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Lawrence University anthropologist Mark Jenike discusses man’s ever-changing diet, from that of our earliest ancestors to the current low-carb craze, in a Lawrence Mortar Board “First Chance, Last Chance” lecture.

Jenike presents “From Chimips to Cheese Curds: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Nutrition,” Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Science Hall, Room 102.

Nutrition, or lack thereof, plays a major role in many of the causes of adult mortality today, from heart disease and stroke to cancer and diabetes, spawning an entire industry devoted to dieting, weight loss and fitness. Human ancestry is often cited in promotional materials for diet books and other approaches to weight loss, wellness and ways to reduce risk of disease. Jenike’s address will examine the evolution of human nutrition over the past six million years, focusing on energy balance, the nutrition of recent human hunter-gatherers and the relevance of this knowledge to our modern nutritional predicament.

A specialist in nutritional anthropology and human evolution, Jenike joined the Lawrence faculty in 2004 after spending seven years in the anthropology department at Pomona College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology at Harvard College and his Ph.D. in anthropology at UCLA.