Bigham, Abigail Winslow, Penn State U., University Park, PA - To aid research on 'Signatures of Natural Selection among Populations of the Andean Altiplano and the Tibetan Plateau,' supervised by Dr. Mark David Shriver
ABIGAIL BIGHAM, then a student at Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, received a grant in October 2006 to aid research on 'Signatures of Natural Selection among Populations of the Andean Altiplano and the Tibetan Plateau,' supervised by Dr. Mark Shriver. This research's focus was to identify gene specific evidence for genetic adaptation to high altitude hypoxia using independent, highland populations from distinct geographic regions. This includes the populations of the Andes (Quechua and Aymara) and a population from the Tibetan Plateau (Tibetans). Three major questions were addressed: 1) Is there gene-specific evidence for natural selection among populations of the Tibetan Plateau? 2) Is there gene-specific evidence for natural selection among populations of the Andean Altiplano? 3) Do the Tibetan and Andean populations exhibit similarities and/or differences in genes or functionally different changes in the same genes involved in high altitude adaptation? In order to answer these questions, a variety of molecular assays were performed on the study populations. These included: 1) Using high density multi-locus genome scan data to identify natural selection candidate genes and gene regions; 2) Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) typing in each of the candidate genes to further scrutinize these regions for evidence of selection; 3) DNA sequencing of one gene showing strong evidence of selection in both Tibetans and Andeans; and 4) Association analyses that control for admixture to test for genotype-phenotype correlations.
Prassack, Kari Alyssa, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Paleoecological Significance of Fossil Birds at Olduvai: An Ecologically-Based Neotaphonomic Approach,' supervised by Dr. Robert John Blumenschine
KAN ALYSSA PRASSACK, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Paleo-Ecological Significance of Fossil Birds at Olduvai: An Ecologically Based Neotaphonomic Approach,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine. This dissertation research addressed bird bone survivorship across modern landscapes to determine the paleo-environmental utility of fossil avifaunal accumulations for understanding early hominin habitats. Field research occurred in a range of environments in northern Tanzania. Surveys were conducted to determine where bird bone is most likely to be deposited and become fossilized and bones were collected and analyzed for taphonomic marks produced by feeding carnivores, microbial bio-erosion, weathering, and other bone-modifying processes. Controlled studies involved submersion and burial of bones in water and sediments taken from many of the surveyed field sites and exposure to sub-aerial processes in the southern Serengeti region of Tanzania. Carnivore feeding observations were also conducted, using several carnivore taxa, including smaller carnivores never before studied in this manner. The culmination of these data is now being utilized in the taphonomic analysis of Olduvai fossil birds recovered during excavations by the Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project.
Prassack, Kari A. 2014. Landscape Distribution and Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene Avifaunal Communities from Lowermost Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 70(1):1-15.
Franklin, Kathryn Jane, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Poltiical Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Authority in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500- 1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam Thomas Smith
KATHRYN J. FRANKLIN, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Political Economy at the Crossroads: Trade and Economy in the Medieval Armenian Highlands, AD 500-1400,' supervised by Dr. Adam T. Smith. This project investigated the intersection of local political life along the mountain highways of Armenia with regional trade during the late medieval period (AD 900-1400). The project aims to discover how people living in the Armenian highlands at this time imagined themselves in relation to both local history and wider cultural and political phenomena, and how they put such imagined relationships into action through architectural projects that engaged with the material objects carried through the landscape by donkey caravans. To achieve these aims, the project investigated a caravanatun ('caravan house') built by a local merchant-prince in the early 13th century at the site of Arai-Bazarjugh. The excavations revealed the caravanatun to be a rectangular hall divided into vaulted galleries by rows of arches. This large and secure space provided accommodation for human travelers as well as their beasts, which were kept in specially built stable-galleries at the sides of the building. A second phase of the project focused on categorizing the material artifacts found within this building, which includes metal objects, animal bones, and pottery. The ceramic assemblage from the Arai-Bazarjugh caravanatun floors includes cookwares and small bowls, as well as glazed dishes that may have been trade goods on their way to the next town.
