To view a larger image of the Faculty research map click here.


Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, Assistant Professor

Dr. Abdul Khabeer’s latest research examines how Chicago Muslim youth construct their religious, racial and cultural identities at the intersection of hip hop and Islam. She is also interested in identity and subjectivity, diaspora and gender studies, performance ethnography, Islamic thought and practice, Arabic and Spanish language and literature

Myrdene Anderson, Associate Professor

Dr. Anderson has engaged in ethnographic research in a variety of settings, ranging from community garden associations in the U.S.A. to the international and interdisciplinary movement of artificial life in biology, but she is best known for her fieldwork among Saami reindeer-breeders in Norwegian Lapland, which research commenced in 1971 and continues to date. Her publications include volumes on humanalloanimal ethology, on ethnicity and identity, on semiotic modeling, on the cultural construction of trash, on mathematics education,and on violence.

Evelyn Blackwood, Professor
Blackwood Research Group

Dr. Blackwood's research interests include the matrilineal Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia, the social and historical contexts of female same-sex relations and trans-identities in Indonesia, and gender, sexuality and identity more broadly. Her current research project focuses on tombois (masculine-identified females) and their girlfriends in West Sumatra. In addition to numerous articles and a book on the Minangkabau, Dr. Blackwood has coedited two award-winning anthologies Female Desires (1999) and Women's Sexualities and Masculinities in a Globalizing Asia (2007).

Richard Blanton, Professor

Dr. Blanton's primary interests are pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, especially the evolution of complex societies in Central Mexico and the Valley of Oaxaca, and crosscultural comparative research. He has studied the economics of peasant households,the evolution of market systems in early civilizations, urban archaeology, pre-modern world-systems, cultural ecology and rational choice and collective action theory as they apply to pre-modern state formation. Currently he is co-director of an archaeological project in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Michele Buzon, Associate Professor

Dr. Buzon is a bioarchaeologist whose research focuses on the excavation and analysis of burials in the ancient Nile Valley (Egypt and Nubia). Dr. Buzon has an active field site at Tombos, Sudan. Through the examination of human skeletal remains and mortuary practices, she examines the effects of Nubian-Egyptian contact on identity and health during the New Kingdom and Napatan periods.

Bryce A. Carlson, Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Carlson is principally interested in the significance various nutrients, whole foods, or classes of food types had (and continue to have) on the evolution of our species. His current research utilizes stable isotopic analyses to characterize the dietary ecology of modern primates and develop refined analyses for reconstructing how our hominin ancestors engaged with their dietary landscape.

H. Kory Cooper, Associate Professor

Dr. Cooper is an archaeologist with two main foci, Hunter-Gatherers of northwestern North America and archaeometallurgy. His archaeometallurgical research has included the analysis of Roman-Byzantine material from Jordan and metalworking and shipwreck artifacts related to the Russian-American fur trade in Alaska. His recent and ongoing research employs an anthropology of technology approach in the investigation of the use of metals by Native people in northwestern North America.

Ellen Gruenbaum, Professor and Head

Dr. Gruenbaum is a cultural medical anthropologist with research on female genital cutting in Sudan and Sierra Leone, focused on the process of change to this culturally and religiously embedded practice, including the role of feminist activism, witchcraft and secret societies, and the Islamist movement. She is also interested in other women's health issues in Africa and the Middle East, including sexuality and reproduction, HIV/ AIDS, and beauty pageants as a health education tool.

Jennifer Johnson, Assistant Professor

Dr. Johnson's research is historically rooted, ethnographically engaged, and focused at the confluence of gender, vernacular practice, and the politics of contemporary economic and environmental sustainability along African and North American littorals, or shorelines. By foregrounding African women’s work with diverse species and forms of fish – both indigenous and introduced – alongside the development of global markets for African fish products, Dr. Johnson’s current research retheorizes the intersection of gender, history, and sustainability in and around Africa’s largest body of water.

Brian Kelly, Assistant Professor

Dr. Kelly is a medical anthropologist whose research primarily focuses upon drug use, sexual health, and comparative youth cultures. The foci of his recent projects include continuing work on drug use among New York metropolitan area youth, drug dealing among suburban youth, and the social organization of local sexual cultures. His latest project explores the impact of the foreclosure crisis on neighborhood social capital and community cohesion.

