Lawrence M. Schell
Interests: Biological anthropology, medical anthropology, human growth and development, cities and health.
Areas: Urban North America
Director, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Jointly appointed to the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
My research concerns the interrelationship between biology and culture and focuses on biological responses to contemporary urban environments. The urban environment may be the new frontier for human adaptation because more and more people are living in urban environments and these environments are becoming less and less like the environments of our forebearers, i.e., more challenging. I have been researching this topic by looking at the health of people exposed to different features of the urban environment. I began with a study of how noise, as a type of urban stress, affected human development, both prenatal and post-natal. I have since branched out to consider other pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead.
I have three current research projects. One looks at the effect of lead on child physical and cognitive development in Albany, NY. It also examines the influence of nutrition and other maternal characteristics on the transfer of lead from mother to fetus and on child development itself. The second project seeks to address the growing concern about the effect of certain pollutants on sexual and physical development. It is a study of how PCBs may affect physical and sexual development during adolescence. This study is conducted in partnership with the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in upstate New York. The most recent study is in the pilot stage. It is an assessment of PCB levels in youth from Pittsfield, MA. It is believed that data from this pilot study may provide valuable public health information regarding exposure levels to PCBs and exposure risk of other children in the Pittsfield community.
Graduate students working with me generally attack problems of interest to anthropologists using research methods common in epidemology and public health.
Click on the headings below to learn about current graduate research under Dr. Schell:
Children's Environmental Health Studies (CEHS)
Albany Pregnancy Infancy Lead Study (APILS)
Mohawk Adolescent Well-Being Study (MAWBS)
Young Adult Well-Being Study (YAWBS)
Publications Since 2002
(publications under review are not listed)
Human Growth from Birth to Maturity. G. Gilli, L. Schell and L. Benso (eds), London; Smith-Gordon, 2002.
Articles and Chapters
Impact of pollution on physiological systems: Taking Science from the Laboratory to the Field. L.M. Schell, in, Human Variation: From the laboratory to the Field, edited by N. Mascie-Taylor and Rie Goto, SSHB Symposium Series, Taylor & Francis, vol 48, in press.
Industrial Pollutants and Human Evolution. L.M. Schell, In Human Evolutionary Biology, edited by M. Muhlenbein, Cambridge University Press, in press.
Relationship of thyroid hormone levels to levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, lead p,p’-DDE, and other toxicants in Akwesasne Mohawk youth. Environmental Health Perspectives, L. M. Schell, M.V. Gallo, M. Denham, J. Ravenscroft, A. P. DeCaprio, and D. O. Carpenter. Environmental Health Perspectives 111 (6):806-813.
Is there an elephant in the room? Addressing rival approaches to the interpretation of growth perturbations and small size. L. M. Schell and P. D. Magnus. American Journal of Human Biology, 19 (5): 606-614.2007
Advancing biocultural models by working with communities: A partnership approach. L.M. Schell, J. Ravenscroft, M.V. Gallo, M. Denham. American Journal of Human Biology. 19 (4): 511-524.2007
Selected anthropometric measurements of Akwesasne Mohawk youth: skinfolds, circumferences and breadths. M. V. Gallo, L. M. Schell, Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. American Journal of Human Biology. 19 (4): 525-536. 2007
Editorial: Effects of noise contributes to physicians' challenges. L. Schell. Southern Medical Journal 100 (3): 241. 2006
Growth and development. L. M. Schell, M. V. Gallo, F. E. Johnston. In, Handbook of North American Indians, W. Sturtevant editor; V.3 Environment, Origins and Population, D. Ubelaker (ed), Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 727-739. 2006
PCBs and cognitive functioning of Mohawk adolescents. J. Newman, A. Aucompaugh, L. M. Schell, M. Denham, A. P. DeCaprio, M. Gallo, J. Ravenscroft, C.-C. Kao, M. Rougas Hanover, D. David, A. M. Jacobs, A. M. Tarbell, P. Worswick, Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 28(4):439-45.2006
Challenges of contemporary urbanism to human growth and health. Humanbiologia Budapestinensis 29:23-38. 2006
Physical growth and development of Native American and Inuit children and youth. L. M. Schell, M. V. Gallo, F. E. Johnston. In, Environment, Origins, and Population, vol. 3 of the Handbook of North American Indians. Douglas Ubelaker, vol. ed. William C. Sturtevant, gen. ed. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.
