On Reindeer Herders and Powerlifting—Cara Ocobock, Notre Dame

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By University of Notre Dame. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The idea behind this show is pretty simple: We invite scholars, makers, and professionals out to brunch for an informal conversation about their work, and then we turn those brunches into a podcast.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Cara Ocobock is an assistant professor of anthropology at Notre Dame. A biological anthropologist, she is the director of the Human Energetics Laboratory and explores the physiological and behavioral mechanisms necessary to cope with and adapt to extreme climate and physical activity. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Foundation, and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.
Last fall was Cara’s first semester at Notre Dame, and we didn’t wait long before asking her to do one of our Research Uncorked live shows at Ironhand Wine Bar in South Bend. She and host Ted Fox got together again in March to record this episode, starting with the work that’s taken her to the Arctic Circle to study the characteristics of a population whose experience in the extreme cold could hold valuable lessons for all of us.
It also may involve Santa Claus’s hometown.
From there, Cara and Ted talked about potential insights into the adaptations of a past cold-climate population, the Neanderthals, before changing gears to discuss her research at the intersection of anthropology and sports, which has grown out of a challenging personal journey as a powerlifter.
Yes, she really is as cool as she sounds.

63 episodes