Orr, Caley Michael, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Evolutionary Morphology of the Anthropoid Wrist and the Evolution of Knuckle-Walking Locomotion in the Hominidae,' supervised by Dr. Mark Alan Spencer
CALEY M. ORR, then a student at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Evolutionary Morphology of the Anthropoid Wrist and the Evolution of Knuckle-Walking Locomotion in the Hominidae,' supervised by Dr. Mark Spencer. The evolution of knuckle walking bears crucially on our understanding of hominin evolution including the evolution of bipedality and human manipulative abilities and tool use. Demonstration of a knuckle-walking hominin ancestor would limit adaptive explanations for the origins of bipedality and tool use from those consistent with a stiff-wristed and semi-terrestrial ancestor, but identifying knuckle-walking features from fossils has proven controversial. The research conducted sought to further our understanding of wrist biomechanics in nonhuman primates in an effort to better understand knuckle-walking adaptations and aid in reconstructing wrist function in fossil hominins. The results of the study, which used three-dimensional imaging techniques to study wrist joint motion and shape, indicate that knuckle-walkers and digitigrade baboons (that use their hands in a similar position during locomotion) have reduced mobility at most of the individual joints of the wrist, and 'lock' the bones of the midcarpus (in the middle of the wrist) at a lower angle of wrist extension. A number of anatomical features were identified that contribute to this function, and humans and our fossil ancestors appear to have more African-ape like midcarpal structure and range of motion.
Nockerts, Rebecca Shoshana, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Stable Isotope Ecology of the Chimpanzees and Baboons of Gombe National Park, Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Michael L. Wilson
Preliminary abstract: The value of the long-term studies of chimpanzees and baboons established by Jane Goodall at Gombe National Park, Tanzania has been proven many times over, and has been amplified by the ongoing development of new research technologies. One of the most exciting of these is the study of stable isotopes, which has provided a powerful and subtle means of probing the diets of fossil species while providing new insights into the ecology of living primates.All environmental components, such as air, water, plants, and animals vary isotopically . In terms of stable isotopes, you literally are what you eat, so analysis of the isotopic composition of an individual's body can be used to infer their feeding habits. We need to know more about the links between diet, individual foraging behavior, habitat, and the isotopic composition of the body in appropriate living species in order to interpret such signals in fossils. My project will combine our knowledge of the foraging activities of the chimpanzees and baboons at Gombe with analyses of the isotopic composition of their food resources and the isotopic composition of their bodies, including their hair, bones, teeth, and even feces. The results will include new information on how these species share their habitat, such as how much they compete for food. The results will also reveal how differences in the foraging activities of individuals shape differences in the isotopic composition of their tissues. The ability to compare these findings to what we know about the dietary ecology of these individuals will fill a critical gap in our ability to accurately interpret the isotopic signatures of fossil hominins.
Su, Anne, Stony Brook U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Functional Morphology of Subchondral and Trabecular Bone in the Hominid Hindfoot,' supervised by Dr. Brigitte Demes
ANNE SU, then a student at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, received a grant in October 2008, to aid research on 'The Functional Morphology of Subchondral and Trabecular Bone in the Hominid Hindfoot,' Supervised by Dr. Brigitte Demes. Previous studies of the external morphology fossil hominin hindfoot bones have revealed unique mosaics of ape-like and human-like features that have complicated locomotor reconstruction of these extinct individuals. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the internal morphology (subchondral and trabecular bone) of these skeletal elements hold a diagnostic locomotor signal that may help to further characterize the nature of this mosaicism. Micro-computed tomography (µCT) images of associated hominoid hindfoot bones were obtained and morphological properties of the subchondral cortical and trabecular bone were quantified. Preliminary analyses indicate that in the human tibiotalar joint, the greatest subchondral cortical bone thickness and radio density, and trabecular bone volume and thickness were found in regions that agree with those that are in greatest compression during the push-off phase of the gait cycle, coinciding with the time of peak load. Furthermore, the regions within the joint exhibiting these relative indicators of bone strength differ among the hominoid species. The study of how these differences relate to habitual locomotor differences is ongoing, as well as investigation into patterns of the degree and direction of trabecular anisotropy and their relation to habitual ankle posture.
