William Éamon Callison
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationHarvard U.
Grant numberGr. 9805
Approve DateApril 29, 2019
Project TitleCallison, William (Harvard U.) "Ventilatory Adaptations in Peru: How does thoracic ventilation change in response to high altitude?"
WILLIAM CALLISON, then a graduate student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in April 2019 to aid research on “Ventilatory Adaptations in Peru: How Does Thoracic Ventilation Change in Response to High Altitude?”, supervised by Dr. Daniel Lieberman. Despite aerobic activity requiring up to tenfold increases in air intake, human populations in high‐altitude hypoxic environments can sustain high levels of endurance physical activity. While these populations generally have relatively larger chest and lung volumes, how thoracic motions actively increase ventilation is unknown. This project shows that rib movements, in conjunction with chest shape, contribute to ventilation by assessing how adulthood acclimatization, developmental adaptation, and population‐level adaptation to high‐altitude affect sustained aerobic activity. We measured tidal volume, heart rate, and rib‐motion during walking and running in lowland individuals from Boston (~35m) and in Quechua populations born and living at sea‐level (~150m) and at high altitude (>4000m) in Peru. We found that Quechua participants, regardless of birth or testing altitudes, increase thoracic volume 2.0–2.2 times more than lowland participants (p<0.05). Further, Quechua individuals from hypoxic environments have deeper chests resulting in 1.3 times greater increases in thoracic ventilation compared to age‐matched, sea‐level Quechua (p