2017 SSHB symposium: Human Biology of Climate Change

(Joint meeting with the International Association for Physiological Anthropology – IAPA)
12 – 15 September 2017
Loughborough, UK
Cut paper by Theodore Bolha

Loughborough University is proud to host the joint 2017 Symposium of the SSHB-IAPA.

Climate change is a large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns or average temperatures. Earth has had tropical climates and ice ages many times in its 4.5 billion years. Some of those past changes were drivers of major evolutionary change giving rise to species ancestral to humans and, very likely, the human species.

So what’s happening now? The rise of average world temperature by nearly 1 °C since 1901 is associated with changing rainfall, disrupted food production, sea level rises (19 cm globally), glacial and sea ice melts, floods and changes in biology and behaviour of insects, birds and many other animals and plants. Climate change and climate uncertainty are global phenomenon with implications for human biology. Climate change makes many existing diseases and conditions worse, but it may also help introduce new pests and pathogens into new regions or communities. In addition there are social, economic, psychological and political impacts.Understanding climate – human biology interrelations will help us prepare for and tackle the myriad of challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. With appropriate policies and planning, climate change can be mitigated and inevitable changes can be used to foster new types of sustainable bio-social and economic environments. The cross-cultural and ‘deep-time’ perspectives of evolutionary human biology and physiological anthropology must play a key role.

The aim of this international symposium is to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners, including not only anthropologists and human biologists, but also researchers with a wide range of expertise and methodological backgrounds, including geography, health, nutrition, demography, physiology and environmental design to tackle questions around climate change.


Confirmed Plenary Speakers

  1. Prof Rob Wilby, Geography, Loughborough University, management of freshwater environments under climate variability and change.
  2. Dr Sophie Goudet, AXA Research Fund, infant nutritional health and feeding practices, impact of flooding on maternal-infant health.
  3. Prof Sarah Elton, Anthropology, Durham University, primate and human evolution in relation to climate change.
  4. Dr Yuko Tsunetsugu, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan. Research on ‘forest bathing‘.
  5. Janina Tutkuviene, Univeristy of Vilnius, Faculty of Medicine, geographic-climate associations and uncertainty on birth weight and menarche.
  6. Prof Debra J. Skene, Neuroendocrinology, University of Surrey, sleep, Chronobiology, biological rhythms
  7. Prof George Havenith, Design School, Loughborough University, human thermal regulation, clothing design.
  8. Prof Doug Crews Ohio State University, Anthropology and Public Health, maternal health, and pregnancy outcomes, allostatic load, human aging & adaptation.
  9. Prof Elena Godina – Lomonosov Moscow State University, member of Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition, Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, human biology of Russia and neighbouring countries.

The Ramada Loughborough Hotel, Loughborough, UK   is where most activities for the Symposium will take place. The Bed & Breakfast rate for the hotel is £65.00 single (1 person per room) and £75.00 double (2 people per room). Please make your own bookings quoting the reservation code SSHBRL. The hotel email is : reception@ramadaloughborough.com


Call for Abstracts

SSHB 2016 welcomes submission for either poster or oral presentations. Abstract submissions should be no longer than 300 words and be submitted online. You can submit either a poster or oral presentation. Click here for further details and submission forms. The deadline is 31 May 2017.


Registration – OPENING SOON

SSHB is proud to provide extra support to graduate students for whom the registration fee is £75. This includes lunches as well as coffee, tea and cakes. there is a lovely dinner planned which SSHB is subsidising for graduate students. 

The registration fee for non-student members is £200. However, if you join the society (at a cost of £30), you can opt for the members registration fee at £150. This also includes lunches and coffee, tea, cake etc. Dinner for non-students costs an extra £40. The day rate is £50.

We kindly ask people to register directly with the SSHB 2017 Symposium host: Loughborough University Store. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Travel awards and prizes

The Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB) is offering financial support (£750) for postgraduate students to attend and present at international conferences. It is anticipated that a maximum of two prizes will be made in 2017. Full details and submission forms can be found here.

Additionally, the 2017 SSHB Young Investigator Award aims to provide support for young investigators to attend and present their work at SSHB events. Full details and submission forms can be found here.


Further information

Location and travel information:

Loughborough is at the heart of England in the northern most part of the county of Leicestershire and being centrally placed it is well served by road, rail and air.

Main line road and rail networks link Loughborough directly with the rest of the country and the town itself is served by excellent bus services.

Loughborough University is less than two miles away from junction 23 of the M1 motorway.

London is one-and-a-half hours away by train, Birmingham one hour and Manchester and Leeds around two hours.

There are regular scheduled flights from UK, European and international destinations to East Midlands Airport, only 7 miles away.

Whatever your reason for coming – and there are plenty – here’s the travel information you need to find your way to Loughborough University.

For further information or any questions you may have, please contact the 2017 symposium organisers: SSHB2017@lboro.ac.uk