Professor Lynnette Leidy Sievert

IAS Fellow at Trevelyan College, Durham University (May 2012)

Professor Lynnette Leidy Sievert, a noted scholar of women’s health and the menopausal transition, has degrees in nursing, Spanish, and biological anthropology with a PhD from the University at Albany, SUNY, where she won a Presidential Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award. She has served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts since 1993, and has lectured for the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, and for La Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City.

Sievert has published extensively on variation in age at menopause and symptoms at midlife. In addition to her book, Menopause: A Biocultural Perspective (2006), she is the author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Her most recent chapter on the evolution of post-reproductive life was published in the edited Cambridge volume, Reproduction and Adaptation (2011).

Sievert’s fieldwork on menopause has spanned the globe, including upstate New York; western Massachusetts; Puebla, Mexico; Asunción, Paraguay; the Selska Valley of Slovenia; Hilo, Hawaii; and Sylhet, Bangaldesh. A unifying theme has been the study of hot flashes during the menopausal transition through questionnaires, body diagrams, laboratory polygraphs, and ambulatory monitors. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Women’s International Science Collaboration Program, the Faculty Research Grants program and the Center for Research on Families at UMass Amherst.

Most recently, Sievert was awarded the 2010-2011 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Research from UMass Amherst, and the 2010 UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity. She was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. In 2008, she was given the Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award from the North American Menopause Society, and twice before won the North American Menopause Society Young Investigator Award. Sievert has twice been given the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award, UMass Amherst.

Professor Sievert has served on the editorial boards of Menopause, journal of the North American Menopause Society, the American Journal of Human Biology, and the book seriesLife Course, Culture, and Aging: Global Transformation. She also reviews for the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Annals of Human Biology, Cimacteric, Maturitas, and the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. She is a past member of the Executive Committee of the Human Biology Association, and is currently an elected member of the North American Menopause Society Board of Trustees.

She is currently working on a manuscript about the evolution of post-reproductive life. During her time at the IAS, Professor Sievert will be writing with Gillian R. Bentley to disseminate their findings from a recently completed study of reproductive aging and symptom experience among Bangaldeshi women living in Bangladesh, Bangaldeshi immigrants in London, and their white London neighbours.