Team Members

Robert L. Tennyson

Team Lead

University of Utah, Pennsylvania State University

Rob received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Washington (UW), and he is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Utah and Biobehavioral Health at the Pennsylvania State University. At UW, he was a pre-doctoral trainee for the Biological Mechanisms of Healthy Aging (NIH/NIA T32 AG066574) and the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (NICHD T32 HD007543). His dissertation investigated how physical activity moderates the impacts of psychosocial stress on biological aging and immune function in US collegiate student-athletes and non-athlete college students. More generally, he aims to understand biological aging as a biocultural phenomenon entangled with our social, behavioral, and physical environments. Importantly, he is interested in leveraging modern human diversity in aging to understand aging processes throughout human evolution and applying these patterns to understand population health more broadly.

Please check out his personal website, Google Scholar Profile, and Open Science Frameworks page for more specific updates on his work.

Cristina Gildee

Graduate Student Member

M.A., University of Washington

Cristina is a Ph.D. Student of Biological Anthropology at the University of Washington (UW). Her research centers on the intersections between hominin biomechanics, bone biology, human reproduction, and their combined impact on aging. She is particularly interested in expanding the knowledge base we use to understand osteological aging - much of our work is based on samples with limited demographics and phenotypes, limiting its applicability to humans at large. Her work is supported by a Biological Mechanisms of Healthy Aging Training Grant (NIH/NIA T32 AG066574) and the UW Medicine Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Jerome H. Debs II Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Traumatology. She has previously presented on topics with applications for rehabilitation medicine, biomarker validation, biomechanics, and energetics.

Katie Rainsberger

Graduate Student Member

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs 

Lead for Testing for Evidence of High Altitude Adaptations Among Endurance Athletes

Katie is currently a graduate student in Applied Physiology (MSc) at University of Colorado (UCCS). She completed her undergraduate degree at UW after working with Rob and being advised by Dr. Melanie Martin to complete her honors thesis, Testing for Evidence of High Altitude Adaptations Among Endurance Athletes. Her study aims to determine if the altitude at which athletes developed and are currently training will be associated with faster gender-adjusted personal records and greater lung capacity, by comparing personal records and biomarkers of oxygen transport organs among endurance athletes who experienced early development at altitude or sea level and are currently training at altitude or sea level. Katie is also currently a professional track and field athlete, training with hopes of making an Olympic Team. 

Anamika Nanda

Graduate Student Member

University of Southern California

Lead for Examining the Influence of Psychosocial Stress on Telomere Length in NCAA Collegiate Swimmers

Anamika is a Ph.D. student in the Raichlen Lab at the University of Southern California (USC) in the integrative and evolutionary biology program. Her current research interests include looking at how humans have sustained their high physical activity levels (i.e., elite and professional sport) and the adaptations we have encompassed to assist.  As an undergraduate student at the University of Washington (UW), Anamika completed her bachelor’s in medical anthropology and global health with honors which was supported by the Mary Gates Endowment. As Anamika continues to research physical activity and its neurological and physiological implications, she has shared her findings with the athletic world, including the larger competitive swimming community and the NCAA 

Scott Gustafson

Undergraduate Student Member

University of Washington