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At the Root of Human Hair
April 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Why do humans have the bulk of our hair on our heads, not our bodies?
This important but often neglected evolutionary question is central to the work of Tina Lasisi, a biological anthropologist at the University of Southern California. In this talk, Lasisi will tease out the mysteries behind why humans have scalp hair and why we may have developed different hair textures as we’ve evolved. She will share the unique methods used in her research, including the use of robots with wigs to understand the thermoregulatory role of scalp hair and its protection against solar radiation, as well as her insights on why tightly curled hair is unique to our species.
Event notes: SciCafe is 21+ and free with RSVP. This event is an in-person lecture in New York. A recording of the lecture will be available several weeks after the live program.
Dr. Tina Lasisi is a biological anthropologist with an interest in studying the evolution and genetics of human hair and skin. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California in the department of Quantitative & Computational Biology. Her work focuses on developing rigorous methods to understand the landscape of biological variation and a critical lens to investigate how that overlaps with various social concepts. She aims to provide people with the knowledge and tools to understand how we can study human variation and how it matters in everything from cosmetics, to technology and medicine. She also hosts a show on PBS Terra called Why Am I Like This? and you can find her on Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter.
This program is presented in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.
The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
Camilla and George Smith
The Joan and Arnold Travis Education Fund