Villagra, Analia, City U. of New York, Queens College, Flushing, NY - To aid research on 'Cadê o Mico? (Where is the Tamarin?): Locating Monkeys in the Politics of Land and Conservation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John Francis Collin
ANALIA VILLAGRA, then a student at City University of New York, Queens College, Flushing, New York, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'Cadê o Mico? (Where is the Tamarin?): Locating Monkeys in the Politics of Land and Conservation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. John Francis Collin. The project sought to explore the intersection between land rights and conservation politics in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest region of southeastern Brazil. Inspired by classic work in ecological anthropology and recent studies of scientific practice, the research is interested in how people understand and emplace themselves in a world configured as natural, as well as with how these understandings impact global politics today. More specifically, the project analyzes how a burgeoning concern with conservation alters contemporary struggles over rights to land and land use. The investigation is organized around the efforts to save the Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT), a monkey species endemic to the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Klopp, Emily Bernice, Northwestern U., Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Primate Sexual Dimorphism and Display: Intraspecific Scaling of Craniofacial Features in Male Cercopithecoids,' supervised by Dr. Brian T. Shea
EMILY KLOPP, then a student at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Primate Sexual Dimorphism and Display: Intraspecific Scaling of Craniofacial Features in Male Cercopithecoids,' supervised by Dr. Brian T. Shea. The project provides a first and very important test of the theoretical predictions of recent sexual selection models in the socially complex higher primates. The hypothesis predicts that the canine tooth and several bony facial features exhibit intraspecific positive allometry across adult males within each of various highly dimorphic papionin species. Positive allometric scaling for adult males is functionally based in the potential role of sexually dimorphic craniofacial features in 'advertising' or signaling overall male size and fitness to both females and/or other adult male conspecifics. Initial analysis shows the null hypothesis to be supported in Macacafascicularis, Papio anubis/cynocephalus, and Hylobates lar lar but not in Cercopithecus aethiops. Additional analysis on papionin species using accurate size surrogates is forthcoming. This project departs from almost all previous studies of sexual dimorphism in papionins and other primates by focusing solely on male variance and scaling within species, and by testing a specific hypothesized functional explanation for an allometric trajectory.
Klopp, Emily B. 2012. Craniodental Features in Male Mandrillus May Signal Size and Fitness: An Allometric Approach. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147(4):593-603.
Atmavilas, Yamini N., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Negotiating Economics, Global and Moral: A Cross-Generational Study of Women and Households in Export Manufacturing, Bangalore, India,' supervised by Dr. Carla S. Freeman
Pante, Michael Christopher, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid 'A Taphonomic Investigation of Vertebrate Fossil Assemblages from Beds III and IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine
MICHAEL C. PANTE, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'A Tophanomic Investigation of Vertebrate Fossil Assemblages from Beds III and IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine. This doctoral project is a comparative and experimental study of fossils from Beds III and IV (1.15-.6 ma), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. The goals met were: 1) to carry out experiments designed to address the hydraulic transport of bone fragments created by hominins and carnivores during carcass consumption; and 2) to curate and conduct the first analysis of the Bed III and IV fossil assemblages. Flume experimentation was used to produce a database of over 1800 observations aimed at identifying variables that are associated with the hydraulic transport of individual bone fragments. Initial analyses show that animal size and the dimensions of bone fragments affect the hydraulic potential of specimens. In addition to flume experiments over 100,000 fossils and artifacts stored since the 1960s and 70s were curated and organized. Vertebrate fossils from two sites WK and JK 2 were studied in detail to determine the processes responsible for the modification, transport and deposition of the assemblages. Preliminary analyses based on the incidences of butchery marks and tooth marks indicate both hominins and carnivores contributed to the accumulation of the assemblages. This data will be used to assess the evolution of human carnivory through comparisons with the older FLK 22 site.
Pante, Michael C. 2013. The Larger Mammal Fossil Assemblage from JK2, Bed III, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: Implications for the Feeding Behavior of Homo erectus. Journal of Humanj Evolution 64(1):68-82.
