Nina Jablonski

Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology

Nina Jablonski

Research Summary

Evolutionary history of Old World primates, including humans. Evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, and the relationship between skin pigmentation and vitamin D production.


Publication Tags

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Pigmentation Color Ultraviolet Radiation Vitamin D Sexual Selection Hominidae Vocalization Skin Testosterone Primates History Animals Radiation Hormones Ultraviolet Rays Diet Hydrocortisone Receptors Hylobates Sunscreening Agents Body Temperature Regulation Mothers Violence Application Kenya

Most Recent Publications

Caught between “Light skin is beautiful and tanned skin is attractive”: How bicultural socialization shapes attitudes toward skin color aesthetics

Hsin Chen, Nina Jablonski, G Chick, C Yarnal, Asian American Journal of Psychology on p. 326–340

Youths learning with a genetics and genealogy approach: Scientific and personal engagement in summer camp

H Zimmerman, J.L. Weible, Elizabeth Wright, C. Maggiore, Nina Jablonski,

Examining colorism and associated behaviors among African-American female college students

Hsin-Yu Chen, G Chick, C Yarnal, Nina Jablonski,

Exploring the role of acculturation in attitudes toward skin color aesthetics and associated behaviors

Hsin-Yu Chen, Nina Jablonski, G Chick, C Yarnal,

Skin cancer, photoprotection and skin of color

Ophelia Dadzie, Nina Jablonski, Mahendra Mahalingam, Alain Dupuy, Antoine Petit, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology on p. 2

New materials of the Late Miocene Muntiacus from Zhaotong hominoid site in southern China

Wei Dong, Nina Jablonski, Denise Su, W.Q. Liu, Vertebrata PalAsiatica

Tapirus yunnanensis from Shuitangba, a terminal Miocene hominoid site in Zhaotong, Yunnan Province of China

Xueping Ji, Haowen Tong, Nina Jablonski, Denise Su, J.O.R. Ebbestad, C.W. Liu, T.S. Yu, Vertebrata PalAsiatica

G Perdew, Nina Jablonski, Molecular Biology and Evolution on p. 2648-58

Skin color: A function of sun

Nina Jablonski, on p. 2

Most-Cited Papers

Innes C. Cuthill, William L. Allen, Kevin Arbuckle, Barbara Caspers, George Chaplin, Mark E. Hauber, Geoffrey E. Hill, Nina G. Jablonski, Chris D. Jiggins, Almut Kelber, Johanna Mappes, Justin Marshall, Richard Merrill, Daniel Osorio, Richard Prum, Nicholas W. Roberts, Alexandre Roulin, Hannah M. Rowland, Thomas N. Sherratt, John Skelhorn, Michael P. Speed, Martin Stevens, Mary Caswell Stoddard, Devi Stuart-Fox, Laszlo Talas, Elizabeth Tibbetts, Tim Caro, 2017, Science

Lucia Carbone, R. Alan Harris, Sante Gnerre, Krishna R. Veeramah, Belen Lorente-Galdos, John Huddleston, Thomas J. Meyer, Javier Herrero, Christian Roos, Bronwen Aken, Fabio Anaclerio, Nicoletta Archidiacono, Carl Baker, Daniel Barrell, Mark A. Batzer, Kathryn Beal, Antoine Blancher, Craig L. Bohrson, Markus Brameier, Michael S. Campbell, Oronzo Capozzi, Claudio Casola, Giorgia Chiatante, Andrew Cree, Annette Damert, Pieter J. De Jong, Laura Dumas, Marcos Fernandez-Callejo, Paul Flicek, Nina V. Fuchs, Ivo Gut, Marta Gut, Matthew W. Hahn, Jessica Hernandez-Rodriguez, Ladeana W. Hillier, Robert Hubley, Bianca Ianc, Zsuzsanna Izsvák, Nina G. Jablonski, Laurel M. Johnstone, Anis Karimpour-Fard, Miriam K. Konkel, Dennis Kostka, Nathan H. Lazar, Sandra L. Lee, Lora R. Lewis, Yue Liu, Devin P. Locke, Swapan Mallick, Fernando L. Mendez, Matthieu Muffato, Lynne V. Nazareth, Kimberly A. Nevonen, Majesta O'Bleness, Cornelia Ochis, Duncan T. Odom, Katherine S. Pollard, Javier Quilez, David Reich, Mariano Rocchi, Gerald G. Schumann, Stephen Searle, James M. Sikela, Gabriella Skollar, Arian Smit, Kemal Sonmez, Boudewijn Ten Hallers, Elizabeth Terhune, Gregg W.C. Thomas, Brygg Ullmer, Mario Ventura, Jerilyn A. Walker, Jeffrey D. Wall, Lutz Walter, Michelle C. Ward, Sarah J. Wheelan, Christopher W. Whelan, Simon White, Larry J. Wilhelm, August E. Woerner, Mark Yandell, Baoli Zhu, Michael F. Hammer, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Evan E. Eichler, Lucinda Fulton, Catrina Fronick, Donna M. Muzny, Wesley C. Warren, Kim C. Worley, Jeffrey Rogers, Richard K. Wilson, Richard A. Gibbs, 2014, Nature on p. 195-201

