Professor of Biology/Co-Director, Public Health Program
Biology / Academic
- IDEA Center 261
B.S., M.A., College of William and Mary
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Donald MacGregor Chair in Natural Science
I do research in three main areas and incorporate this research into my classes. The first area is the relationship between evolution and human health, where I focus on exploring the mismatch between how our species evolved and lived for very long periods of time in contrast with how we are living today. One of the most dramatic areas of this mismatch is between the diet humans evolved to eat and the diets eaten by most people today. I teach courses exploring these topics, such as “Environmental and Evolutionary Health” and “Evolution and Human Health”, co-authored a related book, The Hunter-Gatherer Within: Health and The Natural Human Diet, and give public lectures emphasizing the importance of this mismatch for Public Health.
I also do research on, and have written articles and books on the plants of Texas and work in collaboration with colleagues at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth.
My third area of research is on evolution in extreme environments including tropical rainforests, high mountain peaks, deserts, Antarctica, and the Arctic. In my research I have traveled to all seven continents and have taken students on JanTerm classes and research trips to fifteen different countries.
- Environmental and Evolutionary Health
- Earth, Body, and Mind
- Evolutionary Biology
- Life at the Edge: Extreme Evolution
- The relationship between how humans evolved & our health today
- The natural human diet & health
- Plant chemical defenses
- The plants of Texas
- Evolution in extreme environments
- Communicating science
- Personal Webpage
- Public Health Webpage
- On-line TEDX talk
- On-line lecture on plant food toxins from Ancestral Health Symposium 2014
- On-line lecture on More Consequences of Evolutionary Mismatch
- On-line webinar on diet and health at It’s Time Texas
- Podcast interview on teaching evolutionary health
- On-line lecture on Plant Defense Chemicals: The Dark Side of Food Plants
- Podcast interview on A Biological Perspective For Animal Product Consumption (Plant Defense Chemicals)
Diggs, G. and B Lipscomb. 2014.
Brock, K. and G. Diggs. 2013.
|Diggs, G, B, Lipscomb, M. Reed, and R. O’Kennon. 2006.
Illustrated Flora of East Texas, Vol. 1
(Introduction, Ferns, Gymnosperms, Monocots).
Sida, Bot. Misc. 26.
|Diggs, G, B. Lipscomb, and R. O’Kennon. 1999.
Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas.
Sida, Bot. Misc. 16.
Diggs, George M. Jr. 2019. Implications of Evolutionary Mismatch in the Field of Public Health. Journal of Evolution and Health 3(1), Article 2. View the online lecture.
Diggs, G.M., Jr. 2018. Public Health and Evolutionary Mismatch: The Tragedy of Unnecessary Suffering and Death. In press. Commentary to be published on-line for This View of Life (TVOL).
Diggs, G.M., Jr. 2017. Evolutionary Mismatch: Implications Far Beyond Diet and Exercise. Journal of Evolution and Health 2(1), Article 3.
O’Kennon, R. and G. Diggs. 2011. Llavea cordifolia (Pteridaceae): New for Texas and the United States. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 5:351–355.
Diggs, G.M., Jr. and R.J. O’Kennon. 2003. A rockhouse habitat in North Central Texas. Sida 20:1327–33.
Diggs, G. and P. Schulze. 2003. Soil-dependent fire frequency: A new hypothesis for the distribution of prairies and oak woodlands/savannas in North Central and East Texas. Sida 20:1139–1153.
Diggs, G. and B. Lipscomb. 2002. What is the writer of a flora to do: Evolutionary taxonomy or phylogenetic systematics? Sida 20:647–674.
Lipscomb, B. and G. Diggs, Jr. 1998. The use of animal-dispersed seeds and fruits in forensic botany. Sida 18:335–346.
Recent and Upcoming Lectures:
Plant Defense Chemicals: The Dark Side of Food Plants, Carnivore Conference, Boulder, CO, March 7, 2019
Implications of Evolutionary Mismatch in Public Health. Ancestral Health Symposium, Bozeman, MT, July 21, 2018
Ferns of Texas: Why the Lone Star State Is So Special. Texas Discovery Garden, Dallas, TX, July 14, 2018.
Trees of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and Grayson Co., TX. Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Second Saturday Nature Program, May 12 2018.
Climate Change: Perspectives for Naturalists, Backland Prairie Master Naturalists, October 7, 2017
The “Natural” Human Diet: Surprises for Health and Weight Loss, Blackland Prairie Master Naturalists, August 19, 2017
Native Plants and Climate Change, Collin County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, June 6, 2017
Texas Native Plants: What’s the Big Picture? Sherman Texas Earth Day Event, April 22, 2017
Real Food Diets for Lions, Zebras, Humans, and Beyond, TEDX event, Austin College, September 22, 2016
I enjoy traveling, hiking, gardening, photography, and trying the world’s most unusual foods.