Eisenberg, Daniel Thomas Abraham, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Ecological Predictors of Telomere Lengths: A Longitudinal and Cross-population Analysis of Human Biological Diversity,' supervised by Dr. Christopher W. Kuzawa
DAN EISENBERG, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received a grant in May 2010 to research on 'Ecological Predictors of Telomere Lengths: a Longitudinal and Cross-Population Analysis of Human Biological Diversity,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Kuzawa . Telomeres are DNA sequences at chromosome ends that shorten with age and are required for proper cell division. Telomere shortening is associated with diminished cell proliferation capacity, which is believed to be a cause of senescence. Given the importance of cell proliferation to blood telomere length (BTL), it has been hypothesized that BTL reflects previous immune system activation and indicates current immune function. Thus BTL could provide a new biomarker of life history allocations and of developmental exposures to infection. Contrary to the shortening of BTL that occurs with age, previous studies have shown that children of older fathers have longer telomeres. By analyzing BTL data from the Philippines, Eisenberg and colleagues showed for the first time that this happens across at least two generations: older fathers not only have offspring with longer telomeres, but their sons also have offspring with longer telomeres. Analyses of how early life infection and growth predicts later BTL are ongoing.
Eisenberg, Dan. 2012. Delayed Paternal Age of Reproduction in Humans is Associated with Longer Telomeres across Two Generations of Descendants. PNAS Early Edition (published online).
Szenassy, Edit, Charles U., Prague, Czech Republic - To aid research on 'Governing Romani Women's Bodies: Between Everyday Reproductive Decisions and Population Politics in Slovakia,' supervised by Dr. Jaroslav Skupnik
EDIT SZENASSY, then a student at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Governing Romani Women's Bodies: Between Everyday Reproductive Decisions and Population Politics in Slovakia,' supervised by Dr. Jaroslav Skupnik. High fetility rates of Romani/Gypsy women are portrayed by some public actors in Slovakia as a burden on society or welfare system. Facing diverse forms of discrimination and violence including impeded access to healthcare, Romani women's wombs have historically been of grave concern to state power, and continue being regarded as a 'time bomb' bound to explode as presently Romani births outnumber those of the Slovak majority. Between 1977 and 1991, special benefits were granted in return for Romani women's voluntary sterilization, however, recent scandals indicate that many of the operations during this period were neither voluntary, nor performed with due consent. The results of this fieldwork research indicate that the coerced sterilization of Romani women continued into the mid-2000s. This project examined Romani women's reproductive decision-making and its tensions with Slovak population politics. Its central focus was an ethnographic research based on participant observation into current reproductive practices among Romani women in a poor segregated Roma slum in East Slovakia. It explored the intricate positions women, their kinship networks, health professionals, and authorities take, with the aim of revealing and understanding their potentially conflicting interests. The ethnographer was situated in a politically and ethically loaded field, as she attempted to analyze the ramifications intertwining the state, nationalism, and the politics and poetics of reproduction.
Jewell, Benjamin Joseph, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Filling the Vacuum with Gardens: The Political Economy of Food Access in Detroit, Michigan,' supervised by Dr. Amber Elisabeth Wutich
BENJAMIN J. JEWELL, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Filling the Vacuum with Gardens: The Political Economy of Food Access in Detroit, Michigan,' supervised by Dr. Amber E. Wutich. In the midst of Detroit's ongoing social and economic challenges, local activists are using urban agriculture projects to counteract the inequalities of capitalism. While Detroit's current unemployment numbers triple the national average and public programs are perpetually underfunded, these urban agriculture projects provide services that are otherwise difficult to obtain. This project uses Detroit's urban agriculture projects as a backdrop to illuminate the class processes underlying these alternative economic endeavors. It argues that these projects' most important contribution is not the amount of food they produce, but their efforts to increase the political voice of disenfranchised communities in Detroit. In addition, it draws from archival resources to understand how Detroit's food environment evolved across the 20th century, providing a backdrop for the emergence of urban agriculture in recent years.