Su, Anne, Ian J. Wallace, and Masato Nakatsukasa. 2013. Trabecular Bone Anisotropy and Orientation in an Early Pleistocene Hominin Talus from East Turkana, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 64(6):667-677.
Wever, Jerry L., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Shaping Creolization and Folkorization Processes: Expressive Culture and Creole Identity in St. Lucia and Seychelles, ' supervised by Dr. Laura R. Graham
JERRY WEVER, then a student at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, received a grant in July 2001 to aid research on 'Shaping Creolization and Folklorization Processes: Expressive Culture and Creole Identity in St. Lucia and Seychelles,' supervised by Dr. Laura R. Graham. The dissertation fieldwork project was successfully completed in April 2003, accomplishing the devised research plan. Data collected on new creolizations in expressive culture show that creolization and decolonization are both ongoing processes that are usefully studied in connection with each other, and that social actors shape creolization processes in an attempt to transform power relations and decolonize creole identities. The case studies in St. Lucia center on a new creolization of Afro-St. Lucian folk forms involving the use of U.S. Country and Western (C&W). St. Lucians with their heightened consciousness of the colonization of expressive forms attempt to control the contemporary creolization by reactivating moribund Afro-St. Lucian storytelling-song traditions and inserting them into the framework of C& W. The Seychelles case studies highlight how the smaller islands in and near Seychelles are involved in Seychellois efforts to folklorize, reclaim, and renew creole expressive cultural traditions. The co-option of the expressive traditions of outer islands reveals how some benefit at the expense of others in the decolonization process. In all, 352 interviews were conducted: 107 from the Indian Ocean, and 245 from St. Lucia. The data collection includes: over 1000 pages of computer typed notes and over 600 handwritten pages; 33 DA T tapes, 160 cassette tapes (90min); 150 CDs; 45 VHS tapes; 62 digital video camera tapes (60 min.); 75 rolls of film; a full collection of newspapers; government statistics; and photocopied archive material.
Mancina, Peter Anthony, Vanderbilt U., Nashville, TN - To aid research on 'Sanctuary-power: Sanctuary City Governance and Undocumented Migrant Political Action in San Francisco, California,' supervised by Dr. Edward F. Fischer
PETER A. MANCINA, then a student at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, was awarded a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Sanctuary-Power: Sanctuary City Governance and Undocumented Migrant Political Action in San Francisco, California,' supervised by Dr. Edward F. Fischer. The grantee conducted archival research and ethnographic fieldwork over a two-year period to understand how San Francisco's 'sanctuary-city' policies and procedures are created, implemented, ethically imbued with new meaning, and contested and reformed. Research included working for nine months in San Francisco's City Hall in the office of District Supervisor David Campos to assist 'all residents regardless of immigration status' with their city government-related needs. It also consisted of ethnographic research conducted for a year and a half with a local coalition of immigrant advocates called the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee, assisting them in their campaign to pass the 'Due Process for All Ordinance.' This sanctuary-city law approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors renders the 'Secure Communities' program (a federal immigrant detention and deportation program) inoperable in San Francisco jails and in Juvenile Hall. Finally, for seven months the grantee accompanied undocumented Tzeltal-Maya day laborers in their daily lives and assisted them in obtaining services from city government agencies. Findings indicate that institutional sanctuary serves a vital municipal governmental function that allows local services to operate efficiently and effectively, all the while inadvertently rendering more persistent the unequal power dynamic between undocumented immigrants and citizens.
Klaus, Haagen D., Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid 'Consequences of Contact in the Andes: A Holistic Bioarchaeological Case Study of Colonial Peru, ' supervised by Dr. Clark S. Larsen
HAAGEN D. KLAUS, then a student at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Consequences of Contact in the Andes: A Holistic Bioarchaeological Case Study of Colonial Peru,' supervised by Dr. Clark S. Larsen. Contact between Native Americans and Europeans beginning in 16th century AD represented the most complex and violent biological and cultural interchange in history. This research initiated the bioarchaeological study of Central Andean contact as the first empirical, dynamic, humanized, and contextualized study of Colonial Peru. With the excavation and analysis of human remains from the Colonial Chapel of San Pedro de Morrope, Lambayeque valley, north coast Peru, three hypotheses were tested: 1.) health of the indigenous Mochica peoples declined following contact; 2.) historically inferred postcontact depopulation resulted in significantly lowered Mochica genetic diversity; and 3.) the Mochica adopted Christian burial rites that replaced traditional rituals.
