Bioarch Graduate Students/Undergrads

GRADUATE STUDENT ADVISEES

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Maya Krause

Maya entered the Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2017. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Maya completed an undergraduate honors thesis that examined lithic reduction sequences to produce a model of raw material acquisition and distribution that could further understandings of prehistoric economic activity and interaction in the North American southeast. Also during her undergraduate career, Maya attended the Huari-Ancash Bioarchaeological Field School in Huari, Peru, which motivated her to pursue research in the Andean highlands. In her graduate research, Maya aims to continue work in Peru exploring how different groups react to and cope violence. Furthermore, she hopes to further understand how trauma and specific kinds of culturally mediated violence can inform questions about changing sociopolitical organization. In particular, she aims to understand violence in terms of temporality. What sociopolitical factors lead to the outbreak of violence and then, to the eventual dissolution of violence within a region? Maya’s research interests explore multiple sources of information, which include skeletal infection and chronic stress, diet, bone/tooth isotopic chemistry, and evidence of violent conflict.

Kristina Lee

Kristina entered the Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2016. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology at Brown University, where she focused on Bioarchaeology and Latin American Studies. As an undergraduate, she attended the Huari-Ancash Bioarchaeological Field School in Peru and worked as a bioarchaeologist on the Proyecto Archaeológico Zaña Colonial. Her undergraduate research focused on pathology among indigenous populations living on reducciones during the Andean Colonial Period. In her graduate research, she aims to center her work on Colonial Period Afroperuvians and the impacts of enslavement on the human skeleton. More broadly, her interests fall at the convergence of African Diaspora Archaeology, historical archaeology, public archaeology, pathology, and race.

Terren Proctor

Terren K. Proctor is a bioarchaeologist who focuses on the embodiment of structural violence, specifically in relation to the mining economy in Colonial Peru. She received her B.A&Sc. in Anthropology and Biology from McGill University in 2014. In 2015, she joined the Proyecto de Investigación Histórico Arqueológico-Santa Bárbara as head bioarchaeologist. This project is an ongoing research program involving both American and Peruvian scholars that looks at questions of indigenous labour at Colonial Huancavelica in the central Peruvian Andes. Her research interests include skeletal changes related to labor, heavy metals, and stress; stable isotope analysis; and interpersonal violence.

Keitlyn Alcantara

Keitlyn is an incoming student in the doctoral program in biological anthropology. Throughout her doctoral studies she plans to focus on Mesoamerican bioarchaeology of Mexico, as well as applications of physical and forensic anthropology to modern Mexican populations, particularly to identify remains discovered at the U.S.-Mexico border. Her studies have included a B.A. in Archaeology from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Social Science (focus in Bioarchaeology) from the University of Chicago. Following the completion of her M.A. in 2011, she spent two years working with forensic anthropologist Dr. Douglas H. Ubelaker at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Her fieldwork includes survey in Corsica, France, and excavation in Blue Creek, Belize and Oaxaca, Mexico.

Beth Koontz

Cassandra.S.Koontz@vanderbilt.edu

Bioarchaeology; Skeletal trauma; Violence; Warfare; Ethics in bioarchaeology; Cultural patrimony; Latin America.

Beth joined the Vanderbilt Anthropology graduate program in Fall 2008.  She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in Anthropology and Dramatic Art and then earned a J.D. at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.  She served the State of North Carolina for two years as an Assistant District Attorney. She hopes to contribute to scholarship concerning the nature of Wari expansionism in the Majes Valley and Valley of the Volcanoes, Peru, by furthering our understanding of regional health and lifeways prior to Wari influence.  More broadly, she is interested in the role of militarism in state formation and collapse, structural violence, paleopathology, skeletal trauma, state-sanctioned violence, and the cultural construction of laws and morality.  During graduate studies she has contributed to archaeological excavations and bioarchaeological research in the Tierras Blancas Valley, the Middle Moche Valley, Chavin, and Ayacucho, Peru.  Prior to graduate studies, she contributed to excavations in Italy, ethnographic fieldwork and research in Egypt, and ethnographic field work in the Burch Field Research Seminar (UNC-Chapel Hill) in Manteo, NC.  She has volunteered for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, the North Carolina program for Forensic Science, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, the New England Innocence Project, and completed course work in Art and Antiquities Law with the University of San Diego School of Law in Florence, Italy.

