Blaszczyk, Maria Beata, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Temperament and Social Niche Specialization in Primates,' supervised by Dr. Terry Harrison
MARIA B. BLASZCZYK, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Temperament and Social Niche Specialization in Primates,' supervised by Dr. Terry Harrison. A large proportion of intrapopulational behavioral variation in humans is ascribed to personality differences. Although personality variation has long been studied from a proximate perspective within the human sciences, questions regarding the ultimate causation of this variation have remained neglected. The current study contributes comparative data pertinent to questions regarding the evolution of human personality variation by examining the behavioral ecology of temperament differences in wild vervet monkeys. The study tests the degree to which differences in temperament are predictive of individuals' social foraging strategies and social network metrics. Fieldwork was conducted at Soetdoring Nature Reserve, South Africa, from July 2011 to December 2012. Observational data on the social and foraging behavior of all adult and subadult individuals in two social groups (N=40) were collected using focal animal and ad libitum sampling. Six field experiments were conducted on each group to measure individual differences in responses to a variety of novel objects. The observational and experimental data are currently being prepared for analysis. As this is the first systematic study of the social ecology of temperament in a wild primate population, the findings obtained are expected to provide key insights into the evolutionary ecology of primate personality.
Robinson, Mark Dennis, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Joao Guilherme Biehl
MARK D. ROBINSON, then a student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Brains in Translation: A Study of Neuroscience Translation Sites in the United States,' supervised by dr. João Gulherme Biehl. This ethnographic and comparative study examines and compares several distinct translational neuroscience sites including university-based translation centers, neurotechnology industry conferences, and biotechnology investing events. The project includes more open-ended interviews with neurologists, psychiatrists, university administrators, bioentrepreneurs, neurosurgeons, and neuroscientists. The grantee also conducted observation at conferences, symposia, university-based translational neuroscience centers, and laboratories in northern California. This project also maps patients dealing with brain illnesses as well as patient advocates and users of neurotechnologies. The project also includes an analysis of market data. The grantee maps: 1) how patient constitutions of value are often disconnected from the stated aims of translational neuroscience initiatives; 2) the challenges involved in translational neuroscience at the level of the laboratory; 3) the ineluctable role of markets in translational medicine and science; 4) the temporality problem of translation more broadly; and 5) how translation gets constituted as a means of producing value even without evidence of this capacity. Thus, this project reveals how particular ideas and presumptions regarding value in health emerge in a specific context. Lastly, this project responds to questions about the ethics and efficacy of public-private partnerships in the name of health and innovation.
Garofalo, Evan Michele, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff
EVAN M. GAROFALO, then a student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, received funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Genetic and Environmental Effects on Skeletal Growth Variation,' supervised by Dr. Christopher Britton Ruff. Adult morphology and variation are the result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental effects during the growth process. Health, disease, and socio-economic status are important for the regulation of the growth trajectory, particularly during infancy and early childhood. However, genetic differences, increasing in prominence during adolescence, contribute significantly to growth profiles and the attainment of adult morphology. Thus, the primary goal of this project is to partition the relative importance of environmental and genetic influences on the timing and nature of the growth process. Multiple skeletal variables, each differentially sensitive to environmental and genetic influence, were examined to assess the skeletal growth of individuals from St. Peter's Church (Barton-upon-Humber, UK) -- a socially stratified and relatively genetically homogeneous population. In this study, there is no effect of socioeconomic status on long bone length, stature, body mass or articular dimensions. However, long bone diaphyseal cross-sectional cortical and medullary areas (considered to be highly environmentally sensitive) show marked differences, primarily during infancy and early childhood, with reduced or no differences for young adults. Early results and palaeopathological observations suggest socioeconomic groups differences may be related to sustaining more prolonged durations of metabolic distress in the higher socioeconomic subadult sample.
