Zaneta M. Thayer

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Zaneta Thayer is a biological anthropologist whose research program investigates how environments shape patterns of human biology and health. Her research addresses three broad themes (1) Racialized health inequities; (2) Developmental plasticity, evolution, and health; and (3) Maternal health and well-being. Together, these themes allow her to produce research of interest to evolutionary anthropologists, public health professionals, and her study populations. 


Silsby, Room 406A
HB 6047




  • Ph. D. Northwestern University
  • A.B. Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

  • 2023 Thayer, Z. M., Geisel-Zamora, S. A., Uwizeye, G., & Gildner, T. E. Childbirth fear in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic: key predictors and associated birth outcomes. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, 11(1), 101-111.

  • 2023 Thayer, Z., Becares, L., Marks, E., Ly, K., & Walker, C. Maternal racism experience and cultural identity in relation to offspring telomere length. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 10458.

  • 2020 Thayer, Z., Rutherford, J., & Kuzawa, C. The Maternal Nutritional Buffering Model: An evolutionary framework for pregnancy nutritional intervention. Evolution,
    Medicine, and Public Health (1), 14–27. doi:

  • 2019 Running Bear, U., Thayer, Z., Croy, C., Kaufman, C., & Manson, S. The impact of individual and parental American Indian boarding school attendance on chronic physical
    health of Northern Plains Tribes. Family & Community Health, 42(1), 1–7. doi: 10.1097/fch.0000000000000205

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