Postcards from the field: Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz and Dr. Aaron Stutz in Jordan

Greetings from Jordan where Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology) and Dr. Aaron Stutz (Associate Professor in Anthropology at Oxford College) are excavating at the cave site Mughr el-Hamamah, where they located archaeological contexts from the early upper Palaeolithic in 2010. This year they return to the cave to finish the excavations. In addition to excavating lithics and animal remains, their work this season aims at recovering the remains of plants (in the form of charcoal, seeds, nuts, etc) which will help them reconstruct the paleoenvironment and to better understand how palaeolithic hunters and gatherers used resources in the landscape. To help them they are joined by archaeobotanist Dr. Chantel White of the University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate assistant Fabian Toro. They are also benefiting from the invaluable help of John Murray (incoming PhD student at Arizona State University), Emma Hanlon, Neharika Penmetcha, Hazel Sima, and José Amador (undergraduate students at Oxford College and Emory College).

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Jennifer Mascaro finds that a toddler’s gender influences the brain responses and behavior of fathers

Jennifer Mascaro (PhD, Emory Anthropology) published a study in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience based on work she did as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor James Rilling.

The study found differences in behavior fathers showed their children, depending on the child’s gender, from response time to commonly used terminology. The split between fathers of sons and fathers of daughters was also present during brain scans employed in the study. Faced with different pictures, fathers of daughters reacted strongly to pictures of their daughters with happy expressions, while fathers of sons’ strongest reactions were to pictures of their child showing a neutral expression. (eScienceCommons)

Dr. Jessica Thompson on Homo naledi

In a recent eLife article, Dr. Jessica Thompson discusses how the newly discovered Homo naledi creates more questions than it answers in terms of the evolution of humans. The new discovery certainly illustrates that the evolution of the modern human did not occur in the straight line that we once thought.

This article also made news in the Guardian.

 

 

 

Dr. Debra Vidali at The Sound of Memory Symposium in London

Dr. Debra Spitulnik Vidali and Dr. Kwame Phillips (PhD, Emory Anthropology, 2014) exhibited their ethnographic sound art project entitled “Kabusha Radio Remix: Your Questions Answered by Pioneering Zambian Talk Show Host David Yumba (1923­‐1990)” in London on April 23-24 as part of The Sound of Memory Symposium.

The Sound of Memory Symposium explores creative works and ideas situated at the interface of composers working in acoustic ecologies and artists working within social ecologies, where the primary engagement is a form of sonic ethnography. The overarching theme is an exploration of how individual and cultural memory resonates in the shaping of social space. The Symposium explores the broad domain of acoustic ecologies and soundscape’s engagement in place. The symposium is co-hosted by the Sound-Image-Space Research Centre (School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent), the School of Sound, and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Dr. Isabella Alexander: “The freedom to travel isn’t a basic human right. It depends on where you’re born.”

Anthropologist, Writer, Documentary Filmmaker, and Visiting Assistant Professor in Emory’s Anthropology Department, Dr. Isabella Alexander (PhD, Emory, 2016) published an article on GlobalPost Investigations highlighting problems in the migration crisis.

Professor Todd Preuss featured on NPR

An article featured on NPR discusses the complications that arise when rodents are commonly used to test medications intended for humans: namely, a disappointingly high failure rate once medications are tested on human subjects.

Todd Preuss, an anthropologist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University and Associated Professor of Anthropology, indicates that rats were initially studied to learn about rats. At some point they transitioned to “prototypical mammals.” Dr. Preuss points out that rodents have not only developed quite differently from humans, but the specific test subjects can also be described as lacking genetic diversity.