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

Pigmentation Color Hominidae Ultraviolet Radiation Primates Sexual Selection Ligands Vitamin D Skin Vocalization Testosterone History Animals Hormones Genome Hydrocortisone Radiation Haplorhini Sunscreening Agents Hylobates Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors Body Temperature Regulation Application Kenya Selectivity (Chemistry)

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

Troy D. Hubbard, Iain A. Murray, William H. Bisson, Alexis P. Sullivan, Aswathy Sebastian, George H. Perry, Nina G. Jablonski, Gary H. Perdew, 2016, Molecular Biology and Evolution on p. 2648-2658

News Articles Featuring Nina Jablonski

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.

There’s No Proof Sunscreen Prevents Cancer in Black People. Why Do Doctors Keep Pushing It?

Meet the renegade dermatologist determined to correct race-based misinformation on melanoma.

The Story of an African Children’s Book That Explains the Science of Skin Colour

We all need to forgive ourselves and one another

Why Aren't There Mammals in Super Vivid Colors Like There Are Birds and Bugs?

Plumage. An incredible world, for an incredible phenomenon. Say it with me now: plumage. Picture the colors, their variety and richness. Picture, while you’re at it, some other stuff relevant to this week’s Giz Asks, such as bugs that look shaped from stained glass and sea creatures that look like they’ve been doused in neon paint.

Three Penn State faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences

Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology; Jainendra K. Jain, Evan Pugh University Professor and Erwin W. Mueller Professor of Physics; and Peter Mészáros, Eberly Chair Professor, emeritus, of Astronomy and Astrophysics, have been recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.