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

The Great Courses Daily
June 25, 2020
The diminishing sugar demand took a worldwide pandemic to occur, according to Bloomberg. “The global closure of restaurants, sports arenas, and cinemas means sugar demand will drop this season for the first time in four decades,” the article said. “Drink and confectionery sales at giants including Coca-Cola Co. and Nestle SA have fallen, and while economies start to reopen, it’s unclear how quickly demand will recover as incomes and employment fall.”
BBC
June 1, 2020
Dan Saladino looks at the legal and illegal trade in wild meat. Links made between Covid-19 and wild animals has led to calls for a total ban. This could be a mistake Dan explains.
Inverse
February 19, 2020
Humans are one of the most successful species on the planet: We live on frozen continents and arid deserts, create tools that help us survive and even push the boundaries of our biology. Our ingenuity and adaptability serve as our species' superpowers, but the origins of that power may be found in unexpected places — like the armpit sweat of our closest living relatives.
The Great Courses Daily
December 23, 2019
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report, when it comes to food waste, “the cost estimate for the average family of four is $1,365 to $2,275 annually.” The exact figures on what contributes to American food waste were unavailable, but “in the United Kingdom, about two-thirds of household waste is due to food spoilage from not being used on-time; whereas, the other one-third is caused by people cooking or serving too much.”

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.