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

Search For Other Experts On

food & nutrition, psychology & human behavior

Alyssa Crittenden In The News

Phys.Org
September 23, 2020
A group of social scientists who conduct cross-cultural research are casting a critical lens on their own practices.
EurekAlert!
September 23, 2020
A group of social scientists who conduct cross-cultural research are casting a critical lens on their own practices.
Daily Maverick
September 18, 2020
A life without bees is no life at all. Literally. Not only are they essential for pollination of plants but they are intricately entwined with the evolution of our species. University of Nevada paleoanthropologist Alyssa Crittenden argues that honey and bee larvae consumption are what “made it possible for early Homo to nutritionally out-compete other species of hominid and may have provided critical energy to fuel their enlarging and evolving brains”.
The Great Courses Daily
July 15, 2020
According to BBC Travel, a species of ant called the Hormigas culonas—or “big-butt ant”—fetches prices as high as 300,000 Colombian pesos per kilogram, or approximately $83 USD. Part of the reason ants are in such high demand is due to their nutritional value, a recently studied and similar species shows.

Articles Featuring Alyssa Crittenden

ResearchSeptember 22, 2020
Social science researchers offer recommendations for navigating ethical dilemmas in studying global societies.
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.