Listen to Dr. Marcela Benítez (@mebenitez85) talk about social comparisons, cooperation, and cognition in nonhuman primates in Episode 5 of The Animal Behavior Podcast. In this episode, host Matthew speaks with Dr. Marcela Benítez, an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology at Emory University and co-director of the Capuchinos de Taboga research project, on her research taking comparative cognition work from the lab to the wild, the overlap between psychology and anthropology, as well as her commitment to make primate fieldwork more accessible for undergraduates.
The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2021 student award winners! Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabella Cantor, Katherine Morgan, William Johnson, and Phoebe Einzig-Roth, and graduate students Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera. Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Monday, May 3.
2021 Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Senior Award: Isabella Cantor and Katherine Morgan
Outstanding Junior Award: William Johnson
Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography
Isabella Cantor for her honors thesis “End-of-Life Perspectives Among Couples Aging Together in Assisted Living: A Narrative Approach”, advised by Mel Konner.
Phoebe Einzig-Roth for her class project “Coping with COVID: Patient Perspectives”, directed by Debra Vidali.
2021 Graduate Student Awards:
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera
Carol Worthman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emerita of the Department of Anthropology, has received the 2021 Society for Psychological Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award. The award “honors career-long contributions to psychological anthropology that have substantially influenced the field and its development. The award seeks to recognize the work of individuals whose sustained involvement in psychological anthropology has had a major impact on research directions, on the wider visibility and relevance of the field, and on the growth of a community of scholarship addressing issues of culture and psychology.“
Professor Worthman integrates anthropology, human development, and neuroscience to investigate the bases of differential well-being with a particular focus on adolescent and global mental health. She has conducted collaborative biocultural and biosocial research in thirteen countries, including Kenya, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and South Africa, as well as in rural, urban, and semi-urban areas of the United States.
Sarah Kovalaskas joined the Department of Anthropology as a graduate student in 2018 and recently published a paper titled “Comparative analyses of the Pan lineage reveal selection on gene pathways associated with diet and sociality in bonobos” in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior. Second and third authors are Jim Rilling, professor and department chair at Emory’s Department of Anthropology, and John Lindo, assistant professor at Emory’s Department of Anthropology.
“I feel like this paper was a great example of seizing an idea and making use of already existing data in that all the genomes are all publicly available online and we just needed the storage space and computational know-how to carry it out. The idea of ‘self domestication’ is something that I’ve been interested in and thinking about for a while, and I was hoping to work on similar topics for my dissertation. Even though I’m going in a different direction now it was a really nice way for me to build relationships with professors in the department after Adrian Jaeggi left Emory to continue his research at the University of Zurich. It also allowed me to dip my toes into other fields (genomics) and see how I could incorporate those techniques with my own interests and background working in the field with bonobos.”
While there has been a lot of research about how motherhood affects women, Dr. Rilling has been working to fill the gap by researching the effects of fatherhood on men. In the article he explains the effects of testosterone on the behavior of avian, primate, and human fathers, as well as his research on the effect of fatherhood on testosterone levels in men.
Most national, mandatory flour fortification standards do not align with international recommendations for iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 levels was published in Food Policy and can be viewed on Science Direct.
“Above all, I’m so grateful for the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Helena Pachón. I’m so excited to see that the results of our work are now available to be shared with others.”
Co-authors are Britt Broedersen, Nancy J. Aburto, Aashima Garg, Mary Serdula, Filiberto Beltrán Velázquez, Eugene C. Wong and Helena Pachón.
Projects of the Ancient DNA Lab include the analysis of the DNA of indigenous people, which have historically received less attention than people of European ancestry. Dr. Lindo does this work in cooperation with local indigenous people, a departure from traditional archaeological procedures.
Rosseirys “Ro” De La Rosa, an undergraduate student and member of the lab, is working on a project involving the remains of indigenous people from Uruguay, the Charrúa. “Culture matters,” De La Rosa says. “Leaning about your own culture gives you a sense of unity and connection that you can pass down to others.”
The Department of Anthropology at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) invites applications for a tenured position in biological anthropology to begin Fall 2021. We seek scholars at the associate or full professor level who are engaged in cutting-edge research in any area of biological anthropology. To complement existing departmental strengths, we are particularly interested in scholars engaged in field and/or lab-based research in the areas of behavioral/human ecology, genetics, human biology, paleoanthropology, prehistoric archaeology, primatology, neuroscience and anthropology, and scientifically-based medical anthropology. Candidates should be willing and able to regularly teach a large introductory or foundational course in biological anthropology along with courses in their area of expertise and be willing to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Candidates must have a doctoral degree, excellent research record, and a demonstrated commitment to teaching.
Applications should include cover letter, curriculum vita, research statement, teaching statement, a statement about teaching and mentorship of students of diverse backgrounds, and complete contact information for three references. The Department of Anthropology, Emory College of Arts and Science, and Emory University embrace diversity and seek candidates who will participate in a climate that attracts students of all ethnicities, races, nationalities, genders, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Review of applications will begin on November 1, and applications will be accepted through December 1, 2020. To apply for this position, please submit your materials free of charge through Interfolio: http://apply.interfolio.com/79198 .
Emory University is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, non-binary individuals, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa.Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa. Since August 2019, Andy has been conducting his dissertation fieldwork on the intergenerational effects of trauma from apartheid. He collaborates with a 30-year longitudinal birth cohort study called Birth to Twenty (also known as “Mandela’s Children) to understand how traumatic experiences that pregnant women faced during the dissolution of apartheid affect the health and biology of subsequent generations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting his data collection short, he took advantage of his existing research infrastructure to evaluate the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify community psychosocial needs, and connect families to critical social services. He writes about these experiences in a forthcoming special issue on COVID-19 in the American Journal of Human Biology. At Northwestern, Andy is currently being advised by fellow Emory Anthropology alumni Christopher Kuzawa (PhD MSPH 2001) and Thomas McDade (PhD 1999). His research has been published in Scientific Reports, Social Science & Medicine, Transcultural Psychiatry, andthe American Journal of Physical Anthropology. His dissertation research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Read and hear more about his work below!