Skin: A natural history

Nina G. Jablonski, 2013,

Brad J. Bushman, Katherine Newman, Sandra L. Calvert, Geraldine Downey, Mark Dredze, Michael Gottfredson, Nina G. Jablonski, Ann S. Masten, Calvin Morrill, Daniel B. Neill, Daniel Romer, Daniel W. Webster, 2016, American Psychologist on p. 17-39

David A. Puts, Alexander K. Hill, Drew H. Bailey, Robert S. Walker, Drew Rendall, John R. Wheatley, Lisa L.M. Welling, Khytam Dawood, Rodrigo Cárdenas, Robert P. Burriss, Nina G. Jablonski, Mark D. Shriver, Daniel Weiss, Adriano R. Lameira, Coren L. Apicella, Michael J. Owren, Claudia Barelli, Mary E. Glenn, Gabriel Ramos-Fernandez, 2016, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on p. 20152830

T. Passeron, R. Bouillon, V. Callender, T. Cestari, T. L. Diepgen, A. C. Green, J. C. van der Pols, B. A. Bernard, F. Ly, F. Bernerd, L. Marrot, M. Nielsen, M. Verschoore, N. G. Jablonski, A. R. Young, 2019, British Journal of Dermatology on p. 916-931

Nina G. Jablonski, George Chaplin, 2017, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Thure E. Cerling, Kendra L. Chritz, Nina G. Jablonski, Meave G. Leakey, Fredrick Kyalo Manthi, 2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. 10507-10512

Leslea J. Hlusko, Joshua P. Carlson, George Chaplin, Scott A. Elias, John F. Hoffecker, Michaela Huffman, Nina G. Jablonski, Tesla A. Monson, Dennis H. O’Rourke, Marin A. Pilloud, G. Richard Scott, 2018, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on p. E4426-E4432

Epidermal pigmentation in the human lineage is an adaptation to ultraviolet radiation

Nina G. Jablonski, George Chaplin, 2013, Journal of Human Evolution on p. 671-675

News Articles Featuring Nina Jablonski

How Europeans' White Skin Changed Over Time: According To A Study, Pale Skin Only Became Widespread In The Area 8,000 Years Ago

Anthropology studies indicate genetic features are relatively recent additions to the continent

Anthropology faculty member Nina Jablonski named Atherton Professor

Following a highly distinguished 17 years in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology Nina G. Jablonski has been named an Atherton Professor.

How curly hair boosted brain growth by keeping early humans cool

With summer heat steaming up many parts of the country, you may have already turned on your air conditioner. Try plugging in a curling iron, too.

Life before air conditioning: Curly hair kept early humans cool

Curly hair does more than simply look good — it may explain how early humans stayed cool while conserving water, according to researchers who studied the role human hair textures play in regulating body temperature.

Podcast explores the genetics of personality through the lens of adoption

Social scientists have long sought to better understand how and why different behavioral traits develop in different individuals.

Center for Human Evolution and Diversity accepting grant applications

The Center for Human Evolution and Diversity at Penn State (CHED) is currently accepting proposals for grants available from the center for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

How our relationship with our skin has changed dramatically over time

Today, we think of our skin as somewhat fragile — we douse it with creams, we’re sure to put on sunscreen before we go outside for long. But it wasn’t always that way. Nina Jablonski is a biological anthropologist at Penn State University who studies the history of skin and our relationship to it.

Tina Lasisi wants to untangle the evolution of human hair

Though humans’ nearly hairless bodies stick out like a cowlick among other primates, our nakedness isn’t unique in the world of mammals. Dolphins and whales are naked, says biological anthropologist Tina Lasisi of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. There are naked mole-rats. “Elephants, depending on how you look at them, are kind of naked,” she says. “But we’re the only weirdos that are naked except for our head.”

Human skin stood up better to the sun before there were sunscreens and parasols – an anthropologist explains why

Human beings have a conflicted relationship with the sun. People love sunshine, but then get hot. Sweat gets in your eyes. Then there are all the protective rituals: the sunscreen, the hats, the sunglasses. If you stay out too long or haven’t taken sufficient precautions, your skin lets us you know with an angry sunburn. First the heat, then the pain, then the remorse.

Skin colour as a weapon of mass destruction

Skin colour, race, is a topic, like religion and politics, that evokes strong emotional feeling, passion. Many would prefer that it were not touched, discussed, or debated, treated as taboo, as if we suddenly became colour blind.