29,100.

UCSB Faculty Career Development Award. 2014.

Computed Last Name


Blackwell, AD., FC Madimenos , JJ Snodgrass, MA Liebert, TJ Cepon, LS Sugiyama
"Normative calcaneal quantitative ultrasound datafor the indigenous Shuar and non-Shuar Colonos of the Ecuadorian Amazon"
Arch Osteoporo, 2011
Blackwell, Aaron D., Michael D. Gurven, Lawrence S. Sugiyama, Felicia C. Madimenos, Melissa A. Liebert, Melanie A. Martin, Hillard S. Kaplan, J. Josh Snodgrass
"Evidence for a Peak Shift in a Humoral Response to Helminths: Age Profiles of IgE in the Shuar of Ecuador, the Tsimane of Bolivia, and the U.S. NHANES"
Blackwell, Aaron D., Michael Gurven, Daniel Eid Rodríguez, Jonathan Stieglitz, Hillard Kaplan
"Does Blood Pressure Inevitably Rise With Age? Longitudinal Evidence Among Forager-Horticulturalists"
Hypertension 60(1): 25-33. 2012
Martin, M., Blackwell, A., Gurven, M., Kaplan, H. (2013)
"Make new friends and keep the old? Parasite coinfection and comorbidity in Homo sapiens."
In: Primates, Pathogens and Evolution. Developments in Primatology Series. Editors: Brinkworth, J.F. and E. Pechenkina. New York: Springer. 
Liebert MA, Snodgrass JJ, Madimenos FC, Cepon TJ, Blackwell AD, Sugiyama LS. (2013) 
"Implications of market integration for cardiovascular and metabolic health among an indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian population."
Annals of Human Biology40(3) 228-242. 
Pisor, A.C., Gurven, M., Blackwell, A.D., Kaplan, H., & Yetish, G., A.C., Gurven, M., Blackwell, A.D., Kaplan, H., & Yetish, G.
"Patterns of senescence in cardiovascular fitness: VO2max in subsistence and industrialized populations."
American Journal of Human Biology 25(6), pp. 756-769. 2013.
Blackwell A, Martin M, Kaplan H, Gurven M.  2013.
"Antagonism between two intestinal parasites in humans: the importance of coinfection for infection risk and recovery dynamics."
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280(1769): 20131671. 
Stieglitz, J., Jaeggi, A., Blackwell, A., Trumble, BC., Gurven, M., and Kaplan, H. (In Press).
"Work to live and live to work: Productivity, transfers, and psychological well-being in adulthood and old age."
In: Weinstein, M., and Lane, M. (eds.). Advances in bio-demography: cross-species comparisons of social environments and social behaviors, and their effects on health and longevity. National Academy Press.
Von Rueden, CR, Trumble, BC, Emory Thompson, M, Stieglitz, J, Hooper, PL, Blackwell, AD, Kaplan, HS, Gurven, M. (2014)
"Political influence associates with cortisol and health among egalitarian forager-farmers, Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health"
eou021, DOI: 10.1093/emph/eou02
Blackwell, AD, Tamayo, M, Beheim, B, Trumble, BC, Stieglitz, J, Hooper, PL, Martin, M, Kaplan, H, Gurven, M. (2015)
"Infection with helminths affects fecundity and age of first pregnancy in human females, in submission."
Blackwell, A.D., Tamayo, M.A., Beheim, B., Trumble, B.C., Stieglitz, J., Hooper, P.L., Martin, M., Kaplan, H, Gurven, M. 2015. 
"Helminth infection, fecundity and age of first pregnancy in women."
Science 350: 970-972. 
Steiglitz, J, Trumble, B, Emery Thompson, M, Blackwell, AD, Kaplan, H, Gurven, M. (2015)
"Depression as sickness behavior? A test of the host defense hypothesis in a high pathogen population, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity."
in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.05.008
Urlacher, SS, Blackwell, AD, Liebert, MA, Madimenos, FC, Cepon-Robins, TJ, Gildner, TE, Snodgrass, JJ, Sugiyama, LS. (2015)
"Physical Growth of the Shuar: Height, Weight, and BMI Growth References for an Indigenous Amazonian Population,"
American Journal of Human Biology, in press.
Trumble, B.C., Blackwell, A., Stieglitz, J., Emery Thompson, M., Maldonado Suarez, I., Kaplan, H., Gurven, M. 2016.
"Associations between men's testosterone and immune function in a pathogenically stressed forager-horticultural population."
American Journal of Physical Anthropology..
Blackwell, A.D., Trumble, B.C., Maldonado Suarez, I., Stieglitz, J., Beheim, B., Snodgrass, J.J., Kaplan, H., Gurven, M. 2016. 
"Immune function in Amazonian horticulturalists."
Annals of Human Biology 43(4):382-396.
Gurven, M., Yetish, G., Trumble, B.C., Stieglitz, J., Cummings, D., Blackwell, A.D., Beheim, B., Kaplan, H., Pontzer, H. 2016. 
"High resting metabolic rate among Amazonian forager-horticulturalists experiencing high pathogen burden."
American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 
Blackwell, AD. 2017.
"Expanding the insurance hypothesis of obesity with physiological cues (Commentary on Nettle, Andrews, and Bateson, 'Food insecurity as a driver of obesity in humans: The insurance hypothesis')."
Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 40, e108 DOI:
Blackwell, AD, Urlacher, SS, Beheim, B, von Rueden, C, Jaeggi, A, Stieglitz, J, Tumble, BC, Gurven, MD, Kaplan, H. 2017.
"Growth references for Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of the Bolivian Amazon."
American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 162(3) 441-461. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23128.
Hodges-Simeon, CR, Prall, SP, Blackwell, AD, Gurven, MD, Gaulin, SJC. 2017.
"Adrenal maturation, nutritional status and mucosal immunity in Bolivian adolescents."
American Journal of Human Biology, in press.
Gurven, M, Kaplan, H, Stieglitz, J, Trumble, B, Blackwell, AD, Beheim, B, Hooper, P. 2017.
"The Tsimane Health and Life History Project (THLHP): Integrating anthropology and biomedicine. Evolutionary Anthropology."
26(2) 54-73. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21515.
Garcia AR, Gurven M, Blackwell AD. 2017.
"A Matter of Perception: Subjective socioeconomic status and cortisol among inhabitants of the island of Utila, Honduras."
American Journal of Human Biology. 1-17.
Garcia, AR, Blackwell, AD. 2017.
"The physiological constellation of deprivation: immunological strategies and health outcomes (Commentary on: Pepper and Nettle, 'The Behavioural Constellation of Deprivation: Causes and Consequences')."
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in press.
Trumble, BC, Stieglitz, J, Blackwell, AD, Allayee, H, Beheim, B, Finch, CE, Gurven, MD, Kaplan, HS. 2017.
"Apolipoprotein E4 is associated with improved cognitive function in Amazonian forager-horticulturalists with a high parasite burden."
The FASEB Journal. DOI:10.1096/fj.201601084R.