Skip Navigation

Nancy Krusko

Nancy Krusko 
Office Phone: x2368 

General Interests 
While her Ph.D. research focused on reproductive and social interaction patterns of captive female langur monkeys, her study in biological anthropology is not limited to primatology. She has studied local public health issues, including the cultural factors associated with the over-prescription of antibiotics, Beloit residents' perceptions of bioterrorism as a public health threat, and the association of neighborhood quality to low birth weight. Nancy teaches courses in introduction to biological anthropology, primate behavior and ecology, lab methods in behavioral observation, human osteology, and medical anthropology. She occasionally teaches courses on women's health for the Critical Identity Studies program and an interdisciplinary studies course on health and microcredit in Nicaragua where the class travels to Nicaragua during spring break to study the intersection of microcredit and health first-hand.

She is currently working on the “hygiene hypothesis," a theory that we are too clean. In particular she is interested in asthma, allergy, and autoimmune diseases and how the lack of parasitic worm infections may play a role in the current increase of these conditions in the industrialized world. She is also working with the city of Beloit on a commission to research African American infant mortality. Additionally, Nancy likes to involve students in her research projects and mentor them on their own projects. Nancy loves to walk her dogs, bike, kayak, hike, and spend time with her friends during monthly game nights. She is an avid traveler and has spent time in China, Russia, the Caribbean, Scandinavia, Fiji, and various locations around the United States. She taught at the University of Auckland in New Zealand for a summer.  

Professor at Beloit Since: 1989   

Ph.D., Anthropology. 1990. University of California, Berkeley. 
B.A., Anthropology. 1978. University of California, Berkeley.   

Teaching Philosophy 
Through examining the relationship between biology and culture, Nancy hopes that her work will lead to a healthier population. She believes that one of the advantages of a smaller school is that there is less tension between the anthropological subfields. To encourage scholarly cooperation between her colleagues, she spends time speaking to other anthropologists. Nancy believes that anthropology is useful in the real world and can provide insights into many other fields. Following the advice of one of her professors in graduate school, she tries to make learning as fun as possible. Nancy hopes to infect students with her love of medical anthropology. 

Selected Professional Accomplishments   

Principle Investigator (along with Co-PIs William Green, Shannon Fie, and Daniel E. Shea, and Project Manager Michael Brady) on the proposal “Transformation through Renovation: Anthropology at Beloit College” to renovate three anthropology laboratory spaces through the National Science Foundation’s Academic Research Infrastructure: Recovery and Reinvestment program. Awarded $349,688 (January 2011).   

Krusko, Nancy. 2010. Health and micro-credit: Beloit as a laboratory for understanding Nicaragua. In Integrating study abroad into the curriculum: Theory and practice across the disciplines. Brewer, Elizabeth and Kiran Cunningham eds. Sterling: Stylus Publishing.   

Presented research about the West Nile Virus conducted with Professor Marion Fass to the City of Beloit. They advised the city to reduce the amount of standing water to reduce mosquito breeding.   

Field Work 
Worked with Professor of Biology Marion Fass to research the West Nile Virus in the City of Beloit. They presented their results to the city and advised them to take measures to avoid standing water, such as removing vases without drainage in cemeteries to prevent mosquito breeding.   

Worked with Professor of Biology Marion Fass on a project examining the factors associated with doctors overprescribing antibiotics to children with ear infections.   

Professional Service 
Department Chair (2004-2014).   

Campus and Community Involvement 
Commission with the city of Beloit on a grant they received to research African American infant mortality in the community.   

Mentored Beloit College students during their internships with the Rock County Health Department in Wisconsin.   

What Students Say:   

“Nancy uses a lecture-based class structure to introduce students to biological anthropology. She has a very keen sense of what students will find interesting and really makes the topics come to life. She is also very approachable and creates a comfortable learning environment. I've met with her many times to discuss classes and field school opportunities that would be valuable to my primatology education and my overall anthropological education.” -Luke McKee