Genetic Anthropology is the study of humankind and all aspects of human life from an evolutionary and biological perspective.
The mission of the Institute of Genetic Anthropology (IGA) is to:
• Conduct research in the field of Genetic Anthropology
• Share the results of the said research with the academic world and the public at large.
As the world is increasingly confronted
with sociological, ecological, and medical dead ends, new solutions are
urgently needed to avoid further degradation of physiological and psychological well being and the environment.
Our research is mainly aimed at defining how specific traits inherited from our evolutionary past can help us tackle problems such as disease, pollution, deforestation, climat change, malnutrition, mental illness, criminality, warfare, poverty and many others.
Most of the institute’s current work is focused on the GeneFit (or Gene-Fit) hypothesis, which was first formulated by the its founders in 2005. The GeneFit hypothesis goes as follows:
Many of the problems faced by today’s societies may originate from the fact that modern Man universally adopted a lifestyle to which he may, genetically speaking, not be fully adapted.
Or in other words, a dietary environment, living environment, social environment and cultural environment that truly fits the human genetic heritage may give individuals greater chances of well being, fulfillment and happiness.
Broadly speaking, if a given culture promotes a way of life that enters in conflict with the genetic make up of its members, we can expect this same culture to generate individuals who will live a life that goes against their own nature and therefore will show high levels of dissatisfaction, depression, pain and suffering. In return, it can be argued that putting nature and nurture back in alignment will to certain extent improve human condition.
The GeneFit hypothesis is the catalyst for a much-awaited reunion between biological, social and environmental sciences. It offers an entirely new perpective in a sense that it refers to the human genome as a baseline from which all parameters can be measured up. By addressing the principle of harmonization between culture, ecosystem and genotype, this hypothesis is fundamental in a sense that it can be extended to all aspects of human life. Because of its fundamental nature, it touches fields as diverse as human nutrition, immunology, molecular and general biology, alternative medicine, botany, agroforestry, anthropology, genetics, cognitive neuroscience, sociobiology, epigenetics, environmental sciences, sustainable architecture, evolutionary psychology, science of consciousness and many others.
Centuries of research have shaped our knowledge of the functioning of the human body, the origin and nature of human behavior and our relationship to the environment. The scientific and cultural views that came out of that understanding were build upon the premise that food processing, agriculture, unsustainable technologies, warfare and large state societies are the unavoidable by-products of the evolutionary development of our species and are therefore necessary for our survival and well being. We believe that more than ever these views may have to be revised in the light of the new perspective brought by the GeneFit hypothesis. The Institute of Genetic Anthropology is expected to provide the grounds and scientific data for such revision to occur.
For millennia and especially since the advent of civilization, the world has been torn apart by cultural differences when in fact we all share an almost identical DNA. Recorded history is full of tales of crusades, wars, genocides and other atrocities sometimes even perpetrated in the name of a "good cause." In an effort to promote peace and the reconciliation of all humanity, our primary focus is the definition of a universal cultural traits based on our common genetic heritage rather than further emphasizing our differences. In this regard, the GeneFit hypothesis carries a powerful and timeless
message of hope as it may provide new concrete solutions for the most crucial
problems faced by modern civilizations including the detrimental impact human
communities have on our planet's ecosystems.
In pursuit of our goals, we resolve to provide visitors, students, and the worldwide scientific community with the most accurate data and the most advanced educational programs with insights of fields related to Genetic Anthropology.
We can achieve this by creating a unique biological reserve on an undeveloped and unspoiled tropical island, which will host an advanced research station and an experiential learning campus.
III. Current Goals and Objectives
of Genetic Anthropology has a wide range of goals and objectives:
• Secure an island sanctuary for the purpose of scientific research and public education as described herein.
• Establish a unique island environment with a special focus on growing a large variety of carefully selected wild edible plants and tropical fruit-bearing trees known for their nutritional values and non-invasive nature, all of which will be done in accordance with the principles of permaculture (*) and agroforestry (**) and without the use of agrochemicals.
