Bioarch Graduate Students/Undergrads



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. 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 is continuing her work in the Cusco region of Peru to further understand how state imperial structures alter and shape the lived experiences of subjects. Using bioarchaeological methods, Maya explores how imperial policies related to forced resettlement, conscripted labor, and oppression affected subjects’ overall health and nutrition, as well as their risk of occupational injuries and exposure to violence. 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. In her research, Maya aims to bring individuals’ bodies to the forefront of our understandings of how imperialism profoundly shapes peoples’ lives.

Awards: National Geographic Early Career Grant, 2019

Kristina Lee

Kristina entered the graduate program at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2016, and she completed her M.A. in Spring 2018. She is now on the faculty at a charter school in the Metro Nashville Public School system. 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. You can read more about her research at

Keitlyn Alcantara


Keitlyn entered the graduate program in Anthropology in the Fall of 2013 and is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropological Bioarchaeology.  Her previous studies include 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. Her current dissertation research, which is supported by a Fulbright and Wenner-Gren Foundation Grant touches on themes related to the body as a site of identity creation, particularly through food practices. Focusing on a skeletal population from Tlaxcallan, a state that resisted the expanding Aztec Empire in Late Postclassic Central Mexico (AD 1325-1519), her research explores how varied interactions with imperial powers are reflected in the physical body by documenting patterns of community health, exposure to violence, diet and foodways. In 2017-2018, Keitlyn was a Public Scholar through the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, working with middle school-aged Latinx immigrant communities in Nashville, fostering discussions about food as a site of memory, tradition, and identity. Keitlyn has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Social Science (with a focus in Bioarchaeology) from the University of Chicago. She is also trained in Forensic Anthropology through the George Washington University Certificate in Forensic Science, and a research assistantship in the Department of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Beth Koontz Scaffidi

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

Beth obtained her Ph.D in December 2017, and she is now an NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow at Arizona State University, where she serves as the PI of her own NSF project.

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

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

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

Ph.D. received in May 2010.

Bioarchaeology; Paleopathology; Dietary reconstruction; Nutrition; Dental health; Development of political complexity; Tiwanaku; Andes. Carrie Anne is now an independent business owner in the world of finance and lives in Nashville, Tennessee, so Carrie Anne, Tiffiny, and their families often hang out together in the awesome city of Nashville.

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.




Anna Whittemore (Class of 2019)


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 at the VUSRP Research Symposium and 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


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

Tom Snyder (Class of 2019)

Alysha Tribbett


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



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



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



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



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


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


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