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Department of Anthropology

Spring 2013 Newsletter 

Department of Anthropology Newsletter
Spring 2013

Undergraduate Newsletter Fall 13

Undergraduate Newsletter Fall 2013 



MS Final Exam- Shawna Follis
"Dental Fluctuating Asymmetry as a Measure of Environmental Stress in Nasca"
Monday, July 21
2:00 PM  STON B2

CLA Study Abroad Fair
September 3, 2014
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Purdue Memorial Mall

To view past events click here.


Difference Makers
Melissa Remis
 Make a Gift to Purdue's Department of Anthropology
 Journal of Contemporary Anthropology

Dr. Ellen GruenbaumSpring 2014

New Directions for Anthropology!

This spring we are working on hiring two faculty members.  One will be an assistant professor in sociocultural anthropology, and the other will be a more senior appointment to help us further develop our applied and practicing anthropology program.

We are very pleased to be able to build on our 4-fields foundation to strengthen our discipline’s role in impacting the world.  One important way to do this is to make sure our graduates—both undergrads and grad students—are prepared with the skills and experiences they will need for the variety of directions their careers take them.  Particularly important is their ability to be productive in the global arena and interdisciplinary teams that are increasingly important.  We encourage our students to take opportunities for experiential education, including summer field schools around the world, study abroad opportunities, or other hands-on research .

We encourage our undergraduate students to take advantage of Purdue’s new incentives to attend study abroad programs.  We offer two that are organized by our own faculty (one in Brazil with Dr. Laura Zanotti and one in Peru developed by Dr. Kevin Vaughn).  In addition, there are many opportunities to spend a semester or year abroad at a cooperating university whose credits will transfer to your degree at Purdue.  Visit the International Programs office in Young Hall to learn more about them! Our website offers links to and information about many summer field projects offered by other universities as well.

As an Anthropology department, we are determined to contribute our ideas and experiences to education and research that explores human diversity across time and space.  We invite you to join us in that endeavor by visiting our website and developing your links to anthropology.  If you are a student, explore anthropology by taking our courses or enrolling in our degree programs.  If you are a parent or community member, read our newsletter and learn about our accomplishments.  If you are an alum, please keep in touch and send us your news.

Our department provides bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and our graduates are pursuing a broad spectrum of careers.

Our research—by faculty, grad students, and undergrads—covers a wide range of topics, including archaeology, bioarchaeology, and ancient societies; ethnography, world cultures, popular culture, and human diversity; human and primate biology, ecology, adaptation, and evolution; social change and project planning in health, development, technology, and the environment; and language, communication, and symbols.  Our faculty members pursue research projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and they have an excellent record in grants, publications, and applications of their research to address real world problems.

Our department welcomes visitors to our campus, whether you are alumni, prospective students, or interested members of the public.  You are welcome to attend our public departmental events.  If you have questions or want to schedule a visit to the Anthropology Department, contact me or our staff at

Ellen Gruenbaum
Department Head



Anthropology Department Happenings

For more information about any of these news items click here.