Ian Lindsay, Associate Professor

Dr. Lindsay has conducted research in northwestern Armenia since 2000 investigating the origins of political complexity, landscapes as media for political authority, and households and community formation in the Late Bronze Age. Analytical methods of interest include chemical characterization techniques to examine the flow of goods in and out of the Tsaghkahovit Plain, and he has recently initiated a geophysical survey of fortress settlements to gauge the intensity of occupation during the LBA.

Riall Nolan, Professor

Dr. Nolan has done research and published in several different areas, including the study of wage-labor migration in Senegal, West Africa, needs assessments and evaluations for a wide range of international development projects in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, policy analysis for the World Bank, an overview of regional planning in Western Siberia. His most recent work was a study of effective leadership on US campuses for international programs.

Erik Otárola-Castillo, Instructor

Dr. Otárola-Castillo is an archaeologist, human evolutionary biologist and biometrician. His research revolves around the question: “What do people eat and why?” To answer it, Dr. Otárola-Castillo studies the diversity, ecology, evolution and co-evolution of behavioral phenotypes in prehistoric and modern foraging populations. Currently,Dr. Otárola-Castillo is interested in evaluating the effects that climatic change, variation of food-availability and-distribution had on the diet of some of the first forager populations across the North American Great Plains.

As a biometrician and computational anthropologist he developes quantitative tools to answer questions in the context of the major dimensions of archaeological research: space, time and form. To this end Dr. Otárola-Castillo developes and implements optimal foraging models, 3D-morphometrics software, and statistical software for human evolutionary biologists and zooarchaeologists, spatio-temporal statistical models, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)."

Melissa Remis, Professor

Dr. Remis' research in the Central African Republic focuses on the behavioral ecology of western gorillas, and integrated biological and cultural anthropological approaches to the human-animal dynamic, especially with regard to human impacts on mammals and conservation. She also conducts field and zoo research on the evolution of feeding strategies among the African apes, including experimental work on diet, digestion and behavioral, nutritional and physiological aspects of welfare among apes.

LaShandra Sullivan, Assistant Professor

Dr. LaShandra Sullivan researches the expansion of agribusiness in Brazil and resulting conflicts with land reform based social movements. Sullivan analyzes the emergence of these conflicts with rural economic development in Brazil—specifically mass displacement of rural inhabitants, casualization of labor, deforestation, and reorganization of ethno-racial politics in recent decades. Her current research also includes the study of small-scale, sustainable, organic food production and water management in Puerto Rico. This project addresses transformations in land use practices, food production and distribution, as well as control over land and water resources across recent generations of rural to urban migrants in Puerto Rico.

Kevin Vaughn, Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Vaughn is an archaeologist whose active field and lab research focuses on the emergence of pre-state complexity, craft production, households, mining, and archaeometry in Nasca, Peru. His most recent project is focused on the anthropology of ancient mining communities in Peru.

Amanda Veile, Assistant Professor

Dr. Veile is a biological anthropologist and studies human evolutionary and behavioral ecology with a focus on infant-child development and maternal-child interactions in rural, indigenous Latin American communities (Bolivia, Venezuela, and Mexico). Her ongoing research projects include: 1) Documentation of birthing practices, breastfeeding patterns, and mother-child attachment; 2) Study of postnatal environmental conditions, growth and immuno-nutrition in infancy and childhood; and 3) Monitoring health profiles in isolated populations to identify novel health challenges associated with globalization.  

Sharon Williams, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Williams is a biological anthropologist who examines the intersection between behavior, ecology, biology and health. She is currently working to measure this interaction in older adults through projects in the United States (NSHAP) and across countries in the developing world with the World Health Organization (SAGE). She also maintains active field work in NE India and a working laboratory to develop new field-friendly methods of biological data collection and analysis.

Laura Zanotti, Associate Professor

Dr. Zanotti completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 2008 and joined the Anthropology faculty in Fall of 2009. She specializes in environmental anthropology, political ecology and ethnoecology. Zanotti presently works with the Kayapó, a Brazilian indigenous group, on the issues of conservation, gendered uses of the landscape, and resistance strategies.




Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by CLA

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the College of Liberal Arts Webmaster.

Some content on this site may require the use of a special plug-in or application. Please visit our plug-ins page for links to download these applications.