Market Smells II Participant Results

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Market Smells II study. We had a delay in posting the summary scores because we conducted a second day of testing on 4 August. We are currently analyzing the data and writing the paper. We hope to have a draft available as a preprint by mid- toContinue reading “Market Smells II Participant Results”

Advertisement

Market Smells I: Results

Last summer-fall, my colleague Colette Berbesque (@berbesque) and student Jessie Roberts, and I conducted a pilot field study aimed at getting some initial data on how the human sense of smell is disrupted in the natural (e.g., built) environment. This is the first step in a larger plan to explore the ecology of human olfaction.Continue reading “Market Smells I: Results”

Smelling in the Wild Pilot Study Schedule

The first pilot study for Smelling in the Wild is taking place during the week commencing 28 August. We are going to be at two London markets (Brixton and Borough markets) asking for volunteers to assist us in understanding how the local smellscape impacts one’s sense of smell. Volunteering should only take about 10 minutesContinue reading “Smelling in the Wild Pilot Study Schedule”

Smelling in the Wild

With colleague Dr. Colette Berbesque (University of Roehampton), I am about to start two exciting new projects that focus on the human sense of smell in natural environments. One project will focus on how our sense of smell may be influenced by subsistence. Our project is a corollary study to work by the Sorokowskas andContinue reading “Smelling in the Wild”

The Future of Smelling

Coming on the heels of a grant proposal, I am starting to think about my upcoming paper for the American Association for the Advancement of Science meetings in Boston in February. My talk will focus on the future of human smelling in a panel called ‘How We Came To Our Senses: Ecology, Evolution, and Future of Human Sensation’Continue reading “The Future of Smelling”

Sensory perception and the trigeminal nerve

I recently made black beans and rice for a sunny deck party in Alaska at the cabin. The remainder from the deck party went to another party that included many SE Asians. I made it mild (5 jalapenos and chili powder), or so I thought, but both parties reported back that it was too spicy toContinue reading “Sensory perception and the trigeminal nerve”

What Neandertals smelt…

My recent research has had a little news coverage today which is lovely. My esteemed colleague, Dr. Matthew Cobb of the U of Manchester (@matthewcobb), fronted for our team today on BBC4 Inside Science (What Neandertals Smelt). The piece begins at 15:38 and runs for about 8 minutes. The University of Manchester did a nice PR piece onContinue reading “What Neandertals smelt…”

Is odorant diversity driving olfactory receptor genetic variation?

Olfactory receptor genes have more variation than most gene families in the human genome. The only family with greater diversity is the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Both families also exhibit high heterozygosity. Due to its association with disease, the MHC is well-studied. The explanation for the maintenance of MHC diversity is pathogen-driven selection–either through heterozygoteContinue reading “Is odorant diversity driving olfactory receptor genetic variation?”

Stress and sex

A study from 2013 that documented sex differences in sleep needs (based on inflammatory markers) turned  my thoughts to stress susceptibility. I recently wrote about allostatic load, a measure of elevated cortisol (a stress hormone) in living human populations. While attempts to transfer the concept of allostatic load to the bioarchaeological record are lacking robusticity, there isContinue reading “Stress and sex”