Vashro, Layne Joseph, U. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT - To aid research on 'Post-marital Residence among the Twe of Northwestern Namibia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Cashdan
LAYNE J. VASHRO, then a student at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, received a grant April 2011 to aid research on 'Post-Marital Residence among the Twe of Northwestern Namibia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Cashdan. The results of this project support recent research showing that cultural ideals often have minimal bearing on whether couples move to live with the husband's or the wife's family after marriage. This project also began the process of explaining the factors that shape variation in which form of 'post-marital residence' different couples adopt. Childcare assistance offered by women's female relatives is an important incentive for women to stay home after marriage. The impact of the maternal grandmother, identified as a key source of childcare among the Twe and many other populations, is a strong example of this. Twe couples are 28 percent more likely to live in the maternal camp when the maternal grandmother is still alive and able to provide childcare assistance. Men's wealth also plays an important role in shaping post-marital residence. Wealthy men draw their spouses, the spouses of their children, and even the families of these spouses to their residence camp. These men become a residence focal point and lead to larger residence communities. While some women own animals among the Twe, they never develop large enough herds to become residence focal points because inheritance only runs through men.
Kim, Ji Eun, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Building the Future and Mapping the Past: Urban Regeneration and Politics of Memory in Yokohama, Japan,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Robertson
JI EUN KIM, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Building the Future and Mapping the Past: Urban Regeneration and Politics of Memory in Yokohama, Japan,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer Robertson. Based on eleven months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Kotobuki district, Yokohama City, this research project delved into the institutionalization of a marginalized enclave shaped around the enterprise of protecting and managing the lives of the homeless in Japan. In order to understand the malleability and constancy of Kotobuki district as an urban underclass enclave, this research delved into three aspects: 1) the historical junctures that led to the institutionalization of the homeless support activities in Kotobuki based on the agenda to secure 'the right to survive;' 2) the spatial politics that places Kotobuki district at the hub of the homeless rescue regime that stretches out to the city, and the place-making activities within the district shaping it as an asylum town; and 3) the emergent social critique and alternative aspirations of life amidst the dialogic learning among diverse actors (the homeless, welfare recipients, activists, volunteers, welfare and medical experts) in Kotobuki.
Aquino, Valorie V., U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'Comparison of a Community-Scale Political Adaptive Cycle with a High-Resolution Paleoclimate Record at Uxbenka,' supervised by Dr. Keith M. Prufer
Preliminary abstract: In studies of human-environment interactions, the conceptual framework of panarchy and its associated resilience theory posit that periods of stability and transformation are inevitable in what has been termed an adaptive cycle. This project develops a community-level political adaptive cycle for Uxbenká, an ancient agrarian polity in the Maya hinterlands, and explores its linkages with the broader political ideology of divine kingship and climate stress. Employing high-resolution archaeological and paleoclimatological analyses, I will assess: 1) the timing of when Uxbenká residents adopted and ultimately rejected the ideology and material expressions of divine kingship, 2) cycles of growth, maintenance, decline and renewal in the built environment history of the civic-ceremonial precinct as proxies for the stability or instability of political power and authority, 3) the duration of a potential dynastic lineage through direct dating of individuals, and 4) drying events and periods of short- and longer-term climate unpredictability from an ultra-precise speleothem paleoclimate record. The results will produce nuanced information on the role of political ideology as a source of change that transforms human societies and provide insights on the conditions that confer or erode the resilience of political actors embedded in a coupled socionatural landscape.
Ozgen, Zeynep, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Schooling, Islamization, and Religious Mobilization in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubaker
ZYNEP OZGEN, then a student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Schooling, Islamization, and Religious Mobilization in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Rogers Brubacker. This ethnographic and historical project analyzes the relationship between rapidly growing religious education sites and mobilization efforts by Islamic movements in Turkey. The dissertation concentrates on the period from Turkey's 1980 military coup through the present to explain how Islamic movements have appropriated the secular vision of social engineering through education to reach, recruit, and organize followers. It also explores the consequences of a renewed emphasis on religious education for the perception and practice of Islam in everyday life. Through a combination of ethnographic field notes, interviews with key local and national actors, and analysis of archival documents the dissertation traces how religious education becomes the focal point of local and national struggles to inspire mobilization and advance an agenda of sociocultural Islamization.
