Lieberman, Dr. Leslie S., U. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL - To aid conference on 'Anthropological Perspectives on Women and the Obesity Pandemic: Causes, Costs, and Controls,' 2006, Hvar, Croatia, in collaboration with Dr. Pavao Rudan
'Anthropological Perspectives on Women and the Obesity Pandemic: Causes, Costs and Controls.' June 11-15, 2006, Hvar, Croatia. Organizers: Leslie Sue Lieberman (University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida) and Pavao Rudan (Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia). The three and a half day conference employed a life history approach presenting papers that tracked issues of obesity from the prenatal period through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older ages. Each life cycle phase had a cornerstone presentation that outlined the issues followed by one or more presentations of specific studies on populations that ranged from Guatemalan Mayan girls to Lithuanian adolescents and adult Samoan women. The 15 presentations highlighted the unique epidemiology, physiology, dietary and energetics of girls and women. Additionally, presentations incorporated environmental, behavioral, socio-cultural and psychosocial variables that cause or contribute to the obesity pandemic such as the proliferation fast- food franchises. The consequences or costs ranged from metabolic syndrome to difficulties with childbirth and negative perceptions of obese women in occupational, educational contexts. Discussions of controls included public health policy, food industry responses as well as individual efforts such as diets, herbal preparations and exercise to control weight. The papers will be published in Collegium Antropologicum.
Aureli, Dr. Filippo, John Moores U., Liverpool, United Kingdom - To aid conference on fission-fusion societies and cognitive evolution, 2004, Siena, Italy, in collaboration with Dr. Christophe Boesch
'Fission-Fusion Societies and Cognitive Evolution,' August 28-31, 2004, Convento dell' Osservanza, Radicondoli (Siena), Italy -- Organizers: Filippo Aureli (Johns Moore University, Liverpool), Christophe Boesch (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig), and Colleen Schaffner (Chester College, Chester, UK) . This two-and-a-half-day conference was held to evaluate whether special features associated with flexible social organization have been major factors in the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities. A group of highly qualified scientists discussed the issue in a roundtable session, ad-hoc small-group discussion sessions, and plenary reporting sessions. The participants reached consensus on a broad use of the term 'fission-fusion' as a characteristic of social organization that varies along a complex continuum from highly cohesive to highly fluid, with stable or flexible membership. The regulation of social relationships was considered to be particularly challenging in highly fluid groups and to impose specific cognitive demands. Comparative research on the differences and similarities across species displaying different degrees of flexible social organizations was therefore encouraged, in order to elucidate the critical factors underlying the evolutionary processes at the basis of fission-fusion patterns, which may have been critical for human cognitive evolution.
Pearlstein, Kristen Ellen, American U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins
KRISTEN E. PEARLSTEIN, then a student at American University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2012 to aid research on 'An Analysis of Immigrant and Euro-American Skeletal Health in 19th Century New York City,' supervised by Dr. Rachel J. Watkins. This project evaluated and compared the skeletal health of European immigrants and Euro-Americans in New York City from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in order to understand the impact of socio-economic inequality and poverty during this time period. The skeletal collection selected for analysis was the George S. Huntington Anatomical Skeletal Collection, housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The association between low socio-economic status and negative trends in morbidity and mortality is often expressed in the skeletal remains of vulnerable populations and includes the physical evidence of trauma, disease, and activity. Therefore, comparisons of skeletal health were carried out using measurements of trauma, bone lesions, and osteoarthritis. A total of 1550 non-commingled partial skeletal remains were selected and evaluated. The preliminary analysis indicates that compared to the U.S.-born group, the immigrant group as a whole does not have significantly higher frequencies of trauma and disease, contrary to the original hypothesis. However, the initial results also indicate that differences in the frequencies of health indicators do exist between the selected Irish, German, and Italian immigrant groups. A better understanding of the preliminary results will be accomplished following statistical analyses.
Burt, Nicole Marie, U. of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada - To aid research on 'Reconstructing Juvenile Diet In Medieval York Using a New Method of Dentine Stable Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok
NICOLE M. BURT, then a student at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Reconstructing Juvenile Diet in Medieval York Using a New Method of Dentine Stable Isotope Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok. The diet of children changes throughout early childhood from birth, through breastfeeding and weaning. In past populations, weaning was a critical period because it was stressful and often resulted in infant death. By analyzing collagen preserved in human remains using the stable isotope analysis of nitrogen and carbon it is possible to reconstruct these diets. Deciduous tooth dentine is useful for this because it begins forming prenatally and is completed in early childhood. This research created a stable isotope microsampling method to trace the changing dietary signals in the teeth. This method was used to reconstruct juvenile diet at Fishergate House (14th - 16th century) York. The dietary data were compared with growth and pathological data from the skeletons to analyze overall health. The results show that weaning was usually complete by 2 years. Variation in practice was seen looking at individuals. It appears that children with health problems may have been breastfed longer in an attempt to improve health. Childhood health at the site appears to have been average for the period despite its urban location and low socioeconomic class. High levels of marine proteins such as fish in the diets of children and adults likely account for this.
Burt, Nicole M. 2013. Stable Isotope Rtio Analysis of Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices of Children from Medieval Fishergate House York, UK. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 152(3):407-416.
To support the development of a doctoral program in anthropology at the Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal - Institutional Development Grant
Through a collaboration with Cornell University, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tribhuvan University aims to bring improve the theoretical and methodological training of Ph.D students and upgrade the credentials of current faculty who do not hold a Ph.D. The IDG grant will be used to upgrade the current curriculum, provide modest support for research, intensify international exposure and exchange and build up the library and electronic resources. Currently in Nepal, the research agenda in anthropology is frequently determined by NGOs and development agencies where many of the students and faculty gain their experience. The IDG will allow more freedom for the department itself to determine its academic concerns. A primary aim is to significantly improve the theoretical and methodological capacity of the anthropology department as apposed to applied/development anthropology, thereby allowing the department to be competitive and contribute internationally.
Hazel, Mary- Ashley, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid engaged activities on 'Communicating Disease: The Patterns of Sexually Transmitted Disease Burden Among Namibian Pastoralists and Why It Matters,' 2013, Namibia
MARY-ASHLEY HAZEL, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded an Engaged Anthropology Grant in August 2012 to aid 'Communicating Disease: The Patterns of Sexually Transmitted Disease Burden among Namibian Pastoralists and Why It Matters.' Untreated sexually transmitted diseases, particularly gonorrhea, contribute to serious reproductive health issues. The pastoralist communities of Kaokoland, Namibia, live in a highly remote, rural setting where access to healthcare is infrequent and unpredictable. Dissertation research sought to measure the prevalence of two common STDs -- gonorrhea and herpes -- and identify significant ecological and behavioral risk factors for disease. Results revealed high prevalence for both diseases and distinct patterns of risk that were associated with variations in subsistence strategy and seasonal migration. Because these results are of value to local healthcare and intervention efforts, the project focused on sharing dissertation findings with community members, healthcare workers, and Ministry of Health policy-makers. Communicating these findings with community members resulted in vibrant discussions. Meeting participants showed great interest in learning about research results, offered explanations for patterns in the results, and sought further information about reproductive health and current risk for disease. In addition, the grantee made particularly useful contacts in the healthcare community, raising the possibility of future research collaborations that will combine data collection with medical care.