My research investigates how growth and development is shaped, both across generations and among species, in humans and nonhuman primates. I use tools and approaches from endocrinology in my work, and I’m particularly interested in the influence of maternal effects and environmental variation on pre- and post-natal growth. My ongoing projects include:
- Measuring the epigenetic and hormonal regulation of growth, and association with growth faltering, in rural Gambian infants
- Testing whether specific profiles of breast milk bioactive factors (e.g., growth factors, cytokines) are optimized for infant growth and intestinal health in rural Gambia
- Assaying milk bioactives in nonhuman primates and comparing concentrations and patterns with humans
- Researching workplace policies and community structures that provide breastfeeding support for working mothers.
I direct the Laboratory for Endocrinology and Growth Studies, and offer training and research experience opportunities for qualified and motivated students.
- 2013. Bernstein R. Review of Building Babies: Primate Development in Proximate and Ultimate Perspective (KBH Clancy, K Hinde, and JN Rutherford, eds.). International Journal of Primatology, DOI 10.1007/s10764-013-9676-x [PDF]
- 2012. Bernstein R, Setchell J, Verrier D, Knapp L. Maternal effects and the endocrine regulation of mandrill growth. American Journal of Primatology 74: 890-900. [PDF]
- 2012. Conley A, Bernstein R, Nguyen A. The evidence for, and the need to re-define, adrenarche in nonhuman primates. Journal of Endocrinology 214: 121-131. [PDF]
- 2012. Bernstein R, Sterner K, Wildman D. Adrenal androgen production in catarrhine primates and the evolution of adrenarche. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147: 389-400. [PDF]
- 2011. Fourie N, Bernstein R. Hair cortisol levels track phylogenetic and age-related differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in non-human primates. General and Comparative Endocrinology 174: 150-155. [PDF]
- 2010. Bernstein R. The big and small of it: how body size evolves. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 143: 46-62. [PDF]
- 2009. Bernstein R, Nadler T, Brown J, Fourie N. Variation in fecal glucocorticoid concentrations in captive red-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nemeaus). Vietnamese Journal of Primatology 3: 65-74. [PDF]