Alyssa Crittenden

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Expertise: Anthropology, Nutrition, Human Behavioral Ecology, Hunters and Gatherers, Evolution of Childhood

Biography

Alyssa Crittenden is the Lincy Foundation Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UNLV, and a behavioral ecologist and nutritional anthropologist who works among the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, East Africa.

Her research interests include the evolution of the human diet, the evolution of childhood, the development of children's prosocial behavior, and the origins of the division of labor between the sexes.  She applies the principles of evolutionary theory to the study of human behavior and cultural diversity. Her work crosses several disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, ecology, nutrition, and human biology. 

Published widely in top-tier academic journals, Crittenden's research on the role of honey in human evolution and her work on Hadza diet and the gut microbiome has found its way to popular venues, such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, National Public Radio, and several documentaries which have been shown in film festivals around the world.

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.