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anthropology Accomplishments

Dec 13, 2017
Timothy P. Gocha (Anthropology), along with co-authors Kate Spradley and Ryan Strand of Texas State University, recently published a book chapter on their work trying to identify presumed migrants who have lost their lives crossing the U.S./Mexico border.  The chapter, "Bodies in Limbo," traces the movement of deceased migrants in South Texas through the system of identification and repatriation. Given significant differences in funding, resources, labor power, institutional support, and time, the timing and movement of bodies through the various medicolegal process are highly variable. In many ways, the fragmentation and differential support for volunteer forensic scientists have produced particular systems-level nodes where bodies may wait “in limbo” for years. The chapter considers constraints faced by forensic scientists and the systemic implications of those individual constraints, as well as addresses the steps anthropologists are taking to improve identification efforts. The chapter is from a recently published edited volume, Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation, part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory series from Springer publishers where Lincy Professor of Anthropology Debra Martin is the series editor.   

Dec 4, 2017
Daniel Benyshek (Anthropology) and Sharon Young (Anthropology and Undergraduate Research) and colleagues published the first clinical trial exploring the effects of human maternal placentophagy, the practice of eating one's placenta after giving birth. The study, which was published online in the journal Women and Birth Nov. 23, was covered in Science news on Dec. 1.   

Oct 30, 2017
Levent Atici (Anthropology), along with colleagues Suzanne Pilaar Birch of the University of Georgia and Burçin Erdoğu of the University of Thrace in Turkey, has published a research article in PLOS ONE. In the article they investigate Neolithic and Chalcolithic (8500-7000 years Before Current Era) animal management systems at Uğurlu Höyük on the Turkish island of Gökçeada in the northeastern Aegean Sea. Atici’s (PI) research, funded by National Geographic Society, focuses on one of the most revolutionary socioeconomic transformations in the history of humankind — the Neolithic Revolution, and sheds new light on the dispersal of fully-developed agropastoral lifeways of emergent early farming populations into Europe via Anatolia (present-day Turkey). They document that the first colonizers and settlers of Gökçeada were farmers who introduced domestic sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs to the island as early as 8500 years before current era, and that their animal management systems on the island clearly diverged from the mainland.  

Jul 5, 2017
Three UNLV graduate students recently received a national Love of Learning Award from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. They are among 100 award recipients nationwide. Erick López, a doctoral student in sociology, will use funds from the award to travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend a research methods training titled "Health Disparities, Health Inequities and Vulnerable Populations: Research Examining and Understanding Complexity" and hosted by the world-renowned Interuniversity Consortium of Political and Social Research in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Alfonso Toro, ’17 M.Ed, is a Teach for America ’15 corps member and a full-time 8th grade English teacher in the inner city. His passion lies in creating access for others and he believes that education is the key to opportunity. Alfonso will use the award to travel to Frankfurt, Germany, to pursue German language lessons. Shelly Volsche is a visiting lecturer with the Academic Success Center and a doctoral candidate in anthropology. She is completing her dissertation on the formation and practice of the childfree identity, including what this emergent identity can teach us about the postmodern era. She is an engaged professor who believes continuing to learn is at the core of creating community within her classroom and the broader UNLV community.

Jun 20, 2017
Forty undergraduates recently were awarded scholarships through the office of undergraduate research's summer undergraduate research funding (OUR SURF) program. These scholarships support undergraduate research, scholarship, entrepreneurial, performance, or visual art projects in the summer months. A total of $39,000 in funding was contributed by the following 11 colleges/programs: Allied Health Sciences Community Health Sciences CSUN Engineering Fine Arts Honors Liberal Arts Nursing OUR-UNLV Provost's office Sciences A full list of recipients is available online. To learn more about their projects, attend the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum on Aug. 9.  

Jun 6, 2017
Alan Simmons (Anthropology) recently participated in an invited interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the Australian National University. The conference and subsequent workshop addressed the impacts that ancient humans had on native island animal populations, including their possible role in the extinction of the latter. Simmons was subsequently extensively quoted in a piece published in Science that summarized the conference.

Jun 5, 2017
Peter Gray (Anthropology) gave a plenary talk at the 2017 Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Boise, Idaho, in May. The conference draws an interdisciplinary contingent of faculty and students interested in the evolution of human behavior. His talk, titled "Sex, Babies and Dogs: Evolutionary and Endocrine Aspects of Changing Human Families," included work involving several UNLV students.   

May 9, 2017
Breanna Boppre (Criminal Justice), Leiszle Lapping-Carr (Psychology), and Michael Moncrieff (Anthropology), recently were announced by the Graduate College as the recipients of the 2017-18 President's UNLV Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships are funded by gifts to the UNLV Foundation by the Frank Koch Living Trust for the research support of doctoral students. Boppre is pursuing a doctoral degree in criminology and criminal justice and is advised by professor Emily Salisbury. Lapping-Carr is working toward a doctoral degree in psychology. Her advisor is Chris Heavey, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of psychology. Michael Moncrieff is pursuing a doctoral degree in anthropology. Professor Pierre Lienard is his advisor.  

Jul 28, 2016
Michael Green, Eugene Moehring, Greg Hise, Andy Kirk, William Bauer, (all History), Claytee White, Su Kim Chung, (both Libraries) and Karen Harry (Anthropology), recently participated n a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop in which 72 teachers from across the country studied "Hoover Dam and the American Southwest." Green served as co-director, while Moehring, Hise, Kirk, Bauer, Harry, White, and Chung participated. Also participating was Michelle Turk, '11 PhD History.

Jun 24, 2016
Liam Frink (Research and Economic Development) is the author of A Tale of Three Villages (University of Arizona Press, 2016), an investigation of culture change among the Yup'ik Eskimo people of the southwestern Alaskan coast from just prior to the time of Russian and Euro-North American contact to the mid-twentieth century. Frink focuses on three indigenous-colonial events along the southwestern Alaskan coast: the late precolonial end of warfare and raiding, the commodification of subsistence that followed, and, finally, the engagement with institutional religion. His innovative interdisciplinary methodology respectfully and creatively investigates the spatial and material past, using archeological, ethnoecological, and archival sources. The author's narrative journey tracks the histories of three villages ancestrally linked to Chevak, a contemporary Alaskan Native community: Qavinaq, a prehistoric village at the precipice of colonial interactions and devastated by regional warfare; Kashunak, where people lived during the infancy and growth of the commercial market and colonial religion; and Old Chevak, a briefly occupied "stepping-stone" village inhabited just prior to modern Chevak. The archeological spatial data from the sites are blended with ethnohistoric documents, local oral histories, eyewitness accounts of people who lived at two of the villages, and Frink's nearly two decades of participant-observation in the region. Frink provides a model for work that examines interfaces among indigenous women and men, old and young, demonstrating that it is as important as understanding their interactions with colonizers. He demonstrates that in order to understand colonial history, we must actively incorporate indigenous people as actors, not merely as reactors.