Associate Professor, Graduate Studies Committee Chair
4048 Smith Laboratory
174 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
My research agenda within skeletal biology has two foci. Primarily, I investigate the processes of morphological adaptation and modern human dispersion with a second research line that examines skeletal measures of health and life-style.
My main research focus has been the study of morphological affinities, processes of morphological adaptation, and modern human dispersion, with a special emphasis on the human dispersion in South America during the Holocene. Most recently, I have been applying similar methods and quantitative analyses to processes of morphological differentiation and modern human dispersion across the planet. They are a result from my well-established networks with researchers in Brazil (Dr. Walter Neves, University of São Paulo), Germany (Dr. Katerina Harvati, University of Tübingen) and the US (Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, SUNY Buffalo).
Regarding my secondary research focus, life-style and skeletal biology, my work has focused on the influences of prehistoric Andean States (Tiwanaku and Inca) on the life-style of the ancient inhabitants of northern Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama oases (Atacameños). In association with colleagues from the US (Dr. Christina Torres-Rouff, University of California – Merced, and Dr. William Pestle, University of Miami) and from Chile (Dr. Gonzalo Pimentel, Universidad Católica del Norte) we are conducting a two-year project aimed at characterizing diet and nutrition among groups of different social status during the Middle (AD400-1000) and Late Intermediate (AD1000-1400) Periods in the Atacama oases. This research is studying diet both through traditional osteological markers as well as through isotope analyses, and contrasting the biological data with cultural elements recovered from the burial offerings in the area.
At OSU, I am ahead of the Human Evolution, Adaptation and Dispersion Studies (HEADS), which gathers researchers and students from department developing studies that contribute to a better understanding of the processes that led to the modern human occupation of the planet.
To know my work and HEADS, visit us at u.osu.edu/heads.
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