I am formally trained as a physical anthropologist, having recently received my MA in anthropology and currently working towards a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and am informally an avid student of exercise physiology, nutrition, and health with an evolutionary perspective. I am keenly interested in the building and maintenance of fast-twitch type II muscle fiber, the movement of wild animals, and the species specific correlation between natural movement and muscle composition (if there is one).
Sports training experience
I grew up as a gymnast and from the age of 2 until 14, my life revolved around gymnastics. I began competing at around age 9 and training on the Team at my gym. As a kid I always thought, optimistically, that this would eventually be my road to the Olympics. However, our team disbanded and the gym was sold to another owner who required more money, and so I left gymnastics for the wide world of high school sports. I dabbled in track and cross country, but really picked up a passion for kayaking by becoming involved at my local pool’s night time roll clinics. This led to my involvement with a sport called kayak polo in which I competed regularly at the national and international level for 7 years. I went to two world championships (the highest level of competition for the sport yet) in 2006 and 2008 for the US team and several international tournaments around North America and Europe. My love for kayaking also led me to try white water slalom, marathon boating, and some free style play boating for recreation. Away from the competitive scene, I’ve done some extensive rock climbing, road biking, long distance running, and more recently, strength and conditioning work. I love competition and athleticism as I strive to be the at the top of my game in all my sport endeavors. However, I also love learning from and training with other people, peers, and friends as they provide some of the most powerful motivation and spontaneous enjoyment in my active life.
For curiosity’s sake, my current training goals are for strength, agility, and speed. As of June 2011 at 5’4” and 125lbs, I’m repping with a 155lb squat, and 185/225lb regular/sumo deadlift, and have maxed my bench at 145lbs (I’m more prone to upper body strength from my past gymnastics and kayaking experience). I haven’t tried maxing all of my lifts yet or intensively timing speed work, but my acceleration is noticeably faster since I started employing basic lower body strength training.
Academic qualifications and focus
I received my BA from Boston University and my MA from Texas State University, both in anthropology. I would like to say I’m definitively on the “physical anthropology” track (but when you’re an anthropologist, you’re an anthropologist), and I took extensive neuroendocrinology and sensory neuroscience courses along with developmental biology to satisfy my minor in biology. Human nutrition, skeletal anatomy and evolution are my particular “specialties” and I am especially hoping to continue research on human diet both on extant and prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups. My master’s research was a comparison study of macronutrient composition and energy expenditure between two human population sub samples to determine whether modern westernized people exhibit a similar correlative association between diet and energy expenditure as we find in wild animals and indigenous humans. One major deviation from this track is my interest in muscle anatomy and physiology, which I find has a fascinating association with diet. With this website, I wish to further explore how muscle tissue expresses the metabolic state and health of any particular organism.
I created this website to serve as a reservoir for my ideas, and to contribute my ongoing research and knowledge of exercise and fitness to the public. I intend for these pages to serve as learning tools for both the beginner and veteran of physical fitness, and to host articles and discussions on my ongoing research, as well as feedback and information contribution from other people. Above all, I want an environment conducive to learning for both myself and visitors alike.