Dr. Hila May awarded the Bergmann Memorial Research Award from the BSF
Congratulations on this achievement
More information on the award available here
The research of Dr. Hila May:
Laboratory for Bio-History and Evolutionary Medicine: Inter-disciplinary laboratory focusing on two major topics: evolutionary history of anatomical systems and their impact on current population health, and reconstruction of ancient populations’ daily life, based on their skeletal remains, with emphasis on the interaction between genetic and socio-cultural factors.
The bio-history study of ancient populations is based on both morphological and molecular (aDNA) methods. Reconstructing past population daily life: revealing daily activities of prehistoric and historic populations is a challenging task considering the evidence at hand (bones). Nevertheless, bones may furnish us with information otherwise not available, e.g., division of labor, social stratification, intensity of physical activities, health and nutrition, demography (sex ratio, mortality, family size, etc.). Beside traditional methods, the studies are being carried out utilizing advanced 3D analysis methods based on CT, micro- CT and 3D surface scans. The accompanied genetic studies, in addition to supporting and confirming observed pathologies in the bones, i.e., identifying pathogens suspected to cause diseases such as TB, leprosy, etc., also contribute to questions related to populations’ migration from and to the Southern Levant, and questions related to population structure (e.g., extended family) and biological relationships between the local populations.
The evolutionary medicine studies focus on the quest for evolutionary explanations for common diseases found in modern human populations. We estimate the benefits and costs behind anatomical changes through evolution in order to better understand how compromised designs are being developed, and their outcomes (i.e., diseases)