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Grazyna Jasienska is an assistant professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She studies how lifestyle factors influence reproductive physiology and reproductive health. She established “The Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site” that includes five villages in southern Poland characterized by traditional, agricultural lifestyle, where she and her students investigate the effects of hard physical work on women’s reproductive physiology. The study site also creates a perfect setting for research on the health of children in large families and the relationships between the number of children and parental health and life span, as well as for the study of the importance of grandmothers for the well-being of families.
At Radcliffe, Jasienska will attempt to combine evolutionary thinking with recent developments in the area of female physiology. She will argue that while the knowledge about our evolutionary lifestyle provides a sensible point of departure, designing a perfectly healthy lifestyle may not be possible since women face unique challenges to their health. She will attempt to show that an evolutionary approach to understanding trade-offs in human physiology may lead to better health for women.
Jasienska holds an MA and a PhD in biological anthropology from Harvard University and a MSc in biology from Jagiellonian University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and had a research fellowship from the Research Council of Norway. She has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and from the Polish Committee for Scientific Research.