Bioarch Graduate Students/Undergrads


Carrie Anne Berryman.

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.

Beth Koontz.

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.

Danielle Kurin.

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.

Matt Velasco.

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.



Alysha Tribbett (2009-2010). ALyshaPreparesToMeasureTeeth

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

Where is Ellen now?  Ellen is an anthropology (bioarch) graduate student at the University of Florida, Gainesville.


Emily_AyacuchoLab2009_WebResEmily Sharp (2007-2008). 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). 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.



Ella Wilhoit (2007-2008). Senior Honors Thesis: “El Museo de la Memoria para que no se Repita: Creating Memory and Community, Ayacucho, Peru”

Where is Ella now?  Ella is an anthropology (ethnography) graduate student at Northwestern University, and she is a recipient of the Jacob Javitz Graduate Student Fellowship.


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