These hypotheses were tested via a broadly conceived and methodologically diverse approach, examining interlinked human skeletal and dental biological phenomena: demography, skeletal infection, developmental stress, physical activity, violent trauma, and inherited dental traits. Data were drawn from 1,142 individuals spanning the late pre-Hispanic and Colonial Lambayeque Valley (AD 900-1750). Reconstruction of burial practices and indigenous culture were based on corresponding archaeological documentation of mortuary patterns and ethnohistoric documents. Initial findings support the first two hypotheses, with unprecedented negative declines in childhood and adult health marked by elevated prevalence of periosteal infection, enamel hypoplasias, growth stunting, and degenerative joint disease. A dietary shift away from marine foods is indicated by decreased oral health and lowered prevalence of porotic hyperostosis lesions (linked to anemia caused by marine parasitism) as more starchy carbohydrates were consumed. Low variability of inherited dental traits likely reflects catastrophic postcontact depopulation. However, reproduction of precontact burial rituals indicates native culture was not exterminated. The Mochica remained an embodied, agency-driven group who forged their traditions with that of the colonizers into a hybrid Euro-Andean culture, encoding symbolisms expressing indigenous identity, social memory, and symbolic resistance. This first study of Colonial Peru contributes to in-depth perspectives of consequences of social conditions on human health, European colonization of the Americas, and social interpretation of mortuary rituals in revealing how a profound turning point global history indelibly impacted the peoples of the Andes.
Klaus, Haagan. 2008. Paleopathology during the Postcontact Adaptive Transition: A View from the Colonial North Coast of Peru. Paleopathology Newsletter(143):12-28.
Klaus, Haagen D., and Manuel E. Tam. 2009. Contact in the Andes: Bioarchaeology of Systemic Stress in Colonial Mórrope, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138(3):356-368.
Klaus, Haagen D., Clark Spencer Larsen, and Manuel E. Tam. 2009 Economic Intensification and Degenerative Joint Disease: Life and Labor on the Postcontact North Coast of Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139(2):204-221.
Houck, Kelly Marie, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'A New Dual Burden Life History Theory Application Exploring Childhood Gut Immune Function and Overnutrition,' supervised by Dr. Amanda Thompson
Preliminary abstract: The emerging field of gut microbiota contributes to anthropological concerns by providing a new pathway to examine the effects of pathogenic, nutritional and social environments on human physiology and consequently human variation. The bacterial components and metabolites of gut microbial communities are vital factors in the regulation of the immune system and in providing energy processing. This project develops and tests a new application of childhood life history theory tradeoffs in maintenance and growth for the dual burden environment through a focus on gut immune function. This framework incorporates the increased energetic cost of both dietary- and pathogenic-induced immune activation and models the influence of gut immune function on diverting resources from linear bone growth towards adiposity. Children will be sampled from the three populated islands of the Galapagos and detailed survey data will be collected on their diet, symptom history, sociodemographics and household sanitation, along with anthropometric assessments, household water quality tests, and blood spot and fecal analyses of gut immune function biomarkers. Data will be used to test for the relationship between overnutrition and infection on gut immune activation and to determine the cost of pathogenic and dietary immune activation on tradeoffs in adiposity and linear growth.
