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The CARE study is designed and managed by Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Zaneta Thayer and Dr. Theresa Gildner. The Co-PIs meet weekly with CARE research assistants, all current or previous Dartmouth undergraduates, who have contributed substantively to data analysis and dissemination.

Dr. Zaneta Thayer is an assistant professor of biological anthropology at Dartmouth College. She has spent the last 12 years investigating how maternal stress and wellbeing in pregnancy impacts maternal and child health. The majority of her work has been conducted in New Zealand, where the maternal care landscape differs substantially relative to the United States. This prior work has set her up well for the CARE study, since it has highlighted how patterns of maternity care, which are being greatly affected by the COVID pandemic, can affect maternal wellbeing and labor and delivery outcomes. Dr. Thayer is the 2020 recipient of the Michael A. Little Early Career Award for the Human Biology Association.


Dr. Theresa Gildner is the McKennan Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on the effects of human behavior and the environment on human health, particularly infectious disease. She is also interested in the various ways people respond to disease risk, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work utilizes a biocultural approach to examine how interactions between social factors and individual biology shape health outcomes, with implications for the design of more effective medical care. She will begin a position as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis in January 2021.



CARE study research assistants

Maggie Sherin is a Dartmouth grad (Class of 2018) who majored in Biology and minored in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. During undergraduate, she spent her off-term interning at a rural medical clinic in Mt. Elgon, Kenya, studied abroad in Hyderabad, India, and played on the Varsity Field Hockey team. After graduating, Maggie moved to New York City and worked as a pediatric research assistant at Northwell Health, focusing primarily on community breastfeeding education and promotion, and pediatric obesity prevention. In addition to her research with the CARE team, she has studied and written about long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) for adolescents and antepartum Tdap vaccination. She has also worked as a community birth doula for underserved women living in Manhattan and the Bronx, and as a coach for Girls on the Run.


Amanda Lu is a rising senior at Dartmouth (Class of 2021) majoring in Economics and minoring in Anthropology. She has traditionally pursued linguistic and cultural anthropology but became interested in biological anthropology due to its integration of social, cultural, and biological understandings of health and medicine. As a member of the CARE study, she is excited to use both quantitative and qualitative methods to help analyse the complex issues of healthcare and pregnancy during COVID-19.




Becky Milner is a rising senior at Dartmouth (Class of 2021) studying Anthropology, Global Health and French. She loves learning about how health and wellness are perceived and experienced by different communities and is especially interested in maternal healthcare and wellbeing. As a member of the CARE team, she is excited to investigate how the pandemic is affecting women’s birth preferences and to work with her peers to support women across the country. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding and trying new breakfast foods.



Cecily Craighead is a rising junior at Dartmouth (Class of 2022) studying Anthropology, Human-Centered Design, and Public Policy. Her interest in the CARE study is founded in qualitative research and her desire to assess and understand the needs of vulnerable populations in order to reach effective solutions. She is interested in exploring the intersection between cultural and biological anthropology in the field of public health, particularly concerning the social effects of the pandemic.




Grace Alston is a rising junior at Dartmouth (Class of 2022) majoring in Anthropology and minoring in French. Motivated by both cultural and biological anthropology, her academic focus is human rites of passage concerning births and deaths. Grace joined the CARE study because of her interest in qualitatively analyzing cultural response to administering maternal care amidst crisis.