Duffy, Kimberly G., U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Dynamics of Social Relationships among Adult Male Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Joan B. Silk
KIMBERLY G. DUFFY, then a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, received funding in January 2001 to aid research on 'Dynamics of Social Relationships among Adult Male Chimpanzees,' supervised by Dr. Joan B. Silk. Social relationships among male chimpanzees appear to be well differentiated, and it may be that competition within the group influences male reproductive success as much as competition between groups. The goal of this study was to investigate how the need for coalition formation during within-group and between-group competition shapes social bonds among male chimpanzees. This was addressed by testing predictions of grooming models originally proposed to study the connection between coalition formation during the two types of competition and female bonds in primates. This study examined the distribution of social bonds among the ten male chimpanzees of the Kanyawara community, Kibale Forest, Uganda. Data on grooming, proximity coalitions, aggression, and mating were collected between June 2001 and November 2003 by using both focal samples and ad-lib behavioral observations. These data allowed for the testing of predictions regarding the use of coalitions, diversity of grooming, effects of dominance rank on grooming and coalitionary support, extent of reciprocity in grooming, and the exchange of grooming for coalitionary support and mating tolerance. Males of the Kanyawara community were selective in their choice of grooming partners, formed social cliques, exchanged social currencies, and competed for access to high-ranking partners. The highest-ranking males were also the most social males, and they had the highest mating success. These results indicate that maintaining relationships with allies within the group was important to the reproductive success of these males. This is expected when competition within the community is strong relative to competition with other communities.
Sunseri, Jun Ueno, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Historic Archaeology of a Spanish Colonial Buffer Settlement in Northern New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Judith A. Habicht-Mauche
JUN UENO SUNSERI, then a student at University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Historic Archaeology of a Spanish Colonial Buffer Settlement in Northern New Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Judith A. Habicht-Mauche. This case study of a historic buffer settlement (LA 917) on the northern frontier of Colonial New Mexico uses multiple. complementary lines of evidence of varied types and spatial scales including: 1) analyses of archaeological ceramic and faunal assemblages related to domestic foodways; and 2) GIS analysis of remote sensing, survey, and excavation data to recognize patterning of the tactical and engineered landscapes of the study site The nexus of traditions evidenced by the syncretic foodways and landscape practices of the buffer village at LA 917 defies description by the timeworn dichotomy of Spanish and Indian designation. The organic hybridity of routinized practice exhibited in multiple stages of the operational sequence in the production, consumption, and disposal of foodway-related materials resonates with the intentional hybridity of landscape creation and management. In this dangerously located buffer village, the complexities at both the inter-household and landscape levels reveal tensions that people were negotiating on a daily basis. The foodway remains suggest that access to ingredients and tools may have been linked to class-based constraints, while the administrative land grant requirements and tactical necessities reveal the tensions between a role as both neighbor citizens and warriors.
Jae, Gina, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Translating Experiments to Experience: Producing Transplant Practices for Sickle Cell Disease in the US and France,' supervised by Dr. Lesley Sharp
GINA JAE, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Translating Experiments to Experience: Producing Transplant Practices for Sickle Cell Disease in the US and France,' supervised by Dr. Lesley Sharp. This study examines how healthcare centers are making a risky, expensive, and potentially curative procedure available to children affected by sickle cell disease, a disabling genetic disorder common to minority and immigrant populations in the United States and France. This multi-sited study employs regional and transnational comparative ethnography to elucidate how clinical practices are being produced across four hospital-based centers that provide specialized medical care for children with sickle cell disease in New York and Paris. Sickle cell disease provides a unique lens to compare how divergent standards of care are emerging through the co-production of technological innovation, clinical knowledge, medical authority, ethnicized discourses, and state-level health policies for a disease whose knowledge production has uniquely intertwined with racial, ethnic, and class-based politics and history. Implications of this work include relocating secular scientific priorities toward innovation as not merely the embodiment of positivist objectives to improve health outcomes, but also the means for practitioners to advance professional interests and perform medical authority and expertise. Using the extended case method, this research seeks to refine ongoing theories of biosociality in contemporary risk-based societies and fundamental cause theory in health inequalities.