AMNH Curator Position in Biological Anthropology

The Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), is conducting an open search for a position in Biological Anthropology with a specialization in paleoanthropology (human origins) at the level of Assistant, Associate, or Full Curator. This is a tenure-track position. For candidates showing notable experience and accomplishment, there is possibility of tenure at the time of appointment, pending review and determination through the Museum’s tenure process. Candidates should have a strong background and evidence of documented or potential international leadership in paleoanthropological research. AMNH Biological Anthropology collections are some of the most comprehensive in the world, offering a unique opportunity for collections research. Extensive possibilities also exist for professional interaction with colleagues at AMNH across the biological and physical sciences. AMNH curatorships are defined as research positions and evidence of an active research program is essential, ideally including an active field component. Prior experience with museum collections is also an asset.

AMNH curators are expected to maintain a high level of productivity in original research, to seek
extramural funding, and to assume oversight responsibility for the management of Museum collections relevant to their areas of expertise. Other responsibilities or opportunities may include advising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, offering courses in the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School, serving on academic and administrative committees, and participating in Museum-sponsored exhibits and educational programs. Candidates should have completed the Ph.D. degree. The American Museum of Natural History is committed to the principles of Affirmative Action and encourages applications from women and minority candidates. For further information about the position contact Dr. David Hurst Thomas ([email protected]).

Interested candidates should submit the following materials in PDF format:
a) cover statement including the candidate’s name, address, and current position and including a
description of the candidate’s research interests, accomplishments, and plans.
b) list of dissertation advisors, committee members, co-authors and co-PIs on funded grants
during the preceding five years.
c) detailed curriculum vitae, complete bibliography, copies of up to five relevant publications.
d) names, positions, institutional affiliations and contact information for no more than three
referees regarding the applicants professional qualifications.

All materials should be submitted in PDF format directed to Anita Caltabiano (attention,
Anthropology Search Committee) ([email protected]). To receive the fullest consideration, applications should be received no later than November 30, 2017.

This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
This employer offers health insurance benefits to eligible same-sex domestic partners.
This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.

NSF BioAnth DDRIG Deadlines Return to Six Month Intervals

The Biological Anthropology Program is returning to a six-month interval between competitions for both regular research (Senior) and doctoral dissertation research improvement grants (DDRIG).

– For the DDRIG competition, this change is effective immediately, in conjunction with the publication of a revised solicitation (17-506). The next DDRIG target dates will be January 20, 2017, and July 20, 2017, and future dates will be January and July 20th of each year.
– For the Senior competition (which has a program description but not a solicitation), this change will be effective AFTER the November 16, 2016 and July 19, 2017 target dates. The subsequent target dates will be January and July 20 (or next business day) of each year.

**Other DDRIG Changes** – please refer to the revised DDRIG solicitation (17-506) regarding the following changes:

– Target dates instead of deadlines
– Revised target dates (as noted above)
– Two-time submission limit per student

Other aspects of the Senior and DDRIG competitions, including the program scope, merit review procedures and proposal requirements, remain the same.

Main BA page: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5407
BA DDRIG page: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17506/nsf17506.htm

John C. Willman Awarded the 2015 BAS Student Prize!

Willman_research_photoJohn C. Willman,  a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis, was awarded the 2015 Biological Anthropology Section Student Prize. Willman’s work explores non-masticatory dental wear, or the use of “teeth as tools”, among Neandertals and early modern humans. John presented in the session entitled “Advances in European Bioarchaeology and Mortuary Analysis”  at the Denver AAA meeting this year. His podium presentation was entitled “Labret Use Among the Pavlovian Peoples of Mid Upper Paleolithic Central Europe: A New Interpretation of the Buccal Wear Facets at Brno III, Dolní Vestonice, Pavlov, and Predmostí.”

