Department of Anthropology
Edward H. Hagen
Position: Associate Professor
Office: VMMC 102E
Curriculum vitae: PDF
I received my BA in mathematics from UC Berkeley, spent some time working in the organic polymer lab of Bruce Novak, then at UC Berkeley, before finally deciding to pursue anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, where I got my Ph.D. in 1999. Shortly thereafter I took a postdoc position in Peter Hammerstein's group at the Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin. I moved to WSU in 2007.
Director of the Bioanthropology lab
Focus on evolutionary medicine
During the last century, medicine has made great strides conquering infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies, reducing their negative impact on global health. In contrast, there has been almost no progress reducing the burden of non-infectious diseases. My research takes an evolutionary approach to non-infectious diseases, with a focus on mental health.
Depression is the third largest contributor to global disease burden, outranking heart disease and HIV/AIDS, and is the number one contributor to disease burden in developed countries. Tobacco use accounts for about 20% of mortality in the US and other developed countries and 12% of global mortality. These behavioral and neuropsychological phenomena are still very poorly understood and medical treatments of each are, at best, only modestly effective.
I investigate tobacco use in the larger context of human use of plant secondary compounds. I investigate depression, suicide, and deliberate self-harm as potential signaling strategies. Child growth and development is a research theme that grew out of my work on postpartum depression. Finally, I have published a number of theoretical papers on evolutionary approaches to ontogeny, cognition, and behavior.
CoursesAnth 260 Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Anth 395 Topics in Anthropology
Anth 468 Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature
Anth 490 Integrative Themes in Anthropology
Anth 561 Current Trends in Physical Anthropology
Anth 562 Evolutionary Method and Theory
Articles and Chapters
Click markers for more info. Archaeological: Ethnographic: