The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

Lawrence Schell

Lawrence M. Schell

Primary Field
Biological Anthropology
Distinguished Professor of Biological Anthropology, SUNY, University at Albany, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Biological anthropology, medical anthropology, human growth and development, cities and health.

Dr. Lawrence M. Schell's 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. He has been researching this topic by looking at the health of people exposed to different features of the urban environment. Dr. Schell began with a study of how urban stress affected human development, both prenatal and post-natal. He has since branched out to consider other pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead. Dr. Schell has four 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. Another set of three projects addresses the growing concern about the effect of certain pollutants on sexual and physical development and are conducted in partnership with the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in upstate New York. The first is a study of how PCBs may affect physical and sexual development during adolescence. The second of these is a follow-up with older adolescents and young adults. The third study, also conducted in partnership with the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, examines the relationship of pollutants to the reproductive health of Akwesasne women who are concerned that pollution exposure may have damaged their ability to have children. Dr. Schell also currently consults on projects concerning growth and maturation in Norway and Croatia.

Two recent publications by Dr. Schell include:

Hoke M., Schell LM. Doing Biocultural Anthropology: Continuity and Change.  American Journal of Human Biology. early view,  DOI:10.1002/23471

Schell LM. 2020. Modern water: a biocultural approach to water pollution at the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. American Journal of Human Biology 32(1):e23348. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.23348

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Geographic Areas of Expertise United States
Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere
Curriculum Vitae
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