Abstract: The unusual “buccal facets” on the cheek teeth of early modern humans from the Mid Upper Paleolithic (MUP) Central Europe are well-documented, but the phenomenon remains poorly understood. A review of buccal wear facet prevalence at all relevant MUP sites, an analysis of age-related changes in the patterning of facets, and bioarchaeological and ethnographic comparisons suggest that phenomenon is related to intentional body modification – namely, the wearing of large, facial “labrets”.

Ethnographically, labrets are known as a form of personal adornment, permanently secured through incisions in the cheeks (or lips), and gradually stretched to incorporate larger labrets. Permanently fixed labrets in the MUP sample examined here is documented by the consistent presence of facets on the maxillary dentition across all age categories. The surface area affected by buccal facets also increases along an age gradient, providing evidence for gradual stretching to incorporate larger labrets during an individual’s lifetime. Children are affected, but prevalence reaches 100% in adolescents and adults. Only one side of the dentition is affected among children and adolescents, while one or both sides are affected in adults. When both sides exhibit facets, wear is asymmetric, suggesting that a second labret is related to aspects of adulthood.

Material evidence of labrets associated with individuals exhibiting buccal facets are known from several prehistoric contexts and strengthens these conclusions. The high prevalence of buccal facets and strong age-related patterning supports a case for labret use as a marker of individual and social identity among the MUP peoples of Central Europe.

Congratulations, John!

For a list of past winners, and information on how to apply next year, click here.

Job: State University of New York Oneota – Assistant Professor Biocultural Anthropology

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

ONEONTA 

DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR – BIOCULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

The Department of Anthropology at the State University of New York College at Oneonta invites applications for a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Biocultural Anthropology beginning Fall 2016.  Expectations include teaching, research, student advisement, college service, and continuing professional development.  SUNY Oneonta is a comprehensive, public, liberal arts and sciences college. The College sits at #9 on the 2016 list of “Top Public Regional Universities” in the North published byU.S. News & World Report, and is ranked #175 in the Northeast on the Forbes magazine list of “America’s Top Colleges.”  The Department of Anthropology will have six full-time anthropologists, offering major and minor programs in Anthropology and a major in Human Biology.  To learn more about the College or the Department, please visit www.oneonta.edu or www.oneonta.edu/academics/anthro/.  Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with diverse populations and/or teaching pedagogies and/or multicultural teaching experience.

For a complete description of this position go towww.oneonta.edu/employment.

To apply online go to:  http://oneonta.interviewexchange.com/candapply.jsp?JOBID=65808.

For other employment and regional opportunities, please visit our website at:www.oneonta.edu/employment.

SUNY Oneonta values a diverse college community.  Please visit our website on diversity at:www.oneonta.edu/home/diversity.aspMoreover, the College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  Women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Students: Remember to apply for the BAS Student Poster/Paper Award!

The BAS offers an award of $250 and free student membership in BAS for 2 years to the winner of their Student Poster/Paper Award. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student who has an accepted abstract at the 2016 AAA meetings in Minneapolis, you are eligible to apply. The due date for applications is Nov. 4, 2016.

Check out our awards page for details on how to apply and a list of past winners: http://bas.americananthro.org/awards/student-award.

California State Polytechnic University (Assistant Professor)

The Department of Geography and Anthropology in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) invites applications for a tenure-track position in biological anthropology at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin Fall 2016. Candidates specializing in bioarchaeology are especially encouraged to apply. Regional area of focus in Latin America or Asia is preferred.

For detailed description of the position and application procedure, please visit http://www.cpp.edu/~class/open-positions/ant.shtml.

The Anthropology of Hands conference

The Anthropology of Hands conference, hosted by the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent (Canterbury, UK) on 24-26 June 2015 is an interdisciplinary conference looking broadly at human and non-human primate hands from a biological and social anthropology perspective, as well as from other evolutionary, biological and psychology disciplines.