Nahman, Michal R., Lancaster U., Lancaster, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Making Sabras: An Ethnographic Study of Ova Donation in Israel,' supervised by Dr. Sarah B. Franklin
MICHAL R. NAHMAN, while a student at Lancaster University in Lancaster, England, received funding in November 2001 to aid ethnographic research on ova donation in Israel, under the supervision of Dr. Sarah B. Franklin. Nahman examined 'Israeliness' along trajectories of race, gender, religion, and nation through a study of the contested material-semiotic practices of ova donation. 'Ova traffic' was seen as a potential way of exploring the semipermeable membranes of Israeli identities. Nahman conducted nine months of research in three fertility clinics in large urban centers-one teaching hospital and two privately run institutions, two in Israel and one in Romania-where eggs were procured for Israeli women or couples. Research methods included participant observation in surgery rooms, in laboratories, and at physician-patient consultations. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twenty-five Israeli egg recipients (and most often their partners) and twenty Romanian egg donors. Interviewees' participation was gained through clinic staff and an information sheet posted on the Internet and in women's health centers around Israel. Nahman followed the stories of egg donation through participants, public debates, gossip, and legislation, tracing accounts of what was and was not permitted in a 'Jewish' embryo in order to construct a postmodern genealogy of Israel that was about (im)purity, (im)mobility, life, and death.
Nahman, Michal. 2006. Materializing Israeliness: Difference and Mixture in Transnational Ova Donation. Science as Culture 15(3): 199-213.
Nahman, Michal. 2006. Synecdochic Ricochets: Biosocialities in a Jerusalem IVF clinic. In Genetics, Biosociality and the Social Sciences: Making Biologies and Identities, (Sahara Gibbon and Carlos Novas, eds.), Routledge: London.
Dalyan, Can, Cornell U., Ithaca, NY - To aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki
CAN DALYAN, then a student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, received funding in October 2012 to aid research on ''Anxious About Their Treasures:' Biodiversity, Biopolitics, and the Secret History of Plants in Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Hirokazu Miyazaki. Set against the backdrop of Gezi Park Protests and a year of civil unrest, this project analyses the workings of agricultural biodiversity conservation in Turkey. Through an ethnography of the Turkish Seed Gene Bank, the institution in charge of managing and conserving the precious plant genetic material of Turkey, this project explores how decisions about plant life are taken at a time of great concern about national bio-wealth and of global environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Doing so, it extends the framework of biopolitics and highlights the ways in which regulation of non-human life is constitutive to the governmentality of the state. The project also brings into view political sensibilities and historical anxieties that unfold in the science and practice of conservation, and traces them in the light of archival research back to distinctive historical periods in the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic. Spreading out through ethnographic accounts into the largest urban revolt in Turkish history, as well as to seed exchange festivals, hydroelectric power plant construction sites, and agro-communes around the country, the project presents a detailed picture of environmental governance in Turkey and its cultural and political underpinnings.
Siew, Yun Ysi, U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Biological Changes, Health, and Labor Patterns in the Holocene China,' supervised by Dr. Jay Theodore Stock
YUN YSI SIEW, then a student at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Biological Changes, Health, and Labor Patterns in the Holocene China,' supervised by Dr. Jay Theodore Stock. The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of socio-political developments on skeletal morphology as well as sexual division of labor in Chinese populations in the Holocene. The human skeletal remains that were studied in this project consist of both ancient and modern human samples, spanning from circa 7000BP to the present, and a total of 533 adult skeletons were examined from six archaeological sites and one ethnographical site on mainland China and Hong Kong, respectively. Three approaches were employed to elucidate the issues proposed including muscloskeletal stress markers (MSM), bone robusticity, and body growth. These approaches have a long history in tackling the temporal change of human biology and occupational roles, particularly during the shift of subsistence strategies. It is popularly believed that the robusticity of human bones has decreased over time as mechanical loadings reduced. Moreover, the occupational roles of females and males have altered to adapt to different subsistence activities. Nevertheless, it is also suggested that local factors may have been as important as general subsistence strategies on modifying skeletal morphology and division of labor. The partial findings of this project so far have supported both hypotheses.