PCBs and cognitive functioning of Mohawk adolescents. J. Newman, A. Aucompaugh, L. M. Schell, M. Denham, A. P. DeCaprio, M. Gallo, J. Ravenscroft, C.-C. Kao, M. Rougas Hanover, D. David, A. M. Jacobs, A. M. Tarbell, P. Worswick, Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
Effects of pollution on human growth and development: an introduction. L. M. Schell, M. V. Gallo, M. Denham, J. Ravenscroft. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 25(1):103-112.
Modern Urbanism and Human Growth. L. M. Schell, M. Denham, M. Schneeberger, N. Codru. In, X International Congress of Auxology Plenary Lectures. I Nicoletti, L M Schell and G Gilli (eds). Florence, Italy: Nicomp LE.
Health Disparities and Toxicant Exposure of Akwesasne Mohawk Young Adults: A Partnership Approach to Research. L. M. Schell, J. Ravenscroft, M. Cole, A. Jacobs, J. Newman. Environmental Health Perspectives 113(12):1826-32.
Height, weight and body mass index among Akwesasne Mohawk youth. M.V. Gallo, L.M. Schell and Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. American Journal of Human Biology, 17(3):269-279.
Relationship of lead, mercury, mirex, DDE, HCB, and PCBs to age at menarche among Akwesasne Mohawk girls. M. Denham, L. M. Schell, Glenn Deane, M. V. Gallo, J. Ravenscroft, A. P. Decaprio, and Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. Pediatrics 115(2): e125-e134.
Thyroid function in relation to burden of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), p,p’-DDE, HCB, Mirex, and Lead among Akwesasne Mohawk youth: A preliminary study. L.M. Schell, M.V. Gallo, A. DeCaprio, L. Hubicki, M. Denham, J. Ravenscroft and Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 18: 91-99.
Relationship between blood lead and dietary intakes of infants from 3 to 12 months of age. L.M. Schell, M. Denham, A.D. Stark, J. Ravenscroft, P. Parsons and E. Schulte. Environmental Research. 96(3): 264-73.
Environmental Factors. L. Schell and K. Knutson. In, Physiological and Pathological Auxology. I. Nicoletti, G. Gilli and L. Benso (eds), Firenze, Italy: Edizioni Centro Studi Auxologici. Pp. 567-580.
Urban pollution, disease and the health of children. L.M. Schell and E. Hills. In, The Changing Face of Disease: Implications for Society. N. Mascie-Taylor , J. Peters and S.T. McGarvey (eds), Boca Raton , FL : CRC Press. Pp. 85-103.
Environmental pollution in urban environments and human biology. L.M. Schell and M.M. Denham. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32:111-134.
Maternal blood lead concentration, diet during pregnancy and anthropometry predict neonatal blood lead in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. L.M. Schell, M. Denham, A. D. Stark, M. Gomez, J. Ravenscroft, P. J. Parsons, A. Aydermir, R. Samelson. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111 (2):195-200.
Organochlorines, lead and mercury in Akwesasne Mohawk youth. L. M. Schell, L. A. Hubicki, A. P. DeCaprio, M. V. Gallo, J. Ravenscroft, A. Tarbell, A. Jacobs, D. David, P. Worswick, and Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111 (7): 954-961.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and thyroid function in adolescents of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. Schell, L.M., Hubicki, L., DiCaprio, A., Gallo, M.V. and the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. In, Human Growth from Birth to Maturity. G. Gilli, L. Benso and L. Schell (eds), London: Smith-Gordon. pp. 289-296.
Environmental contaminants and growth of Mohawk adolescents at Akwesasne. Gallo, M.V., Ravenscroft, J., Denham, M., Schell, L.M., DiCaprio, A., and the Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment. In, Human Growth from Birth to Maturity. G. Gilli, L. Benso and L. Schell (eds), London: Smith-Gordon. pp. 279-287.
Polluted environments as extreme environments: evidence for effects on growth. Schell, L.M. and E.A. Hills. In, Human Growth from Birth to Maturity. G. Gilli, L. Benso and L. Schell (eds), London: Smith-Gordon. pp. 249-261.
Longitudinal study of energy and nutrient intakes for infant from low income, urban families. K. Nolan, L. M. Schell, A. D. Stark, M. I. Gomez. Public Health Nutrition, 5: 405-13.
Schell, LM, Knutsen, KL. Environmental Effects on Growth. N Cameron (ed). Human Growth and Development. New York: Academic Press:165-196.
Schell, L.M. Cities and Human Health. In, Urban Life, 4th ed., G. Gmelch and W. Zenner (eds.) Prospect Hts., IL: Waveland Press, pp. 104-127.