Dr. Bernstein's research program aims to unite theoretical and methodological approaches from the fields of anthropology, nutrition, and physiology to understand variation in human growth and development within an evolutionary, adaptive, and applied framework. She is currently the PI on a multi-year study based in The Gambia, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which explores in great detail the endocrine, epigenetic, and metabolomic correlates of normal and stunted infant growth. She recently completed another study in The Gambia that measured variation in breast milk bioactive factors in the context of the pronounced seasonality in this region. In addition to working in the field, she directs the Growth and Development Lab at CU Boulder, which uses enzyme and chemiluminescent assay and mid-infrared spectrometry methods to assess biomarkers related to growth and health.
human and nonhuman primate growth and development, endocrinology, maternal-infant physiology, global health, life history evolution, lactation biology and breastfeeding, professional development and mentoring