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Ivy L. Pike

About Ivy L. Pike

My research blends the impacts of inequality on health with the acknowledgement that human biology is shaped by our evolutionary heritage.   I am interested in blending evolution and embodiment - what evolutionary mechanisms allow us to track our social and physical environments to improve fitness, balanced by a need to document the health consequences of tracking marginalized environments.  To achieve this goal I have focused primarily on women's reproductive and psychosocial health.  Finally, I remain committed to developing theoretically and practically relevant research that matches the circumstances of East African pastoralists' lives.  

Selected Publications

Pike, IL.  (2019).  Nurturing as resilience in a context of low-intensity violence for Turkana Pastoralists of Kenya. American Anthropologist 105(1):126-137.

Pike, IL, Hilton, CA., Oesterle, M. and O. Olungah.  (2018).  Low intensity violence and the social determinants of adolescent health among three East African pastoralist communities. Social Science & Medicine 202:117-127.

Pike IL, Straight, B., Hilton, C. and M. Oesterle.  (2016). Comparative nutritional indicators as markers for resilience: A case study of the impacts of low-intensity violence among three pastoralist communities of northern Kenya. Special Issue of Journal of Eastern African Studies 10(1):150-168.

Pike, Ivy L., et al. "Documenting the health consequences of endemic warfare in three pastoralist communities of northern Kenya: A conceptual framework." Social Science & Medicine 70.1 (2010): 45-52.

Pike, Ivy L., and Sharon R. Williams. "Incorporating psychosocial health into biocultural models: preliminary findings from Turkana women of Kenya." American Journal of Human Biology 18.6 (2006): 729-740.

Pike, I. L. (2005). Maternal stress and fetal responses: evolutionary perspectives on preterm delivery. American journal of human biology, 17(1), 55-65.

Pike, I. L. "The nutritional consequences of pregnancy sickness." Human Nature 11.3 (2000): 207-232.


2014-2018 - Vulnerable Transitions: Cumulative Stress for Pastoralist Youth in a High Stakes Conflict Zone" -- NSF BCS Cultural Anthropology Program (Collaborative Research with Co-PI Dr. Bilinda Straight, Western Michigan University)

2008-2011-- The Violence of "Small Wars," Poverty, and Health in Three Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya -- NSF BCS Cultural Anthropology Program (Collaborative Research with Co-PI Dr. Bilinda Straight, Western Michigan University)

Research Interests

Conflict and health; women's psychosocial health, biology of inequality; evolutionary medicine; developmental origins of health and disease

Ivy L. Pike's picture

Contact Information

Professor of Anthropology; Associate Director
Telephone: 520.626.2099
Fax: 520.621.2088
Office: Emil W. Haury Building, Room 302
Office Hours: To schedule an appointment go to

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