• Conduct interdisciplinary scientific research, the focus of which is to define the lifestyle that fits the human genotype best and as a second step, evaluate to which extend such lifestyle sets the ground for optimal well being and a harmonious integration of human beings into the natural ecosystem.
• Offer survival expeditions on the island(s) that will combine the most advanced adventure ecotourism and the most cutting-edge educational programs with theoretical and practical insights from the field of genetic anthropology. By offering these services, the institute will carry out a major aspect of its mission in direct connection with public education and at the same time achieve financial independence as guarantee for unbiased research.
• Bring the result of our research to a worldwide audience with the newest Internet technologies such as streaming video, streaming audio, video-conferencing, distant learning courses and online publications.
• Produce a series of books and film documentaries in order to share the results of our research with the academic world and the general public at large.
Definition of Permaculture: Form of landscaping that strives to create
a naturally balanced ecosystem that feeds human needs while being self-sustaining.
Food producing plants and trees are naturally mixed with non-producing ones
to keep the ecological balance of the ecosystem and consequently increase
parasite control. Native plant species are used whenever possible and when
not, species are chosen for their non-invasive nature and compatibility with
the local ecosystem.
(**) Definition of Agroforestry: Land management for the simultaneous production of food, crops, and trees. The latest research in the field of agroforestry deals with the concepts of food-forest and food-trails.
The term food-forest refers to the concept of using the forest as food reservoir by applying an innovative growing technique, which consists of the integration of fruit trees and vegetables into the forest without cutting the existing mature trees.
The term food-trails refers to a recently-developed hypothesis stating that ancient hunter-gatherer tribes used to modify the forest environment way prior to agriculture by eating fruit while walking on hunting trails and dumping the seeds along these trails, which over time create food corridors within the forest. This occurrence unconsciously generated at first, most certainly became a more and more conscious practice over time.
Our intention is to have the whole operation completely blend into the island’s ecosystem. Thanks to our unique survivor concept, scientific ecotourism as it is planned, will become a worldwide model of sustainable and eco-friendly living in all aspects. As far as the island and the surrounding maritime areas are concerned, we will adopt a very strict leave-no-trace policy.
The Institute for Genetic Anthropology is a private initiative.
In order to preserve the scientific integrity, educational nature and conservancy aspect of the project, the Institute for Genetic Anthropology is run under a 501c3 non-profit status (NGO).
Roman Devivo and Antje Spors founded the Institute of Genetic Anthropology in late 2007. They both spent most of their lives studying and promoting the concepts of paleonutrition.
• In March 2000, Roman Devivo and Antje Spors co-founded GeneFit Nutrition, LLC. The company supports the development and promotion of GeneFit Nutrition — An innovative dietary method excludes all types of food preparation and promotes the use of the chemical senses for food selection and intake quantity regulation. Genefit Nutrition is the result of an on-going attempt to define the diet that fits the human genotype.
• Since October 2004, GeneFit Nutrition, LLC. has also been importing chemical-free tropical fruits into the United States in order to provide the public with foods of the highest nutritional value.
• Roman and Antje are the co-authors of a book titled, GeneFit Nutrition, Nutrition Designed By Life, summarizing over three combined decades of research with the GeneFit Nutrition concept. The book published in 2002 by the renowned publisher Celestial Arts located in Berkeley, California is distributed nationwide in the US and internationally via websites such as amazon.com.
GeneFit Nutrition, LLC. now has an active database of more than 2,500 clients including some of the most prestigious international celebrities, such as Barbra Streisand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson and many others.
• In February 2003, Roman and Antje conducted a clinical study under the supervision of Dr. James Julian, of Los Angeles, California, to prove their findings.
• In September 2003, they finished their first online course. The course explains key aspects for the application of GeneFit Nutrition.
• By early 2005, in line with the fields of sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and the latest findings of genomic research, Roman Devivo and Antje Spors put forth the GeneFit hypothesis as a direct extension of their work with GeneFit Nutrition.
