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Adela S. Baer received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1953. After receiving a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California in 1962 she took a professorship at San Diego State University and served as the coordinator of graduate programs in Biology in 1969-1971 and 1981-1983. She also was chair of the Biology Department between 1975-1978 and in 1982.

Baer received a Fullbright Scholarship to the University of Malaya in 1967-68 and had the opportunity to make a brief visit to Mah Meri at Pulau Carey, Jah Hut in Pahang and Temuan in Bukit Manchong, Selangor. During a year’s sabbatical in 1971-72 she worked with the Hooper Foundation, a cooperative Malaysian-American medical research foundation, and lived in the Temuan village of Ulu Serendah, Selangor studying human genetics and related health problems of the Temuan.

Baer continued to observe Orang Asli as a short-term visitor for a decade and then made contact and began working with Malaysian colleagues working on the same issues, research that has continued through today. She has also worked in East Malaysia, particularly in 1999-2000, and has provided comparative health information on Orang Asli vs. Sarawakian rural ethnic groups. Between 1997 and 2001 she was a co-coordinator (with Kirk Endicott of Dartmouth) of the Orang Asli Assistance Fund (which was under the umbrella of Cultural Survival of Cambridge MA). Baer visited Sarawak, Malaysia under a Fullbright scholarship in 2001. She belongs to the following associations: Sigma Xi, the American Society of Human Genetics, the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association and is a fellow of the Borneo Research Council.

Publication Date



Keene State College


Keene, NH


Orang Asli, Malaysia


Anthropology | Asian Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Adela S. Baer Papers