B. Katherine Smith

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D. Purdue University, 2012

Research Interests
I am a biological anthropologist who studies captive primate nutrition, health and wellbeing, the evolution of diet related chronic diseases (particularly obesity), and stress and health disparities among underrepresented populations in the United States. I received my PhD from Purdue in 2012 (“Diet, Nutrition, and Health Among Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)”), where I examined the behavior, nutrition, health and wellbeing of zoo-housed gorillas across North America.  My research utilizes behavioral analysis of captive primates, ethnographic and survey methods and multiple laboratory analyses, including biological assessments of stress (cortisol, DHEA), inflammation (C-reactive protein, IL-6), and nutrition (fiber and protein digestibility, bile acid synthesis). 

Diet, Nutrition, and Health in Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Smith, B.K., M.J. Remis, and E.S. Dierenfeld. (2014) Nutrition of the captive western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A dietary survey. Zoo Biology. 33(5):419-425

Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, N.E., Dudley, C.J., Gomez, J.J., Nevill, C.H., Smith, B.K., Lenkins, S.L., McDonald, T.J., Bartlett, T.Q., Nathanielsz, P.W., and Nijland, M.  Metabolic adjustments to moderate maternal nutrient restriction. (2007)  British Journal of Nutrition. 98(2):276-284

Courses Taught
ANT 101. The Human Experience
ANT 442/542. Medical Anthropology