Matt Velasco

matthew.c.velasco@vanderbilt.edu

Bioarchaeology; Taphonomy; Mortuary practice; Health and diet; Late Intermediate Period; Inka; south-central Andes. Recipient of the 3-yr NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship.  Ph.D. received in 2016. He is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University.

Matt graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 2008 with a BA in Anthropological Sciences. His Senior Honors Thesis, entitled “Understanding Post-Chavín Mortuary Behavior: A Taphonomic Analysis of Human Remains from Chavín de Huántar, Peru,” addresses the re-use of the site’s monumental space for secondary burial following Chavín’s decline. His research interests primarily lie in community health and violence, and the relationship between social structure and mortuary practice during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1400) of Andean prehistory. As a member of Proyecto Machu Llaqta (directed by Elizabeth Arkush, University of Pittsburgh) Matt is presently investigating tomb variation and construction in the Colla region of the North Titicaca Basin and is also conducting bioarchaeological research in the Colca valley of southern, highalnd Peru. In addition to fieldwork and laboratory research at multiple sites in the north/south-central Andes, he has participated in archaeological excavation at the Paleolithic site of Chez-Pinaud (Jonzac) in southwest France. His broader anthropological interests include body modification, human evolution, the peopling of the New World, and the social construction of space/landscape.

Danielle Kurin

danielle.s.kurin@vanderbilt.edu

Bioarchaeology; Cultural modification of the body; Ancestor worship and mortuary rituals; Violence; Identity and community studies; Peruvian Andes. Ph.D. received in 2012. She is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Danielle graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2005 with an AB (magna cum laude) in Anthropology and a concentration in Hispanic Studies. Her senior honors thesis, Multiethnicity in the Eastern Valleys: A Bioarchaeological Study of a Prehistoric Bolivian Mortuary Community, involved the conservation and analysis of Pre-Inkan mummies from museum collections in Cochabamba, and Sucre, Bolivia. Now working in Peru, Danielle’s dissertation research utilizes human remains associated with the Chanka society (AD 1000-1400) to better understand the nature and character of identity-based violence during periods of post-imperial collapse. With a Fulbright-Hayes doctoral dissertation research grant, she co-directed a bioarchaeological project with Lic. Gomez Choque in the department of Apurimac, in the south-central Peruvian highlands.  She is a visiting lecturer in Anthropology at the Universidad Technologica de los Andes-Andahuaylas, and her commitment to undergraduate teaching has been recognized with awards by both the Department of Anthropology and the College of A&S at Vanderbilt. Her primary research interests include ethnogenesis and ethnocide, social memory, cultural modification of the body, mortuary practices, and identity and community studies. She has held internships at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and participated in fieldwork in Virginia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Carrie Anne Berryman

carrie.a.berryman@vanderbilt.edu

Ph.D. received in May 2010.

Bioarchaeology; Paleopathology; Dietary reconstruction; Nutrition; Dental health; Development of political complexity; Tiwanaku; Andes.

Carrie Anne graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1999 with a BA in anthropology and completed an MA in anthropology at the University of Arkansas in 2001. She has conducted bioarchaeological research in Greece, Jordan, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, and the U.S. and served as osteologist for the Cancuen Archaeological Project in Guatemala for three years. Now ABD, Carrie Anne’s dissertation research is focused on the rise of Tiwanaku political authority in the Southern Titicaca Basin of Bolivia during the Late Formative and Middle Horizon periods. Through combining stable isotopic indicators of diet, standard dental analyses, and analysis of phytoliths from human dental calculus, her research is elucidating changing patterns of trade and dietary resource distribution that accompanied the rise of the archaic state.

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UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ADVISEES (Past & Present)

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Anna Whittemore

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Anna Whittemore and Tiffiny Tung analyzing human skeletal remains at the field lab in Arequipa, Peru.