The institute’s founders spend the past two years visiting uninhabited islands in Central America, Asia and the South Pacific. They selected several possible island locations, which all offer the necessary features for the success of the project.
Scientific Research Areas
The following is a current list of research priorities at the Institute of Genetic Anthropology:
1. Create a unique island environment.
The institute’s primary objectives include the study of the environmental benefits of various pre-agricultural dietary methods based on biodiversity as opposed to mono-cultured staple foods, the growing of which is having an increasingly negative impact on the world's eco-systems. A large number of tropical fruits and edible plants growing in rain forests around the world show extraordinary nutritional values, unfortunately most of them are currently not used for modern dietary purposes, yet diversity is a fundamental key for a healthy diet. Much research is needed in this field, especially as the GeneFit hypothesis opens new avenues in the field of human nutrition.
One aspect of the institute's work is to very carefully enrich the biodiversity of the island with an absolute respect of the existing ecosystem. A special focus will be given on growing a variety of selected wild edible plants and tropical fruit-bearing trees known for their nutritional values and non-invasive nature. No deforestation or large clearings will be required. All food-producing plants will be intercropped with the original forest trees. One area of research will be to study the compatibility between food-producing plants and the existing biodiversity.
2. Define the diet that fits the human genome.
Rare are the clinical nutritionists and dietitians who take an evolutionary and genomic approach when it comes to diet and human nutrition. Yet, defining a diet for which the human body has genetically been designed is the most fundamental approach in a world where dietary theories are too often contradictory and misleading. The obviousness of the question of genetic adaptation in regard to human nutrition makes the lack of research in this specific field rather surprising.
Scientific literature on the few studies conducted within the past 30 years together with our own observations suggest that the diets applied by our distant ancestors during the Pre-e-Paleolithic/Paleolithic era are most likely the ones that fit the human genotype best. However, as many questions remain unanswered, more extensive research is needed in order to clearly define a universal diet inherent to our own species.
The human genes hold the key to the optimal human diet and as the island provides ideal conditions to support advanced research in the field, we propose a series of comparative studies involving Pre-Paleolithic, upper Paleolithic, lower Paleolithic and Modern dietary methods, which by considering the detrimental impact of different levels of food preparation on the human body would allow us to pinpoint the exact evolutionary time frame and the exact dietary bandwidth of the ideal human diet.
3. Study the environmental benefits of such diet.
Most land conservation efforts around the world exclude the human factor. One main reason for this exclusion is diet. The modern human diet became so inter-dependent with the production of staple foods that current human societies have no other choice than destroy the existing ecosystems in order to survive. The fact that animals in the wild naturally apply the diet for which they are genetically programmed is the major reason why animal societies are only very rarely destructive to their environment and instead, rather positively participate in the ecosystem's balance. This particular point is of major importance as it opens new avenues of research and inquiry.
As an alternative to agriculture, which is now known to highly promote deforestation, our goal is to study how the principles of permaculture and agroforestry in combination with the application of a diet that truly fits the human genotype, would allow for human beings to be fully integrated within the existing ecosystem and therefore not represent a threat for its overall balance.
As the island provides optimal conditions for the application of pre-agricultural dietary models, the institute’s work will pave the way for an unprecedented integration of human beings into the existing ecosystem for the purpose of scientific research and education. One major area of research will be to determine the maximum theoretical population density within that particular setting.
4. Conduct clinical studies to evaluate the physiological benefits of such diet.
Food processing, and cooking in particular, produces molecules that are only rarely found in the natural world. Molecular cross-links such as protein-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-lipid compounds are unavoidably generated every time food is exposed to heat. Out of the numerous different types of denatured molecules so created, only few have been identified. Broad chemical categories such as AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products or Maillard Reaction End-products), HCAs (Heterocyclic Amines) or Acrylamides have been widely studied and are today recognized as being toxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic and neurotoxic to the human body.
