John Lindo publishes research on ancient DNA, aiding our comprehension of migration patterns in South America before the arrival of Europeans

The research found different and previously undetected ancestry in a man and a woman dating back 800 and 1,500 years, both from an archeological site in eastern Uruguay. This supports the theory of separate migrations from North America into different areas in South America. “We’ve now provided genetic evidence that this theory may be correct,” Lindo tells Phys.org.

Dr. Lindo published The genomic prehistory of the Indigenous peoples of Uruguay in PNAS Nexus, Co-authors are Roseirys De La Rosa, Andre L C d Santos, Mónica Sans, Michael DeGiorgio, and Gonzalo Figueiro.

Anthropology Honors Students 2022

Photo left to right: Back row: Dr. Debra Vidali, Emily Edwards, Clio Hancock, Phoebe Einzig-Roth, Shreya Sharma.  Front row: Vijwala Yakkanti, Rosseirys De La Rosa, Sabrina Jin, Priscilla Lin.  Not pictured: Michele Chen, Thisara Gunawardana, Cora Hirst, Bushra Rahman.

The Anthropology department is proud to recognize our 2021-2022 honors graduates!  In another year of uncertainty and challenging research conditions, we had a new record number of students completing honors projects.  This year, twelve Anthropology students successfully defended honors theses, the culmination of a year (or more!) of independent research and writing.  All projects were completed under the supervision of faculty advisors and committee members from within and outside of Anthropology, with support from faculty honors coordinator Dr. Debra Vidali.  These students were honored at our Anthropology Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 25th.  Two students graduated in December, and ten are scheduled to graduate with honors at the Emory University Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 9th.

Please see below for a full list of thesis.  You can read more about this year’s honors students and their projects on our website.  Please join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment! 

Michele Chen: Acquisition of Reproductive Health Knowledge: How girls in Georgia learn about their reproductive bodies
Advisor: John Lindo

Rosseirys De La Rosa: Understanding the Evolutionary History of Ancient Indigenous Individuals in Uruguay
Advisor: John Lindo

Emily Edwards: People, plants, and prescriptions: Effects of herbal supplements on pharmaceutical drug metabolism
Advisor: Cassandra Quave

Phoebe Einzig-Roth: Acute PTSD and Depression Symptoms in African American Women Newly Diagnosed With Breast Cancer
Advisors: Jennifer Stevens, Mel Konner

Thisara Gunawardana: Analysis of the COVID-19 Response in Sri Lanka
Advisor: Mel Konner

Clio Hancock: Close Quarters: An Investigation of Neighborhood Effects and SARS-CoV-2 in Chicago
Advisor: Craig Hadley

Cora Hirst: Evidence of Selection on Circadian Regulation of the Immune System in Ancient Iberia
Advisor: John Lindo

Sabrina Jin: New Perspectives on Race and Racism Among Brazilians of Asian Descent
Advisors: Jessica Ham, Craig Hadley

Priscilla Lin: Realities of First-Generation, Low-Income Scholars at Predominantly White Institutions: The Emory Experience
Advisor: Justin Hosbey

Bushra Rahman: Frustration responses of single mothers to prolonged infant crying
Advisor: Jim Rilling

Shreya Sharma: A Political Economy Approach to Understanding Abortion in Nepal
Advisor: Craig Hadley

Vijwala Yakkanti: Associations Between Emotion Regulation and Heart Rate Variability in Trauma-Exposed Black Women
Advisor: Negar Fani, Mel Konner

2022 Graduate Student Awards

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, Elena Lesley, Bruce Knauft, Bradd Shore

Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography: 

  • 1st prize: Elena Lesley  for her dissertation “Testimony as Transformation: Resilience, Regeneration, and Moral Action through Spiritually-Adapted Narrative Therapy in Cambodia”, advised by Bruce Knauft.
  • Runner up: Tatenda Mangurenje for her dissertation “Fractured Belonging: Black Police Officers and the New Civil Rights Movement”, advised by Peter Brown.

George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Megan Beney Kilgore and Scott Schnur

2022 Anthropology Undergraduate Student Award Winners

2022 Undergraduate Student Awards

The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2022 student award winners!  In addition to granting a record number of departmental awards, we were thrilled to be able to honor seven rising seniors with our first ever Trevor E. Stokol Scholarship, for research which they will be conducting during their senior year.  Undergraduate awards were conferred at a ceremony on Monday, April 25.   We are so proud of our many impressive students!

For award descriptions and past winners, visit our Departmental Awards webpage.

Outstanding Senior Award: Rosseirys De La Rosa, Sabrina Jin, and Priscilla Lin

Outstanding Junior Award: Hunter Akridge, Rachel Broun, Abhiram Manda

Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography:

  • Priscilla Lin  for her honors thesis “Realities of First-Generation, Low-Income Scholars at Predominately White Institutions: The Emory Experience”, advised by Justin Hosbey.
  • Lauren Oates for her Capstone project “Places of Permanent Precarity: An Examination of Palimpsest Landscapes in Dekalb County’s Constitution Lakes Park”, advised by Kristin Phillips.

Trevor E. Stokol Scholarship for Undergraduate Research

  • Hunter Akridge
  • Pamela Beniwal
  • Sophia Bereaud
  • Nicole Felix-Tovar
  • Danielle Mangabat
  • Alvaro Perez Daisson
  • Christopher Zeuthen
Hunter Akridge, Pamela Beniwal, Sophia Bereaud, Nicole Felix-Tovar, Alvaro Perez Daisson, Christopher Zeuthen. Not pictured: Danielle Mangabat.

Happy Anthropology Day

Happy #AnthroDay!  The Anthropology Department and Emory Anthropology Student Society (EASS) celebrated by hosting an information table and button-making station, where students made their own anthropology-themed buttons.  Students also had the opportunity to share some things they love about anthropology.  Here are some of the responses:

  • the diverse subfields
  • it asks us to think about and account for human values!
  • So much!  People, the brain, evolution, and more.
  • It’s my life!
  • Great classes
  • I love learning about other cultures and people around the world.
  • My class went to the Carlos Museum to see Marie Watts!

You can check out more about Anthropology Day at americananthro.org and by following #AnthroDay!

Kendra Sirak (PhD 18) publishes her research in Nature Communications

Dr. Sirak received her PhD in 2018 for her dissertation on “A Genomic Analysis of Two Early Christian Cemetery Communities from Sudanese Nubia”, she is now a staff scientist at Harvard University. Her research bridges the fields of Ancient DNA and archaeology and helps shed light on social structures as well as the genomes of ancient populations.

Nature Communications

USA Today reports on Dr. Rilling’s research regarding the connection between grandmothers and their grandchildren

James Rilling, Professor in the Anthropology Department at Emory University, used functional magnetic resonance  imaging to scan grandmothers brains while they looked at images of their children, their grandchildren as well as unrelated adults and children.

“When grandmothers viewed photographs of their grandchildren, they particularly activated brain regions that have previously been associated with emotional empathy, suggesting that grandmothers may be predisposed to share the emotional states of their grandchildren,” Rilling tells USA Today. When looking at picture of their adult children, areas of their brain associated with cognitive empathy where activated.

This research was also featured by CNN and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Dr. Stout is interviewed by PNAS on cave paintings dating back at least 45,500 years

Recently discovered cave paintings and bone carvings offer new perspectives on long-held questions about art’s origins—not to mention the nature of art itself.

The paintings of Pigs were discovered on limestone walls of the Leang Tedongnge cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The question about what the oldest record of art is necessitates a definition of art, and leads us to the question of what the creation of art tell us about humans and their abilities at the time. The full article is available online. Dietrich Stout.