A woman smiling

Alyssa Crittenden

Graduate Coordinator; Associate Professor

WRI-A 106


Alyssa Crittenden is an anthropologist and human biologist who studies the relationship between behavior, reproduction, and the environment (ecological, political, and social). Her research interests fall within the domains of Behavioral and Reproductive Ecology, Political Ecology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, and the Philosophy of Biology. 

Dr. Crittenden is currently working with members of the Hadza community of subsistence foragers (Tanzania) to explore how the health of women and their children is impacted by environmental change, political policy, shifts in diet composition, differential access to biomedical care, and ethnotourism. She has also recently extended her work in ecology beyond the environment. Using a political ecology of the body framework, she is currently interrogating the ethics of human microbiome research and the inherent structural inequity that characterizes much of the "rewilding" movement. 

Her work is published in top-tier academic journals as well as highlighted in popular media outlets, including The New York TimesSmithsonianPsychology TodayNPR, and BBC. Dr. Crittenden is the recipient of the 2021 Conrad Arensberg Award from the American Anthropological Association for furthering Anthropology as a natural science. She remains committed to the open science movement and works to share her research findings widely. She is currently an Associate Professor and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Nutrition and Reproduction Laboratory at UNLV.


PhD: University of California, San Diego (2009)
BA: University of California, Santa Cruz (2001)