  • Congratulations to Dr. Michele Buzon who was recently appointed to a five-year term as a University Faculty Scholar.
  • Melissa Remis has studied the effects of integrated conservation and development in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve, this includes the first look at the impact on people's health. You will find continued reading on her research at this link to the article featured in Purdue News.
  • Congratulations to Associate Professor Michele Buzon on her award from the National Science Foundation for her project entitled, “Collaborative Research: Impact and Accommodation Through Cultural Contact” She will use the funds ($135,272) to support her bioarchaeological research investigating the impact of Egypt’s New Kingdom Empire (c. 1500-1050 BC) on the Kerma culture in Nubia through an examination of identity and health before and after the conquest and colonization of the area (with UCSB collaborator Stuart Tyson Smith).  This research is also being supported by  Purdue Office of the Vice President for Research Bridge Funding Program ($48,045).
  • Assistant Professor Kory Cooper’s collaborative archaeological research and teaching with the School of Materials Engineering was highlighted in the April 8th, 2014 installment of “Purdue Profiles.” In this piece Cooper talks about the course “Archaeology and Materials Science”, which he co-teaches with MSE faculty. Click here for a link to this article.
  • Katelyn Reavis presented her research with Dr. Michele Buzon at the American Association of Physical Anthropology in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
  • Congratulations to our grad student Aiden Powell on winning the Berenice Carroll Social Justice Award this year!  As second-year graduate student in Anthropology, he was recognized for his work in "Advocating for Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance at Purdue University."  Aiden is currently working on his master's thesis on the provision of health services to transgender students and plans to work in applied anthropology in the coming years.
  • Melissa Remis and Carolyn Jost Robinson just published an article on Ethnoprimatology and Multispecies approaches with coauthors Nick Malone, Alison Wade, Agustin Fuentes, Erin Riley, Melissa Remis and Carolyn Jost Robinson.  2014.   “Ethnoprimatology: Critical interdisciplinary and multi species approaches in anthropology.  Critique of Anthropology 341(1):8-29.
  • Kevin Vaughn was in Japan during February to participate in two international symposia in Osaka and Yamagata.
  • Dr. Ian Lindsay recently won the Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award 2014.
  • In November, Dr. Ian Lindsay was awarded two grants from Purdue's Office of the Vice President for Research in support of his archaeological work in Armenia:
    • Transdisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Research Grant ($8778): "Using Purdue’s MSE Electron Microscopy Facility to Study Pottery Technology and Social Organization among Bronze Age Fortress Settlements in Armenia."
    • Non-laboratory Research Infrastructure and Equipment Program Grant, Tier 2 ($17,861): "Funding Request for Archaeological Survey and Remote Sensing Equipment." 
  • On November 23, 2014, our department participated at the Grad Fair at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Over 50 people stopped by our table to ask about our program, and had a chance to chat about the many different aspects of graduate school. Many thanks to everyone who helped, Anjali Bhardwaj, Ryan Plis, Ellen Gruenbaum, and Talin Lindsay!
  • Purdue anthropologist selected for 2015 Race Across USA to combine 3,000-mile run with research. Read details here.
  • Congratulations to Diana Steele who received a Global Synergy Research Grant for Students from the Office of the Vice President for Research.  The grant will fund dissertation work entitled, “Geographies of Difference: Examining Race and Place through Amazonian Migrants Livelihoods in Peru.”
  • Dr. Evelyn Blackwood was interviewed on the topic of “Global Genders” on Public Radio International’s weekly program “To the Best of Our Knowledge,” which aired on Aug. 30, 2013.  You can listen to the program here.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon spoke with the National Geographic Radio Weekend Show (June 23) about the Nubian Pharaohs and her research.  You can listen to it here.
  • Dr. Michele Buzon’s collaborative bioarchaeological research in Tombos, Sudan has been highlighted by the National Science Foundation. Click here for more information.
  • Evelyn Blackwood was recently interviewed on BBC Radio's Today Programme concerning her research on the matrilineal Minangkabau in Indonesia.  The interview focused on the lives of men in a matrilineal society, and was part of a BBC mini series examining changing Western conceptions of masculinity. 
  • One of our recent PhD graduates, Katie Smith has accepted a new position aspostdoctoral fellow in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Houston.  Katie is working in the lab of Dr. Ezemenari Obasi.  Katie will be examining stress and addiction in African American populations.  The study will be examining the role of addiction as a coping mechanism for stress in a population that deals with multiple daily chronic stressors, including health disparities and discrimination.
  • Evelyn Latour (MS 2012) has been hired as a Market Research Strategist for an international firm, CarbonSix, doing client interfacing, field research study management, qualitative data analysis and report writeup. Her coworkers include a nice mixture of academic and business backgrounds--MAs, a couple of PhDs, and some MBAs--which is just the sort of interdisciplinary work environment she hoped for.  Good luck, Evelyn!
  • Dr. Bryce Carlson has authored a paper on diurnal variation in nutrient consumption appearing in this month's issue of the American Journal of Primatology.  With co-authors Dr. Jessica Rothman and Dr. John Mitani, Dr. Carlson showed that wild chimpanzees at Kibale National Park, Uganda preferentially consumed 2 common dietary resources late in the day when their nutritional quality was highest.  This study suggests chimpanzees may be capable of tracking changes in nutritional composition on the order of hours, not just weeks or months. For more information click here.

For more information on these news items and past news click here.

Department of Anthropology Strategic Plan 2013-2018