Keynote speakers include:
Prof Carel van Schaik (University of Zurich) hand use and intelligence in great apes 
Prof Mary Marzke
 (Arizona State University) on the evolution of the human hand
Dr Gillian Forrester (University of Westminster) on the evolution of right-handedness
Prof Jean Clottes (Ministry of Culture, France) on hands in European and Indian cave art
Prof Sotaro Kita (University of Warwick) on gesturing and development of language and cognition
Prof Daniel Hutto (University of Wollongong) on the hand‘s role in making minds
Prof David Napier (University College London) on the left-handed path
Prof Christina Toren (St Andrews University) on touch and how we shape the world

More information about the conference and a detailed programme can be found at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/events/hands.html
Registration fee until 01 June 2015 is £50 (£30 for students) and includes entry into all events for the three days of the conference, reception on Wednesday and Thursday evening, lunch and refreshments on Thursday and Friday, and the Gala supper on the Friday evening. After 01 June, conference fees will increase to £100 (£60 students).  We encourage you to register early as space is limited.

Fixed-term Anthropology Position at Central Michigan University (2015-2016)

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Central Michigan University is seeking a qualified candidate to fill a full-time, one-year, temporary position in biological anthropology, specialty open, beginning August 24, 2015. PhD in anthropology is desired, but ABDs will be considered.

Candidates must be able to teach the introduction to physical anthropology, the associated lab, and courses within their area of specialization. The successful candidate must be committed to undergraduate education; ability to teach human evolution is desired, as is evidence of past teaching effectiveness.

The position is in a joint department, with undergraduate majors in anthropology, sociology (including social and criminal justice and youth studies concentrations), and social work. Anthropology is a constituent of the multidisciplinary master’s program in Cultural Resources Management.

Please apply on-line at www.jobs.cmich.edu, supplying cover letter, CV, teaching philosophy, and evidence of teaching effectiveness. Also have three letters of reference sent to: Anthropology Search Committee, 142 Anspach Hall, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859. Review of applicant materials will begin on April 27, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled.

Continue reading Fixed-term Anthropology Position at Central Michigan University (2015-2016)

2014 AAA BAS Student Paper/Poster Award Results

Lauren HosekAlanna Warner

Alanna Warner (left) and Lauren Hosek (right), both graduate students at Syracuse University, were awarded the 2014 Biological Anthropology Section Student Prize. Warner and Hosek co-organized a symposium at the 2014 AAAs entitled, “The Bones and the Worms: Bioarchaeology as Microhistory.” The session brought together experts from across the breadth of bioarchaeology to examine how details of individual lives can be gleaned from bioarchaeological material. Within the symposium, Warner and Hosek presented their own paper, “Enamel, Stone, and Gold: Probing Composite Mouths and Personhood in Nineteenth Century New York City.” In this paper, Warner and Hosek explored how different dental prostheses provide a window into the way individual remains integrate intimate personal, but also broader, contextual experience. Ashley Marie Franklin from Louisiana State University was awarded honorable mention. The complete abstracts can be seen below:


Enamel, Stone, and Gold: Probing Composite Mouths and Personhood in Nineteenth Century New York City
Alanna Warner (Syracuse University) and Lauren Hosek (Syracuse University)
Bodies are not closed systems, but rather dynamic and permeable social entities composed of multiple materials and temporalities. As Ingold notes, bodies are “flow(s) of materials comprising corporeal life” (2011:16). Expressions of identity and formations of personhood are relational, generated and distributed through social interactions and material things. While this sense of relational, extended personhood is well attended to in prehistoric archaeology, historical archaeologists have engaged less with theories of personhood and tend to rely more on modern Western notions of bounded individuals and bodies (Wilkinson 2013; Fowler 2010). In this paper, we examine 19th century dental prostheses—a stone tooth, a gold bridge, and gold fillings—found with commingled skeletal remains in the Spring Street Presbyterian Church burial vaults (ca. 1820-1846) in New York City. A microhistorical analysis of these prostheses demonstrates how objects and substances are incorporated into bodies, becoming part of the overlapping processes and temporalities that make up corporeal life. The mouth is an especially active social interface where materials with biological and geological histories of their own intersect with experiences, habits, and practices. We examine the microscale entanglements of class, gender, medical practices, and ideologies of morality and aesthetics in the dynamic social landscape of 19th century New York City. Finally, we consider how the relational nature of bodies and materials allows personhood to be experienced, performed, and extended through a smile, a stone, or a glint of gold.

