Robin Bernstein’s research combines field and laboratory methods to investigate human growth and development, and how nutrition, disease, and environmental factors shape growth patterns in infants and children. She is particularly interested in how breast milk influences the physiological interface between mothers and infants.
Professor Bernstein is currently heading a longitudinal project investigating various factors affecting growth patterns in rural African infants, in order to better understand how and why growth failure occurs in children in low-income countries. This project includes analyses of hormonal, epigenetic, and metabolic pathways in combination with ultrasound measurements of fetal growth, and alternate-day measurement of infant growth throughout the first year of life. The scope of this project is made possible through collaborations with multiple internationally based programs in nutrition, genetics, and pediatric endocrinology.
Professor Bernstein welcomes inquiries from students who would like to combine field and laboratory approaches in their own work. She values diversity in education and experience, and encourages inquiries from students whether or not they come from a strictly anthropological background.