Recent studies link AGEs, HCAs and acrymalides of dietary origin to cardiovascular conditions, various cancers, aging, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the total absence of food processing, a pre-Paleolithic diet is by nature entirely free of artificial, man-made molecules. Observations gathered from people on a pre-Paleolithic diet over longer periods of time, have shown a significant reduction of inflammatory levels (a major cause of cardiovascular diseases), the absence of inflammatory pain, and a significantly higher immunological resistance.
We propose a long-term study on the effect of a diet free of denatured molecules with study groups monitored on and off the island for several consecutive decades. Levels of AGEs, HCAs and acrylamides could be measured on a regular basis. C-reactive Protein tests can be done to measure inflammatory levels in the body.
Furthermore, a pre-Paleolithic diet is by nature a low-calorie diet. Previous studies have shown that calorie-restrictive diets in general may extend life span, reduce the risk of degenerative diseases and generally slow down aging. Even though the daily calorie intake of a pre-Paleolithic diet can greatly vary from day to day (500kcal to 5,000kcal), first estimates gave us a daily average of 1,500 kcal over the course of a year.
We propose a long-term study on the effects of the low caloric nature of various models of pre-Paleolithic diets with study groups monitored on and off the island over the course of several consecutive decades. Calorie and nutrient intake would be measured on a daily basis.
5. Study the psychological benefits of such diet.
Just as liquor and caffeine alter behavior, perception, and brain activity, some molecules present in processed and denatured foods seem to have similar neurological effects. Several past studies already confirmed that processed foods are to a large part responsible for an artificial chemical stimulation of the brain and the nervous system in more general terms. For example, a preliminary study using a device measuring micro-tremors of the nervous system showed a four-fold increase in nervous activity when going from a pre-Paleolithic diet to a modern traditional diet.
We are particularly interested in the detrimental impact processed foods may have on the brain’s functions, the nervous system and therefore the capacity to focus (ADD and ADHD symptoms), cognitive abilities (learning capacity) and human behavior in general (repercussions in conflict behavior and innate reconciliation patterns). We believe that because of the absence of a natural benchmark, due to the universality of food processing, such impacts are presently widely underestimated.
We propose a series of studies focusing on the link between diet, brain functioning, and behavior with study groups monitored on the island during clearly defined periods of time in clearly defined dietary environments.
6. Study emotional balance and mental states in connection with natural environments.
Biophilia is a term that was popularized by the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson in 1984. Edward Wilson put forward the hypothesis that humans evolved as creatures deeply enmeshed with the intricacies of nature, and that we still have this affinity with nature ingrained in our genotype. To him it seemed incontrovertible that we human beings have an innate sensitivity to and need for other living things, because we have coexisted in the closest relationship with the natural world for so many millennia. He defined biophilia as “the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life”, and argued that they are determined by a biological need.
Our planet's ecological health is directly related to the mental health of its inhabitants, which in return gives us every reason to believe that our destructive environmental behaviors stem from our sense of disconnection to the natural world.
The trauma of being displaced from the natural world is finally beginning to emerge as an issue in the field of psychology. More than ever it is essential to establish the importance of this issue in clinical work. Several forms of psychopathology, including autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, amnesia and addiction each capture a distinct component of the modern alienation from nature. Exploring new research avenues in this field necessitates that we recognize the "numbing processes" of industrial society and as a second step, question the notion of sanity in our consumer-oriented culture.
7. Study human behavior from the perspective of the human genotype.
Cultural evolution is the structural change of a society and its values over time. In this sense, it is the cultural equivalent of biological evolution, though the causal mechanisms can be different. Cultural anthropologists and sociologists assume that human beings have natural social tendencies and naturally form shifting groups. On the other hand, as put forth in E.O. Wilson's book Sociobiology, an increasing number of researchers come to argue that particular human social behaviors and culture, have genetic causes and dynamics and therefore are universally found in all members of our species.