Woldekiros, Helina S., Washington U., St. Louis, MO - To aid research on 'Archaeology of the Afar Salt Caravan Route of Northeastern Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Fiona Marshall
HELINA S. WOLDEKIROS, then a student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Archaeology of the Afar Salt Caravan Route of Northeastern Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Fiona Marshall. In Africa, social, political, and economic structures have been shaped by salt production, distribution, and long-distance trade, in areas where salt is a critical resource. In Ethiopia, emphasis has been placed on Aksumite control of the Red Sea Trade (150 C.E.-C.E 700) and the trade in ivory, gold, perfume, and slaves rather than on local and regional trade in consumable commodities. Furthermore, scholars understand more about the geographic distribution of key resources than they do about other aspects of the archaeological record of ancient commodity flow -- such as procurement and transfer costs, or the material correlates of exchange activities -- that linked distribution centers. To address this issue, ethnoarchaeological research was carried out on the Afar salt caravan route in Northern Ethiopia, which focused on collection of information on the route and material traces of caravans to identify ancient use of the Afar trail. Major archaeological sites were identified on the salt route, and excavation of these sites revealed ancient bread-cooking stones similar to those characteristic of modern salt trader camps. Aksumite pottery and obsidian distinctive of the Afar were also identified, suggesting local or regional exchange in commodities from the Afar lowlands to the North Ethiopian plateau dating to as early as Aksumite (150 C.E-C.E 700) period.
Lai, Lili, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar
LILI LAI, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in June 2005 to aid research on 'Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan,' supervised by Dr. Judith B. Farquhar. This dissertation project seeks to provide a better understanding of 'rural' realities in today's mobile Chinese society, through an ethnographic interrogation of daily practice, attitudes (at household, community, and county government levels), policy history, and local memory in Henan, China. It aims to demonstrate that the rural-urban distinction is a mobile, relative dyad and shows how at every point a person's (or place's, or practice's) 'ruralness' or urban sophistication is an intimate, local quality. This research project focuses on everyday social practice in order to gain insight into forms of embodiment and local cultural worlds, bringing together questions concerning everyday life, the body, and peasant status. The phase of the research funded by Wenner-Gren was conducted at two sites: a migrant community in northwestern Beijing from October to November 2006, and the village in Henan Province in December of 2006. The major concern at the Beijing site was how preparation for the 2008 Olympics affected the life of migrant laborers from Henan. The major questions were centered on the rural-urban (dis)interaction and more importantly, discourses about the peasants. And the major task at the village was to complete the village gazetteer project in collaboration with the village committee and concrete historical data on local production, education, consumption, transportation and construction to this gazetter were added through the archival research in the county seat and interviews with senior villagers.
Arroyo-Kalin, Manuel A., U. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK - To aid research on 'The Historical Ecology of Landscapes: Geoarchaeological Approaches to the Anthropogenic Transformation of Cent. Amazonian Rainforests,' supervised by Dr. P.T. Miracle
MANUEL A. ARROYO-KALIN, then a student at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, was awarded funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'the historical ecology of the Central Amazon region: geoarchaeological approaches to anthropogenic landscape transformation,' supervised by Dr. P.T. Miracle. This doctoral project studied sediments and anthrosols from the interfluve between the Negro and Solimões rivers (state of Amazonas, Brazil) -- the research area of the Central Amazon Project (CAP) -- both to examine if anthrosols dated to the first millennium A.D. could be characterized as correlates of intensive pre-Columbian land-use practices and to understand site formation processes associated to a preceramic site. Both aims required developing geoarchaeological data to understand how site formation processes were intertwined with historical processes of human occupation, soil formation, and landscape evolution in the tropical lowlands. Fieldwork consisted in sampling soils within and between archaeological sites by collecting undisturbed block and bulk samples from fourteen soil profiles. Samples were analysed using a suite of techniques to characterise soil micromorphology, texture, isotopic (13C) and elemental composition, magnetic susceptibility, and pH. Microscopic charcoal was extracted from three samples collected at one site in order to date the most stable charcoal pool in the soils and compare it to the CAP macroscopic charcoal chronology. The research revealed that whilst anthrosols from first-second millennium A.D. age sites might have formed as unintended consequences of past populations' reliance on aquatic resources, they in turn likely fuelled the formation of intensive settlement agriculture, enabling high population densities to develop along riparian bluffs. The research also provided data to show that the Archaic age occupation, located in a now podzolized ferralsol and sealed by alluvial sedimentation, was sufficient to produce some phosphate enrichment of the fine clay fraction, suggesting some degree of site permanence.