Day, John William, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Peace through Prosperity: Capital Investment, Entrepreneurship, and the 'Kurdish Problem' in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven Charles Caton
WILL DAY, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on PPeace through Prosperity: Capital Investment, Entrepreneurship, and the 'Kurdish Problem' in Southeastern Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Steven Charles Caton. Research focused on urban poverty, post-conflict economic assistance and economic reconstruction projects, and claims making in the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast. Set in the context of the violent upheaval of the countryside and the acts of military-led forced displacement and rural dispossession that have remade country and city in that region since the 1980s and 1990s, this ethnographic study examines the ongoing consequences of this transformation. It centers on families cut off from rural subsistence solidarities and working to rebuild lives and livelihoods in a stagnant urban economy, and on the web of relations joining their social worlds with a heterogeneous and deeply divided field of poverty knowledge, assistance, and war-loss compensation. Through 26 months of fieldwork that moved back and forth between the sites of poverty knowledge production and economic policy (national and Kurdish local governmental institutions, various NGOs) and the meaningful practices of memory, claim making for state accountability and economic justice, storytelling, the researcher explore the generation of new forms of belonging and citizenship from within the contradictions and tensions of contemporary economy and politics in a city in flux.
Goldstein, Ruth Elizabeth, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Plants, Prostitutes, and Pharmaceuticals: By the Edge and at the End of the Inter-Oceanic Road,' supervised by Dr. Charles Leslie Briggs
RUTH E. GOLDSTEIN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in October 2010 to aid research on 'Plants, Prostitutes, and Pharmaceuticals: By the Edge and at the End of the Inter-Oceanic Road,' supervised by Dr. Charles Briggs. Latin America's Inter-Oceanic Road stretches from Peru's Pacific Coast to Brazil's Atlantic Coast, dipping into Bolivia. The road changes the physical and the social landscape, opening up previously inaccessible land in the Peruvian Amazon, flush with streams of gold. A stumbling world economy has stimulated a resurgence in the importance of gold. The gold attracts miners and the miners bring women. Women, ensnared by promises of working in restaurants, end up in debt-peonage sex-work, by the side of the road. Plants trafficked along the road-often sexual stimulants-go to laboratories for pharmaceutical testing and intellectual property evaluation. The gold travels along the road and then worldwide as the currency to buy and sell everything from gasoline and food, to women, plants, and pharmaceuticals. This project situates the trajectories of the women-plant-gold assemblages within the history of the taxonomic narrative and the current economic crisis, analyzing how particular groups of people have come to be treated as less-than-human. Understanding how differences among humans, animals, plants, and minerals come into being and affect national and international politics and public health policies highlights how particular groups of people have come to matter less politically-as well as the possibilities for changing that.
Webber, Amanda D., Oxford Brookes U., Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Primate Crop Raiding in Uganda: Predicting, Understanding and Mitigating the Risk,' supervised by Dr. Catherine M. Hill
AMANDA D. WEBBER, then a student at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom, received funding in July 2004 to aid research on 'Primate Crop Raiding in Uganda: Predicting, Understanding, and Mitigating the Risk,' supervised by Dr. Catherine M. Hill. Human-wildlife conflict, in particular crop raiding, is a significant threat to conservation. As wild animals cross between forest and field, they risk injury/death, and subsistence farmers can lose precious crops at times of food insecurity. This issue has implications for the conservation of primates; highly adaptable and frequently protected, species such as chimpanzees can cause considerable damage to crops. This project works with four villages alongside Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, to examine actual and perceived loss to primates. Field monitoring revealed that baboons, in particular, were responsible for a significant amount of crop damage. Chimpanzees were tolerated by the majority of farmers; however, this is a volatile situation as local people are being encouraged to convert their land to sugar cane, a crop which is highly vulnerable close to chimpanzee habitat. Interviews, focus groups, and participant observation revealed that although domestic species were found to raid more frequently than baboons, they were not considered to be a threat to livelihoods. This was the result of an implied morality given to baboon feeding and raiding behavior; unpredictable and coordinated raids defined them as 'rebels' and 'bad characters.' In addition, it also represented a perceived lack of control by local people; domestic species are the farmer's responsibility whereas wildlife represents a legacy of 'preservationist' conservation. This research project highlighted key issues that need to be considered in order to develop conflict mitigation strategies that are not only effective but also acceptable to local people.
Webber, A.D, C.M. Hill, and V. Reynolds. 2007 Assessing the Failure of a Community-Based Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Project in Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Oryx 41(2):177-184.