Sociobiologists believe that animal or human behavior cannot be satisfactorily explained entirely by "cultural" or "environmental" factors alone. They are interested in explaining the similarities, rather than the differences, between cultures. It is also often put forth that in order to fully understand behavior, it must be analyzed with some focus on its evolutionary origins. Many biologists accept that these sorts of behaviors are present in animal species. However, there is a great deal of controversy over the application of evolutionary models to human beings.
Human nature is the range of human behavior, which is believed to be invariant over long periods of time and across very different cultural contexts. Societies form in both social (i.e. interacting with other societies) and biotic environments (i.e. interacting with natural resources and constraints), and adapt themselves to these environments. However, if the environments in which they develop are not natural, meaning it doesn't fit the species' genotype, we can expect the structure of these societies to equally enter in conflict with the genotype of its members and thus detrimentally impact the individuals’ well being in various aspects of life.
To advance research in this particular field, we propose a holistic study of human behavior in the light of the GeneFit hypothesis.
Once we have setup the right environment —namely a biological reserve in the form of an undeveloped tropical island— the possible areas of research are limitless. The different avenues mentioned above are only a few examples. Over time, much more can be done. The board of directors together with the board of advisors of the Institute of Genetic Anthropology will make sure that scientific research is conducted in areas that are the most relevant to the well being and survival of present and future generations.
The Institute of Genetic Anthropology will be offering different kinds of educational programs in the form of Survivor expeditions on the island. With these expeditions, our goal is to extend the traditional tourist experience beyond its purely recreational aspect into the teachings of a healthy, eco-friendly and sustainable way of life.
Our guests will have the opportunity to explore some of the most gorgeous places in the world and at the same time discover the magic and challenges of a so-called hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
Away from the artificiality of the modern world, our intention is to offer a true Robinson Crusoe experience and take it to the next level by combining it with a high quality experiential education.
Television shows such as “Survivor”, “Koh-Lanta”, “Expedition Robinson” and “Lost” have captured the public’s attention throughout the US and worldwide. The fascination for these shows demonstrates a deep resonance with the type of eco-adventure concept we intend to offer, probably even more so as we add an educational aspect with theoretical and practical insights from the field of genetic anthropology. With our eco-adventure expeditions, guests can now have their own personal survivor experience readily available on-demand.
Individuals, couples or groups up to 10 people will spend from one day to several weeks totally emerged into the island’s ecosystem. Participants will either go on their own or be accompanied by an experienced guide, whichever feels more comfortable. They will face the challenges of recognizing and gathering tropical fruits and edible plants, acknowledging and trusting their instincts, applying a primitive subsistence diet, building survival tools, sailing traditional Polynesian canoes as well as many other aspects of living in the wild. Guests will experience the pride of gathering foods directly from the natural environment they temporarily live in. They will get a glimpse of how fulfilling and rewarding life can be despite the absence of all the amenities of modern life.
For the participants, being entirely emerged in the beauty of the island's ecosystem and the simplicity of a truly natural lifestyle even for a limited period of time will, besides offering tremendous health benefits, open the door for a life-transforming, spiritual experience. Our Survivor expeditions on the island are meant as a celebration of sustainable and health-conscience living. Overall, they will offer a unique experience that will raise the participants’ ecological awareness and thus hopefully contribute to reduce environmental destruction locally and around the world.
1. Survivor, Island Expeditions
With this type of educational services, guests will be fully emerged into the survivor experience. To ensure a comfortable journey, guests will have to learn to operate as a harmonious group or tribe. Participants will discover a new way of living based on a natural value system given by their relationship to nature and others around them. Our island expeditions are primarily recreational in nature, however experienced guides will provide counseling in fields such as food gathering techniques, nutrition in the wild, the overcoming of fears and phobias, primitive survival skills, the basics of group dynamics and many much more.
Thanks to the unique biosphere conditions provided by the island, we can offer a truly sustainable environment as ground for experimentation and as model for a natural lifestyle.