Machado, Rosana P., Federal U. of Rio Grande do Sui, Porto Alegre, Brazil - To aid research on 'Made in China: Commercial Practices among Chinese Immigrants in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Ruben G. Oliven
ROSANA PINHEIRO MACHADO, while a student at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, received funding in November 2005 to aid research on 'Made in China: Commercial Practices among Chinese Immigrants in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay,' supervised by Dr. Ruben G. Oliven. The ethnographic research sought to comprehend the flow of Chinese goods in the route China-Paraguay-Brazil. This market interweaves levels of legality/illegality, formality/informality in a situation in which a great part of the traded goods is falsified/replica and enters Latin America as smuggling. Initially, the fieldwork has carried out in Ciudad del Este - a Paraguayan city that borders Brazil and that has one of the largest commercial centers in the world - with Chinese immigrants (Taiwanese and Cantonese). An ethnographical work has been also carried out in the Province of Guangdong, visiting factories and wholesale stores which trade the products imported by the immigrants in Paraguay. The research aims to show a face of the global market from the point of view of the actors who lead this process and, in this sense, the research has tried to map the work, family and reciprocity networks (guanxi) which unite Brazil, Paraguay and China through production, purchase and sale of 'made in China' products. It is showed to what degree this route corresponds, at the same time, to a dialectic flow of goods and people, and to what degree it represents the new waves of the Chinese diaspora promoted by the opening market of post-Mao China.
Escasa, Michelle Jickain, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV - To aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray
MICHELLE J. ESCASA, then a student at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Female Sociosexuality, Mate Preferences, and Sex Steroid Hormones of Lactating Women in Manila,' supervised by Dr. Peter B. Gray. This project investigates the influence of lactation on female sociosexuality and mate preferences in urban Manila, a population with long-term breastfeeding, low contraceptive use, and quick return to cycling. From an evolutionary perspective, female ancestors were likely spending more time pregnant and lactating rather than ovulating. Moreover, a majority of conceptions in natural fertility societies occurred in lactating, ovulating women. These considerations suggest that lactating women face important life history allocation trade-offs between mating and parenting effort that may be manifested in their sociosexual behavior and mate preferences. Breastfeeding (n=155) and control (n=105) women were recruited to provide a saliva sample (for testosterone and estradiol analyses) and complete a face and voice preference task to determine preferences for masculinity. All participants also completed a questionnaire that assessed sexual functioning, sociosexuality, and relationship satisfaction, along with demographic variables. Breastfeeding women report differences in commitment to their relationship, jealousy levels, sexual functioning, and preferences for high-pitched voices. Further analyses incorporate the age of the infant and the cycling status of participants. Cultural and life history factors will be discussed and will serve as a framework for the findings.
Vanderhurst, Stacey Leigh, Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Victimizing Migration: Human Trafficking Prevention and Migration Management in Nigeria,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Jordan Smith
STACEY LEIGH VANDERHURST, then a student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Victimizing Migration: Human Trafficking Prevention and Migration Management in Nigeria,' supervised by Dr. Daniel Jordan Smith. Over the past six years, the Nigerian government has implemented a number of policies and programs targeting the trafficking of many thousands of Nigerian women to Europe for sex work. Yet, a portion of these women do not identify as victims and are rescued against their will by both Nigerian and European authorities. This grant supported twelve months of ethnographic research to explore how these interventions play out at a federally run shelter center for human trafficking victims in Lagos, Nigeria, including how the rehabilitation program addresses migration and sex work. Participant observation at the shelter was supplemented by follow-up interviews with victims and other stakeholders as well. Ultimately, this data will be used to advance our understanding the interconnections between migration and human trafficking, including the ways the two phenomena are constructed as humanitarian problems, regulated by states concerned about their consequences, and experienced by the people who move.
Kampriani, Eirini, U. College London, London, UK - To aid research on 'Embodied Biographies and the Cultural Management of Genetics in the Case of Female Cancer,' supervised by Dr. Roland Littlewood
EIRINI KAMPRIANI, then a student at University College London, London, England, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Embodied Biographies and the Cultural Management of Genetics in the Case of Female Cancer,' supervised by Dr. Roland Littlewood. The research examined the cultural implications and social challenges of hereditary breast cancer among women, focusing on the ways in which preventive and genetic medicine are interpreted in the religious and social domains and how they impact on women's experiences and perceptions of the disease and inherited risk. The project was based on 16 months of fieldwork, situated mainly in a rural area around a Religious Prevention Center for female cancer. A shorter part of fieldwork research took place in the capital of the country to explore other manifestations of the subject-matter of this study and contextualize findings with broader developments. Participant observation and interviews with women with family history of breast cancer provided evidence to analyze the underlying tensions and concerns that shape individual and collective experie