2013

Distinguished Alumni

Dr. Nina G. Jablonski, Class of 1971

Nina G. Jablonski is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University. She is a biological anthropologist and science educator who studies human and primate evolution. Jablonski’s interest in the natural world started when she was a child growing up in the Boston Hills. After receiving an excellent primary and secondary education in the Hamburg Central School District, she went on to receive an undergraduate degree in biology at Bryn Mawr College in 1975, and a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Washington in 1981. Since then, she has held academic positions in Asia, Australia, and the U.S. Jablonski has always been fascinated by evolution, and her research has focused on discovering how animals, including humans, have evolved relative to their environments. In the last 25 years, Jablonski has conducted research on the evolution and meaning of human skin and skin pigmentation. In this research, she has collaborated with her husband, George Chaplin. Their work deals with all aspects of skin color in humans, including implications for health and society. Jablonski is the author of over 200 scientific and popular publications, and has been featured in numerous media interviews and documentaries. Her latest book, Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color, was published by University of California Press in 2012.