2. Survivor, Experiential Learning Courses
An increasing number of young people feel compelled to make the world a better place for themselves and for future generations. Their motivation seems to come from a natural drive aimed at challenging the establishment. The Institute of Genetic Anthropology will give students from all over the world a legitimate channel of expression by offering accredited experiential learning courses on the island. Unlike traditional educational institutions, education at the Institute of Genetic Anthropology combines intellectual learning and real-life experience.
Coming from both, the practical as well as the theoretical angle, these experiential courses primarily address students between the age of 18 to 28 who are in search of personality-forming adventure and at the same time wish to deepen their knowledge in scientific fields related to genetic anthropology. In addition to the teachings of survival skills, the courses will include insights from fields such as human nutrition, biology, alternative medicine, botany, tropical biodiversity, agroforestry, anthropology, genetics, cognitive neuroscience, environmental sciences, sustainable architecture, evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, science of consciousness and many others.
Our courses will favor the students' personal development and give them a deep knowledge that can later be translated into their everyday life and career.
The Institute of Genetic Anthropology will seek US and international accreditation by partnering with major universities worldwide, so students will acquire credits while temporarily studying on the island.
3. Educational Ecotourism for Special Guests
In order to offer maximum privacy and relaxation, special guests will have the option to hire the entire island for themselves (2 to 4 people). At any given time, special guests will have the choice between having food served or enter into the full survivor experience. We will offer private one-on-one coaching to make the stay the best it possibly can.
We will put special emphasis in promoting our service among leading figures in the academic world, celebrities and other influential persons. These are key people who have the power to, either promote the results of our research in academic circles or simply inspire others around the world to change their lifestyle. The presence alone of such special guests on the island will raise interest in our research and educational programs on a worldwide basis. At occasions, some of them will be the institute’s guest speakers. Their speeches and lectures will be recorded and made accessible for a worldwide audience via Internet technologies such as streaming video and audio.
1. The Institute of Genetic Anthropology will produce the following educational tools:
a. A Series of Books
We are planning on opening a publishing department as part of the institute in the name of IGA Press. As soon as the department is up and running, the institute will publish and manage the distribution either electronically or on paper of all books written by its research team members and founders.
b. A Series of Documentaries
The film documentaries will provide public education in all the fields covered by the Institute of Genetic Anthropology. In line with successes like "Supersize me" or "The Corporation" for instance, we will try to capture the interest of the main studios and television networks such as PBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic or Columbia in order to use their powerful distribution channels.
2. The Institute of Genetic Anthropology will offer the following membership benefits:
a. A Series of Streaming Internet Educational Videos
We will produce videos providing education in the fields covered by the Institute of Genetic Anthropology. These short and concise videos are meant to be informative and even though they might contain advanced scientific information, they will be made comprehensible for people without a scientific background. Once placed on our website, they will be accessible to a worldwide audience with no distribution and no replication costs.
b. A Series of Streaming Internet Audio Lectures
We will produces 30-60 minutes audio lectures providing education in all the different fields covered by the Institute of Genetic Anthropology. These short audio clips are meant to be informative and even though they might contain advanced scientific information they will be made comprehensible for people without scientific background. Once placed on our website they will be accessible to a worldwide audience with no distribution or replication costs.
c. A Journal
The journal will keep members updated about the progress done in terms of scientific research, development of the island and the latest educational services.
The founders of the Institute of Genetic Anthropology have developed important alliances with the following more established organizations:
1. The Lancetilla Botanical Garden and Experimental Research Station, Honduras
Lancetilla is the second largest Botanical Garden in the world. It comprises of a total of 1681 hectares and has a diverse collection of national and exotic flora, collected over the last 80 years from tropical areas around the world. It contains the world's largest collection of Asian fruit plants in Mesoamerica, comprising 636 species from 392 genera and 107 families. These rare and exotic plants serve as a germoplasma bank from which many valuable fruit cultivars have been developed.
