Stephanie Schnorr

Postdoctoral Researcher of Biological Anthropology
Expertise: Human Evolution, Hunter-Gatherer Societies, Human Diet, Digestion, Gut Microbiome

Biography

Stephanie Schnorr is a biological anthropologist who studies human diet, digestion, and gut microbiome in the framework of human evolution. Schnorr is especially interested in understanding how humans came to acquire large and complex brains along with what factors allowed these traits to progress over time. She does this by studying the coalescence of dietary behaviors, physical adaptations, and the gut microbiome alongside human occupation of particular environments.

Schnorr is also a member of UNLV’s Nutrition and Reproduction Lab, which is located at a field site in Tanzania, East Africa among a nomadic population of hunter-gatherers. The research explores the cultural dimensions of kin investment, attachment theory (specifically models of multiple attachments), the behavioral and nutritional links of cooperative breeding, life history theory, the evolution of childhood, food sharing, and the evolution of the human diet.

Her work is published in a number of high-impact academic journals and has been highlighted in numerous media outlets including Scientific American, Wired, National Geographic, and The New York Times.

Education

  • Ph.D., Archaeology, Leiden University & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • M.A., Physical Anthropology, Texas State University
  • B.A., Anthropology, Minor in Biology, Boston University

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Stephanie Schnorr In The News

Atlas Obscura
October 20, 2020
ACCORDING TO PIERS MITCHELL, A paleopathologist from the University of Cambridge, scientists have been extracting data from ancient human poop for over a century. “In the past, we’ve been able to look at a single coprolite from a single person”—that is to say, a preserved turd—”and study the microbiome of that one individual.” (The microbiome is the complex collection of microbes living in every animal’s digestive tract.) Now, in a newly released paper in Philosophical Transactions B, Mitchell and co-authors Susanna Sabin and Kirsten I. Bos have blown the lid off of single-turd analysis: by analyzing two medieval latrines’ worth of number two.
The Irish Times
November 22, 2019
It was a challenge unlike any other the chef-turned-graduate student had faced: Vayu Maini Rekdal had to create a menu in which every ingredient could be eaten either raw or cooked. No pickling was allowed, nor fermented toppings such as soy sauce or miso. Nothing could be processed, so things such as tofu were out. And the more sweet potatoes he could serve up, the better.
New York Times
October 23, 2019
Before scientists tested the effects of some dietary changes on the microbiome, they ordered a special menu from a chef-turned-chemist.
Science Mag
November 2, 2018
Whether in villages on the coast of Ghana or in the mountains of Rwanda, asking for people's poop is a good icebreaker, Mathieu Groussin says. "Everybody laughs," says Groussin, a microbiologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. "Especially when we stress that we need the whole fecal sample and show them the big bowl."