Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology

2004 Edition
| Editors: Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember

Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives

  • Ann McElroy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29905-X_4

A New Synthesis: The Evolution and Ecology of Disease

Evolutionary and ecological perspectives have transformed medical anthropology from a traditional focus on cultural aspects of health and healing and comparative study of medical systems to a broader perspective on human health in an environmental context. This transformation has been truly interdisciplinary. Medical ecologists, human biologists, and health practitioners have joined forces with epidemiologists, medical geographers, and medical historians to generate a new synthesis in the anthropological study of health. The scope of this review ranges from classic studies in medical ecology to current trends in Darwinian medicine, with focus on the history, methods, controversies, and debates associated with ecological and evolutionary perspectives in medical anthropology.


Field research in the mid-20th century on disease distribution and human adaptation in various habitats formed a solid foundation for foraging...


West Nile Virus Political Ecology Neonatal Jaundice Medical Anthropologist Hemoglobin Variant 
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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann McElroy

There are no affiliations available