Vivek Venkataraman, PhD Student in EEB, Receives NGS Waitt Grant

Vivek Venkataraman (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Ph.D student) and Jeff Kerby (Visiting Arctic Fellow at Dartmouth College) received a National Geographic Society - Waitt Grant for $15,000 for a project entitled "The living library of primate faces: developing 3-dimensional facial mapping to link behavioral ecology and morphometrics in a wild gelada monkey population."  The size and shape of morphological traits are fundamental aspects of animals that have been shaped by natural and sexual selection. Consequently, the measurements of physical attributes in wild animals is essential for testing evolutionary hypotheses. Yet in most taxa this task is difficult due to logistical challenges and the ethical problems associated with live capture. Remote measurement of individual morphological traits via photogrammetry has become popular in recent years, although current implementations of this technique remain relatively crude and are largely confined to two dimensions.   The study involves developing a portable multi-camera array to characterize the morphological traits of wild primates in three dimensions.

Colin Walmsley '15 Named Rhodes Scholar

Colin Walmsley ’15 of Fort MacLeod, Alberta, Canada has been named a Rhodes Scholar for 2015—the 78th Rhodes Scholar in Dartmouth’s history.

The Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest and best-known award for international study, is widely considered to be the most prestigious postgraduate academic award available to college graduates.

Colin is completing a double major in Anthropology and Government and conducted research as a senior fellow on "Queer Youth Homelessness in New York City," with his advisor, Sienna Craig, an associate professor of Anthropology. His research was supported with funding from the anthropology department’s Claire Garber Goodman Fund for the Anthropological Study of Human Culture.

The Anthropology Department extends its warmest congratulations to Colin as he prepares for his journey to Oxford to pursue a master's degree in Social Anthropology.

Karolina Krelinova '14 Wins Runner-Up Chase Peace Prize

The Anthropology Department congratulates anthropology major Karolina Krelinova ’14, who has been awarded the 2014 Runner-Up Prize by the John Sloan Dickey Center’s Chase Peace Prize committee. Each year, the Dickey Center awards the Peace Prize and Runner-Up Prize to senior theses or culminating projects that address “the subject of war, conflict resolution, the prospects and problems of maintaining peace, or other related topics”

As an Anthropology major, Karolina conducted independent ethnographic research among young activists in Belgrade, Serbia. Her research, advised by Professors Sergei Kan and Lourdes Gutierrez-Najera, culminated in an honors thesis titled “Challenging The Mythical Nation: Liberal Youth Activism in Belgrade, Serbia.”

What Americans Can Learn From a Vial of Tibetan Spit

Tibetans have developed unique biological traits to adjust to life at high altitude, and assessing these genetic differences may benefit all of us. Associate Professor Sienna Craig and colleague Cynthia Beall are working to understand the role that these unique genes may play in “the biology of diseases as diverse as osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, and cancer.”

Craig writes about these biological discoveries, as well as the challenges of translating medical science between Tibetan and American cultures, in a recent article in Pacific Standard.

To access the full article, click here.

Miriam Kilimo ’14 Named Rhodes Scholar

Miriam Jerotich Kilimo ’14 of Nairobi, Kenya, has been named a Rhodes Scholar for 2015—the 76th Rhodes Scholar in Dartmouth’s history.

The Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest and best-known award for international study, is widely considered to be the most prestigious postgraduate academic award available to college graduates.

While at Dartmouth, Miriam majored in Anthropology and conducted research as a senior fellow on "Inter-Ethnic Friendship Among Youth in Urban Kenya," with her advisor, Sergei Kan, a professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies.

The Anthropology Department extends its warmest congratulations to Miriam as she heads to Oxford to pursue a master's degree in Women's Studies.

Christina Danosi '13 publishes study of Samoan flying foxes

Christina Danosi '13, a modified Anthropology-Biological Sciences major, has published the results of her reading and research courses, Anthropology 85 and 87. Christina spent two quarters in 2012-2013 working with Amanda Melin - who was then a postdoctoral fellow, and is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis - and Associate Professor Nathaniel Dominy. Their study, which is published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A (link), reports on the color vision (opsin) genes of Samoan flying foxes (Pteropus samoensis), a bat species with an anomalous proclivity for diurnal soaring and foraging.

Art Sheds New Light on the Ecology of Ancient Egypt

Nathaniel Dominy, associate professor of anthropology and biological sciences at Dartmouth, is working to unravel 6,000 years of complex ecological interactions in the Nile Valley. His key for shedding light on this ecology? Ancient Egyptian artwork.

Using detailed depictions of fauna from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and carved reliefs, Dominy and his colleagues have pieced together a chronological catalogue of animals that once lived along the valley.

Dominy, along with his former graduate student Justin Yeakel, and other collaborators, have published this research in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

In a recent article with Dartmouth Now, Dominy describes his experience with the project: "We are excited by this paper because it is the first high-resolution record of an expanding human population coming into contact with essentially an intact Pleistocene community of large mammals...We can watch those animals disappear from the artistic record, and, by inference, the landscape, one at a time."

For Watanabe's Students, New Zealand is Full of Lessons

A recent Dartmouth Now article takes us behind the scenes to meet the Dartmouth Anthropology professor who has spent four winters leading the Anthropology Department's Foreign Studies Program in New Zealand. Throughout the course of these four winters, Associate Professor of Anthropology John Watanabe has worked to "shepherd Dartmouth undergraduates through the cultural landscape of New Zealand."

Of his experience, Watanabe explains: "One of the things the students learn is that a place may not be as it seems. What initially appears familiar, with time may indeed seems strange."

To read the entire article, published on 6/24/14 by Dartmouth Now, click here.

To learn more about the Anthropology Department's Foreign Studies Program to New Zealand, click here.

Crossing Disciplinary Borders in the Classroom

A recent story from Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine documents the experience of Sienna Craig, an associate professor of anthropology, and Tim Lahey, an associate professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, as they worked together to co-teach a course for undergraduates titled "HIV Through a Bio Social Lens: 30 Years of a Modern Plague." Team-teaching this course allowed the professors to create "an environment that challenged students to reevaluate their assumptions about medicine and culture."

In the article, author Susan Green quotes Lahey: "Our goal was to benefit the students from cross-disciplinary teaching, and I think we did...What was unexpected and great was how much my practice and my teahcing were influenced by working with Sienna. The more projects like this we have, the better."

Read the full article here, published 8/12/14 by the Geisel NewsCenter, to learn more about this exciting collaboration.

Anthropology Student Receives Scholar Award

Andres G. Mejia-Ramon ('16) was recently awarded a fellowship by the Stamps Foundation to support his project Local Hydrology in Teotihuacan: A Study of Ancient Canals and Water Basins.  Under the guidance of Professor Deborah L. Nichols, William J. Bryant Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College and in collaboration with Professors David Carballo (Boston University) and Luis Barba Pingarron (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) Andres will research hydraulic features at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico.

With permission of the Instituto Nacional de Antropolgia e Historia, Mexico, Proyecto Altica is supported by grants from the National Geographic Society (Stoner, PI), the National Science Foundation (1424132-Nichols, PI, NSF No. 424184-Stoner, PI), the Claire Garber Goodman Fund at Dartmouth and Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences (Nichols,PI).  Photo Credit: Wes Stoner.