Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Nina G. Jablonski, PhD

Nina G. Jablonski, PhD

Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology, Anthropology
Scientific Program:Cancer Control

Research Interests

Nina G. Jablonski is Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University.  A biological anthropologist and paleobiologist, she studies the evolution of adaptations to the environment in Old World primates including humans.

Her research program is focused in two major areas.  Her paleoanthropological research concerns the evolutionary history of Old World monkeys, and currently includes an active field project in China.  Her research on the evolution of human adaptations to the environment centers on the evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation, and includes an active field project examining the relationship between skin pigmentation and vitamin D production.

Jablonski is currently collaborating on the development of new approaches to science education in the United States.  These approaches have the dual aims of improving the understanding of evolution and human diversity, and stimulating interest among students in pursuing STEM courses and careers.  With the support of NESCent (the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) and active collaboration of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., she is leading a group of 30 scholars in the development of “genetics and genealogy” curricula for K-12 and undergraduate university students.

  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Skin
  • Vitamin D
  • Population
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Folic Acid
  • Genes
  • Hair
  • Pigmentation
  • Tooth
  • Health
  • Hominidae

Recent Publications


Flament, F, Jiang, R, Houghton, J, Zhang, Y, Kroely, C, Jablonski, NG, Jean, A, Clarke, J, Steeg, J, Sehgal, C, McParland, J, Delaunay, C & Passeron, T 2023, 'Accuracy and clinical relevance of an automated, algorithm-based analysis of facial signs from selfie images of women in the United States of various ages, ancestries and phototypes: A cross-sectional observational study', Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 176-183.
Wang, X, Su, DF, Jablonski, NG, Ji, X, Kelley, J, Flynn, LJ & Deng, T 2022, 'Earliest giant panda false thumb suggests conflicting demands for locomotion and feeding', Scientific reports, vol. 12, no. 1, 10538.
Kenney, WL, Jablonski, NG, Brown, MD & Keith, NR 2022, 'Honoring The HERITAGE Study and Looking Forward', Medicine and science in sports and exercise, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 883-885.
Chen, HY, Jablonski, N, Chick, G & Yarnal, C 2022, 'Situating colorism in intercultural contexts: The multifaceted process of acculturation in shaping attitudes towards skin color', International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol. 90, pp. 142-154.
Wolf, ST, Dillon, GA, Alexander, LM, Jablonski, NG & Kenney, WL 2022, 'Skin pigmentation is negatively associated with circulating vitamin D concentration and cutaneous microvascular endothelial function', American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology, vol. 323, no. 3, pp. 490-498.
Dadzie, OE, Sturm, RA, Fajuyigbe, D, Petit, A & Jablonski, NG 2022, 'The Eumelanin Human Skin Colour Scale: a proof-of-concept study', British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 187, no. 1, pp. 99-104.
Zimmerman, HT, Weible, JL, Wright, EA, Vanderhoof, C & Jablonski, NG 2022, 'Using youths’ personal DNA data in science camps: Fostering genetics learning and socio-emotional attitudes toward science with design-based research', Science Education, vol. 106, no. 4, pp. 767-796.


Lucock, MD, Jones, PR, Veysey, M, Thota, R, Garg, M, Furst, J, Martin, C, Yates, Z, Scarlett, CJ, Jablonski, NG, Chaplin, G & Beckett, EL 2022, 'Biophysical evidence to support and extend the vitamin D-folate hypothesis as a paradigm for the evolution of human skin pigmentation', American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 34, no. 4, e23667.
Chen, HY & Jablonski, NG 2022, 'Deeper than the surface: Exploring symbolic cultural cues behind skin color among three groups of women of Chinese heritage', American Journal of Cultural Sociology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 136-163.
Jablonski, NG 2021, 'Evolution: How to evolve a thick skin', Current Biology, vol. 31, no. 10, pp. R483-R486.
Lasisi, T, Zaidi, AA, Webster, TH, Stephens, NB, Routch, K, Jablonski, NG & Shriver, MD 2021, 'High-throughput phenotyping methods for quantifying hair fiber morphology', Scientific reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 11535.
Sun, F, Wang, Y, Jablonski, NG, Hou, S, Ji, X, Wolff, B, Tripati, A, Cao, J & Yang, X 2021, 'Paleoenvironment of the late Miocene Shuitangba hominoids from Yunnan, Southwest China: Insights from stable isotopes', Chemical Geology, vol. 569, 120123.
Savoldi, F, Montalvao, C, Hui, L, Leung, CKK, Jablonski, NG, Tsoi, JKH & Bornstein, MM 2021, 'The Human Bone Collection of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong: History and description of cranial and postcranial skeletal remains', American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 175, no. 3, pp. 718-730.
Jablonski, NG 2021, 'The evolution of human skin pigmentation involved the interactions of genetic, environmental, and cultural variables', Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 707-729.


