Alyssa Crittenden

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Expertise: Anthropology, Nutrition, Human Evolutionary Biology, Hunters and Gatherers, Human Ecology

Biography

Alyssa Crittenden is an anthropologist who studies the relationship between human behavior and the environment (ecological, political, and social). She seeks to better understand the links between diet, reproduction, growth and development, and maternal, infant, and child health and behavior. Her research interests fall within the domains of Biological Anthropology, Behavioral Ecology, Political Ecology, Medical Anthropology, and Applied Evolutionary Anthropology.

Most of her research has been done in collaboration with the Hadza of Tanzania, East Africa — one of the world’s last remaining hunting and gathering populations — who she has worked with since 2004. She is currently working with members of the Hadza community to explore how women and children’s health is impacted by environmental change, political policy, shifts in diet composition, and ethnotourism. Dr. Crittenden has also recently begun several large-scale studies on the behavioral and demographic characteristics of co-sleeping mothers (who bedshare with their infants) all around the world, including in the US.

Her work is published in top-tier academic journals as well as highlighted in popular outlets, such as The New York Times, Smithsonian, National Geographic, the BBC, Psychology Today, and on National Public Radio. She is committed to the open science movement and works to share her research findings with public media domains.

Education

  • Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

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food & nutrition, psychology & human behavior

Alyssa Crittenden In The News

Daily Bruin
September 2, 2019
A UCLA study found that societies in which men are more invested in the care of their children show signs of more jealousy in response to infidelity.
The Great Courses Daily
June 24, 2019
If you live in the United States, you might be surprised to see a Stroopwafel McFlurry in McDonald’s, but in the Netherlands it’s a staple dessert item on the fast food chain’s menu. It might also seem strange to order a Baja Blast with Ketel One in it. But if the test market is successful, the cocktail may be coming to a Taco Bell near you. Despite the spread of most foods to all four corners of the Earth, humans still have wildly different diets owing to our diverse cultures.
LIVEKINDLY
June 3, 2019
Honey — it’s a popular “better-for-you” sweetener for tea and baked goods alike, but because it’s made by bees, the question of its vegan status is an on-going discussion in communities.
Deutschlandfunk
November 20, 2018
The lifestyle of Hadza in Tanzania could soon be a thing of the past.

Articles Featuring Alyssa Crittenden

UNLV campus
ResearchJanuary 26, 2018
Three faculty garner 2018 Barrick Scholar Awards for their extensive research achievements.
Alyssa Crittenden
ResearchDecember 26, 2017
UNLV researchers made international headlines this year with their discoveries. Here's a round up of some of our top stories of 2017.
A student and faculty member examine an experiment under magnification.
ResearchAugust 11, 2017
McNair/AANAPISI programs for low-income, first-generation students matches undergrads with faculty mentors that share their focus and goals.
UNLV professor Alyssa Crittenden with members of the Hadza of Tanzania.
Campus NewsJuly 11, 2017
UNLV joint study finds that elusive sleep patterns as humans age may have evolved to ensure safety.