Cara Ocobock

Office: Arts & Sciences, 119
Ph: (518) 442-4717
Ph.D. Washington University at St. Louis

Cara Ocobock

Key Words/Interests:

Human biology, biological anthropology, energetics, humans in the extremes

Areas:

North America and Finland

My research program integrates human biology and anthropology with a focus on the interaction between anatomy, physiology, the environment, and evolution. I explore the physiological and behavioral mechanisms necessary to cope with and adapt to extremes. Specifically, my research involves the study and modeling of human energy expenditure at extreme climates, altitudes, and physical activities. I am currently developing a field site in the Sápmi region of Finland to work among the Sámi. The overarching goals of this project are to assess life ways, life history patterns, and cold climate adaptations among the Sámi as well as address the numerous health disparities they face.

Three other research projects include (1) developing and testing the Allocation and Interaction Model for estimating total energy expenditure among National Outdoor Leadership School students. This study population was highly active and lived for extended periods of time in a variety of high altitude climates in the western United States. The Allocation and Interaction Model out-performs current models for predicting total energy expenditure among highly active humans in natural environments. (2) I recently took part in a large collaborative project focused on runners participating in Race Across the USA. These runners ran a daily marathon for six days a week over 150 days as they ran across the United States of America. I coordinated and led data collection on the energetics and body composition changes of the runners. (3) I also worked with work with collegiate male and female ice hockey players from Grand Valley State University to measure their energetics during a hockey game.