Sofia C. Carrera

LIFE Michigan

LIFE Fellow since 2020, University of Michigan

I am a PhD candidate in Biopsychology at UM working with Jacinta Beehner. I am interested in how the early-life environment impacts individual health and development from infancy through adulthood. I currently conduct research in a population of wild non-human primates (geladas), prospectively measuring maternal hormone levels during pregnancy and lactation, observing maternal behavior, and quantifying various aspects of offspring development. Although my dissertation does not focus on human subjects, my interests are driven by a desire to understand human development, specifically the evolutionary explanations for ontogenetic changes in humans. As close relatives of humans, geladas provide an opportunity to longitudinally and intensively study offspring developmental plasticity in response to cues of early-life adversity. My dissertation research is supported by the NSF and Leakey Foundation.

Dissertation project:

Early-life adversity: Maternal effects in a non-human primate


Carrera, S. C., Sen, S., Heistermann, M., Lu, A., & Beehner, J. C. (2020). Low rank and primiparity increase fecal glucocorticoid metabolites across gestation in wild geladas. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 293, Article 113494.

Lu, A., Petrullo, L., Carrera, S. C., Feder, J., Schneider-Crease, I., & Snyder-Mackler, N. (2019). Developmental responses to early life adversity: Evolutionary and mechanistic perspectives. Evolutionary Anthropology, 28(5), 249–266.

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