Award Winners

Amanda Veile, is an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts.  

Veile_ERSS_2016Professor Veile has received the 2017 Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences for her project "Biology and Socioecology of Birth and Early Childhood Maturational Processes: A Semi-Longitudinal Study of Yucatec Maya Subsistence Farmers"  

Dr. Veile will assess the biological mechanisms and socioecological factors that shape differential growth patterns in cesarean and vaginally-born Yucatec Maya children. Much debate surrounds the overuse of cesarean deliveries, because they are epidemiologically associated with childhood obesity and atopic disease. Despite these risks, cesarean births are rising in rural indigenous communities throughout Mexico. This project will answer three questions: First, do cesarean and vaginally born Maya children exhibit distinct gut microbial profiles? Second, do postnatal socioecological conditions modulate the relationships between birth mode, gut microbiome maturation, and child growth? Third, are there population-specific patterns in the relationship between cesarean birth, the gut microbiome and childhood growth? This research integrates the social and biological sciences and illuminates the consequences of a pervasive global trend: imposing biomedical obstetric systems on traditional communities with a rich history of midwifery.

Natalie Lambert is an assistant professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts.   

ERSS_Lambert_2016Professor Lambert has received the 2017 Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences for her project "Development of a Breast Cancer Prevention Campaign Informed by Computational Analysis of Large-scale Patient and Survivor Narratives"  

The goals of this research project are to: 1) develop an innovative methodology that overcomes current barriers to collecting large-scale online cancer patient narratives, and 2) to create and pilot test breast cancer prevention campaign messages informed by computational analysis of a large-scale narrative dataset. The narratives will be analyzed using a data-driven, computational approach in order to find broad patterns of narratives and breast cancer experiences that can then inform the creation of health campaign messages.  

Manjana Milkoreit is an assistant professor in the department of Political Science.  


Professor Milkoreit has received the 2017 Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences for her project "How to Design the ‘Global Stocktake’ – Making or Breaking the International Climate Change Regime"  

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change established a set of review and transparency mechanisms that will be crucial for the success and effectiveness of the climate regime. The modalities of these review processes have not yet been determined. This project informs and supports the design of one of these mechanisms—the Global Stocktake—with a particular focus on the role of science in global governance. The project develops insights concerning the design of an effective review mechanism leveraging existing scientific knowledge and gathering new empirical data. It will analyze (i) historical case studies of review mechanisms outside of the climate regime, (ii) precursors within the climate regime, in particular the 2013-2015 Review, and (iii) the political interests of key negotiation parties between 2010 and 2016 with a focus on global goals, effectiveness and review. Based on these insights, the project will develop an assessment tool that will allow various stakeholders to evaluate forthcoming design proposals for the Global Stocktake (the Expected Effectiveness Scorecard).

2017-erss-tmustilloThomas Mustillo is the assistant professor in the department of Political Science.   

Professor Mustillo has received the 2017 Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences for his project "The Dynamics of Party Competition with Non-Policy Strategies"

“Party competition in a democracy is often about policy differences between parties. However, in many new democracies (and sometimes in established ones), party competition is dominated by personalism, vote-buying, and other non-policy approaches to winning voter support. These alternatives to policy competition can be deeply disruptive and destabilizing to a democracy and to citizen well-being. Under what conditions will non-policy strategies emerge? Under what conditions will they growth to dominate party competition? Political scientists have developed a deep base of knowledge about party competition over policy, but don’t incorporate the reality that parties sometimes offer, and voters sometimes choose, personalism and side payments rather than policy. This project will use agent-based models to place policy strategies into competition with non-policy strategies in order to understand the conditions under which different patterns of party competition emerge.” 


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