Jones, P, Lucock, M, Chaplin, G, Jablonski, NG, Veysey, M, Scarlett, C & Beckett, E 2020, 'Distribution of variants in multiple vitamin D-related loci (DHCR7/NADSYN1, GC, CYP2R1, CYP11A1, CYP24A1, VDR, RXRα and RXRγ) vary between European, East-Asian and Sub-Saharan African-ancestry populations', Genes and Nutrition, vol. 15, no. 1, 5.
Wolf, ST, Jablonski, NG & Kenney, WL 2020, 'Examining "race" in physiology', American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 319, no. 6.
Wolf, ST, Jablonski, NG, Ferguson, SB, Alexander, LM & Kenney, WL 2020, 'Four weeks of vitamin D supplementation improves nitric oxide-mediated microvascular function in college-aged African Americans', American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, vol. 319, no. 4, pp. H906-H914.
Li, P, Zhang, C, Kelley, J, Deng, C, Ji, X, Jablonski, NG, Wu, H, Fu, Y, Guo, Z & Zhu, R 2020, 'Late Miocene Climate Cooling Contributed to the Disappearance of Hominoids in Yunnan Region, Southwestern China', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 47, no. 11, e2020GL087741.
Jablonski, NG, Ji, X, Kelley, J, Flynn, LJ, Deng, C & Su, DF 2020, 'Mesopithecus pentelicus from Zhaotong, China, the easternmost representative of a widespread Miocene cercopithecoid species', Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 146, 102851.
Koch, SL, Liebowitz, C, Shriver, MD & Jablonski, NG 2021, 'Microscopical discrimination of human head hairs sharing a mitochondrial haplogroup', Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 56-71.
Khan, MA, Kelley, J, Flynn, LJ, Babar, MA & Jablonski, NG 2020, 'New fossils of Mesopithecus from Hasnot, Pakistan', Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 145, 102818.
Ji, X, Youlatos, D, Jablonski, NG, Pan, R, Zhang, C, Li, P, Tang, M, Yu, T, Li, W, Deng, C & Li, S 2020, 'Oldest colobine calcaneus from East Asia (Zhaotong, Yunnan, China)', Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 147, 102866.
Jablonski, NG 2021, 'Skin color and race', American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 175, no. 2, pp. 437-447.
Jablonski, NG 2021, 'Social and affective touch in primates and its role in the evolution of social cohesion', Neuroscience, vol. 464, pp. 117-125.


Chen, HY, Jablonski, NG, Chick, G & Yarnal, C 2019, 'Caught between "light skin is beautiful and tanned skin is attractive": How bicultural socialization shapes attitudes toward skin color aesthetics', Asian American Journal of Psychology, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 326-340.
Li, P, Zhang, C, Guo, Z, Deng, C, Ji, X, Jablonski, NG, Wu, H & Zhu, R 2019, 'Clay mineral assemblages in the Zhaotong Basin of southwestern China: Implications for the late Miocene and Pliocene evolution of the South Asian monsoon', Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol. 516, pp. 90-100.
Lucock, M, Thota, R, Garg, M, Martin, C, Jones, P, Furst, J, Yates, Z, Jablonski, NG, Chaplin, G, Veysey, M & Beckett, E 2019, 'Early lifecycle UV-exposure calibrates adult vitamin D metabolism: Evidence for a developmentally originated vitamin D homeostat that may alter related adult phenotypes', American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 31, no. 4, e23272.
Sheng, GL, Basler, N, Ji, XP, Paijmans, JLA, Alberti, F, Preick, M, Hartmann, S, Westbury, MV, Yuan, JX, Jablonski, NG, Xenikoudakis, G, Hou, XD, Xiao, B, Liu, JH, Hofreiter, M, Lai, XL & Barlow, A 2019, 'Paleogenome Reveals Genetic Contribution of Extinct Giant Panda to Extant Populations', Current Biology, vol. 29, no. 10, pp. 1695-1700.e6.
Wright, EA, Wagner, JK, Shriver, MD, Fernandez, JR & Jablonski, NG 2019, 'Practical and Ethical Considerations of Using Personal DNA Tests with Middle-School-Aged Learners', American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 104, no. 2, pp. 197-202.
Passeron, T, Bouillon, R, Callender, V, Cestari, T, Diepgen, TL, Green, AC, van der Pols, JC, Bernard, BA, Ly, F, Bernerd, F, Marrot, L, Nielsen, M, Verschoore, M, Jablonski, NG & Young, AR 2019, 'Sunscreen photoprotection and vitamin D status', British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 181, no. 5, pp. 916-931.
Zhou, Y, Ji, X, Li, Y, Forestier, H, Jablonski, NG, Ding, S, Zhao, J, Chen, P, Wang, L, Liang, T & He, C 2020, 'Tangzigou open-air site: A unique lithic assemblage during the Early Holocene in Yunnan Province, Southwest China', Quaternary International, vol. 563, pp. 105-118.
Koch, SL, Tridico, SR, Bernard, BA, Shriver, MD & Jablonski, NG 2020, 'The biology of human hair: A multidisciplinary review', American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 32, no. 2, e23316.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)