With the support of a VUSRP and Littlejohn Fellowship, Anna Whittemore traveled to Peru to conduct bioarchaeological research and archaeological excavations. Anna assisted on two significant  bioarchaeological projects. In the first, she worked with Dr. Tung, her graduate students, and Peruvian scholars, analyzing 1400-year-old archaeological skeletons from the site of La Real in southern Peru. The human skeletons represent a rural community that was under the influence of a ‘foreign’, ancient empire (the Wari). Anna’s research on that particular skeletal collection focused on documenting the frequency and patterning of cranial modification. Cranial modification is a cultural practice in which the parents (or other elders) alter the shape of their infant’s head by placing boards, cords, and other implements on the anterior and posterior of the skull. The various cranial shapes that they constructed were a marker of social identity, and evidence indicates that it was an overt, physical marker of community belonging. Anna assisted in reconstructing the crania (many were quite fragmentary), and then analyzing them to ascertain the modification “style”. Anna has presented our findings t at the VUSRP Research Symposium, and she will also present these results at a professional conference in April 2018: the Association of American Physical Anthropologists in Austin, Texas. Anna is in a study abroad program in Morrocco in Fall 2017. She will graduate with her B.A. in Anthropology in May 2019.

Anna has presented our findings t at the VUSRP Research Symposium, and she will also present these results at a professional conference in April 2018: the Association of American Physical Anthropologists in Austin, Texas. Anna is in a study abroad program in Morrocco in Fall 2017. She will graduate with her B.A. in Anthropology in May 2019.

Anna explaining cranial modification to a new Vanderbilt graduate student. Ministry of Culture museum, Ayacucho, Peru

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Anna analyzing cut marks on hundreds of radius bones (lower arm bones) at the field lab in Ayacucho, Peru.


Alysha Tribbett

(2009-2010)
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Senior Honors Thesis: “Bioarchaeological Insights on Dental Health and Diet after the Fall of the Wari Empire in the Peruvian Andes”

Where is Alysha now? Alysha is a (bioarch) graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at San Diego.

Ellen Lofaro

(2008-2009)

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Senior Honors Thesis: “Degenerative Joint Disease in the Middle Mississippian Arnold Site from Nashville, Tennessee”

Where is Ellen now?  Ellen received her Ph. D. in anthropology (bioarch) from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 2016. She is now working as curator of archaeology at the University of Tennessee. Her research is centered in the Andes and the Southeastern US.

Emily Sharp

(2007-2008)

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Senior Honors Thesis: “Working Hard or Hardly Working? A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Osteoarthritis in a Post-Imperial Andean Population”

Where is Emily now?  After nearly two years as the Staff Osteologist in the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, Emily is now a (bioarch) graduate student in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.

Sara Juegnst

(2007-2008)

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Senior Honors Thesis: “Reflections On Life Through Death: Negotiation and Conversion in the Mortuary Record of the Colca Valley of Peru” (Co-advised with Dr. Steve Wernke)

Where is Sara now?  Sara received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is currently working at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte as an assistant professor in anthropology.  She has taught six different classes in the field and in relevant fields (human osteology, bioarchealogy, etc). She’s focused her research in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and occasionally in the Southeastern US. In the Peruvian Andes, she has studied  violence and different attempts for recovery of head injuries as a result.

Ella Wilhoit

(2007-2008)

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Senior Honors Thesis: “El Museo de la Memoria para que no se Repita: Creating Memory and Community, Ayacucho, Peru”

Where is Ella now?  Ella received an anthropology (ethnography) Ph.D. at Northwestern University, and she is a recipient of the Jacob Javitz Graduate Student Fellowship. Now, she is an assistant professor of anthropology at Lyon College. She has teaching experience in eight anthropology branch classes. Her research is centered in Peru, Mexico, and the US. The majority of her publications focus on women and inequality in Peru.

Jane Wise

(2006-2007)

Senior Honors Thesis: “Discovering Disease: A Portrait of Health at the Arnold Village, Middle Tennessee”

Where is Jane now?  Jane is doing project management in a Legal Member Services Department at a firm in Washington, D.C. and has applied to Law School.

Charisse Carver

(2004-2005)

Senior Honors Thesis: “Zooarchaeological Analysis of Paleolithic Remains, France”

Where is Charisse now?  She was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to conduct her dissertation research in France. She received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Learn more about her work at http://shesc.asu.edu/2011awards_carver