The Experimental Plantation divided into plots has more than 60 different species of timber trees and exotic fruits that have been growing for over forty years. This is the oldest Honduran plantation, which also contains its own research laboratory for teaching forestry. Technical investigators and students regularly visit the garden for research and consultation. For these visitors there is a comprehensive research facility including a tree nursery with a capacity of one million specimens, an irrigation system, a training centre equipped with classrooms, laboratories, a library, a conference hall and living quarters with basic services for 32 guests.
2. Genetic Bank of Plants, UNAH-CURLA University, Honduras
The Genetic Bank of Plants is a botanical garden packed with a large variety of fruit species and seasoning plants. It has been developed and continues to be supported by international and national organizations dedicated to the conservation, management and distribution of phytogenetic resources adapted to the conditions of the land and the tropical rainforest.
The Bank is in an area of 31 hectares were there is around 12000 trees, including: 46 varieties of avocados, 54 varieties of citrus, 61 varieties of Mangoes, 180 species and varieties of non-traditional fruits, 9 species and varieties of seasoning plants.
XI. The People
The institute’s founders have put together a first team of researchers and instructors. The number of team members is expected to increase with the institute’s growth.
1. The Team
• Roman Devivo, co-founder of the institute
Born in France in 1967. He began his personal research in the field of nutrition as a teenager. At that time, he developed a particular interest in survival expeditions in connection with the exclusive consumption of wild foods. Later, he spent up to several months in different tropical islands across the planet living exclusively from the foods provided by the island and consuming them strictly in their raw, unprocessed state. He studied the basics of Anthropology, Biology, Genetics, and Nutrition. He also took part in the development of an innovative dietary concept called GeneFit Nutrition. He personally applied the method for 23 consecutive years and has been a private instructor of the GeneFit Nutrition concept for 15 years. Besides his expertise in the field of paleonutrition, he has extensive experience in the field of Internet technologies including Internet communications.
• Antje Spors, co-founder of the institute
Born in Germany in 1972, she first studied Nutrition in Europe and later, Eastern and Western healing arts in the United States. Amongst her many teachers, she studied under Wataru Ohahsi at the Ohashi Institute in New York and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen at the School of Body-Mind-Centering in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is a certified practitioner of Shiatsu/Acupressure, a certified Doula/Child Birth Assistant and an expert in early childhood development. She has practiced and professionally taught GeneFit Nutrition for 17 years. She has managed several health centers and educational facilities during this time.
• Michael Romer, Medical Doctor
Born in Austria in 1972, he obtained his medical license in 2005. His current research work is about sensory-specific satiety or instinctual sensory-regulation in food intake and food selection. Michael is particularly interested in clinical studies destined to measure the physiological and psychological benefits of a diet that fits the human genome.
• Jolene Muneno, M.S. of Anthropology and B.S. in Biology
Born in California in 1976, Jolene received an M.S. and B.A. in Anthropological Sciences and B.S. in Biology from Stanford University. She is interested in the relationship between human nutrition and evolution. She did extensive work on food processing and physical degeneration. Jolene is fascinated by the research potentials on the island and the unique environmental conditions it offers.
• Charles Altura, B.A. in Anthropology
Born in 1975, he received a B.A. in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University and is currently pursuing an M.M. degree in music performance at the University of Southern California. He is interested in understanding human nutritional and behavioral ecology from an interdisciplinary (including biological and sociocultural) perspective that is rooted in evolutionary theory.
• Timothy Gorter, Master's of Sustainable Architecture
Born in London, England, he was raised in the rural parts of northern California. He has studied and practiced environmental design since 1995, including with Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture, and Steve Gliessman, professor of Agroecology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition to an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, he has a Master’s of Architecture from the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research and professional interests span the full spectrum of sustainable human settlement design, from housing to energy, infrastructure, and food production. Timothy joined our project as a sustainable development consultant.
2. Consultants in Biodiversity and Botany
• Lancetilla Botanical Garden and Experimental Research Station, Tela Honduras
• The Genetic Bank of Plants, UNAH-CURLA University, La Ceiba Honduras
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