 

Comparison of Occlusal Area in Old and New World Monkeys: The Difference and Extra Premolar Makes
Ashley Marie Franklin (Louisiana State University)
This study considers the influence in number of premolars on postcanine occlusal area and mesiodistal length. New World (NW) monkeys have 12 premolars, whereas Old World (OW) monkeys have 8. Four species were studied: Cercopithecus albogularis and Colobus guereza (OW), and Cebus capucinus and Alouatta palliata (NW). Two pairs of species are classified as having the same general diet: Co. guereza and A. palliata, and Cer. albogularis and Ceb. capucinus. Adult, wild caught, female specimens from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History were studied. Sample sizes were as follows: 20 Co. guereza, A. palliata and Ceb. capucinus, and 14 Cer. albogularis . Measurements, using sliding calipers, included length and width of premolars and molars. Results show the percentage of contribution of premolars to total mesiodistal length of postcanine teeth and occlusal area in postcanine teeth differs between OW and NW monkeys. Premolars contribute 33% of postcanine length in both OW species, whereas the percentages are 40% for A. palliata and 48% for Ceb. capucinus. Results also show a difference in percentage contribution to occlusal area between OW and NW monkeys. There is an uneven premolar occlusal area distribution on both P3 and P4 in both OW species, in contrast to a more even premolar occlusal area distribution across P2, P3, and P4 in both NW species. This indicates not only a difference in the number of premolars, but also in the way premolar occlusal area is distributed between OW and NW monkeys.

What BAS members are saying about the AAA meetings

Adam Van Arsdale, biological anthropologist at Wellesley College and author of the Pleistocene Scene blog, wrote this fantastic blog post about the benefits of attending the AAA meetings as a BAS member. He writes, “The AAAs, despite their size, offer a unique ‘meeting within a meeting’ experience” because of the close group of biological anthropologists who congregate there. He ends the post with this call:

Now is the time to start thinking about panels you might be interested in putting together for next year’s meetings which will be in Denver, and I am the person to get in touch with for feedback on those ideas. The AAAs are valuable, but overwhelming. But the BAS portion of the AAAs?… they are free to be shaped in ways that create a degree of academic intimacy hard to achieve in larger settings. And if you are a biological anthropologist inclined towards the holistic view of anthropology, the BAS is an invaluable professional network and set of colleagues.

Read the full post here, and contact Adam at avanarsd(at)wellesley(dot)edu with ideas for next year!

2014 W.W. Howells Book Award Winner

The selection committee for the W.W. Howells Book Award in Biological Anthropology is pleased to announce the 2014 winner. This year’s award will go Lynne A. Isbell for her book, The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well, published by Harvard University Press (2009). In this book, Isbell develops her intriguing “Snake Detection Theory,” arguing that snake predation was an important influence on primate evolution and that selection for the ability to detect snakes played a major role in the evolution of the primate visual system.  Lynne received the award at the BAS Business meeting, December 5, 2014. Congratulations, Lynne!

For more information on the W.W. Howells Book Award, given by the Biological Anthropology Section of the AAA, or for a list of previous winners, click here.

NSF solicitation

H/T Rebecca J. Ferrell, the new Biological Anthropology Program Director for NSF, for submitting this solicitation to the BAS website:

“As part of NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) activity, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) seeks to develop user-friendly large-scale next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in SBE areas of study. Successful proposals will, within the financial resources provided by the award, construct such databases and/or relevant analytic techniques and produce a finished product that will enable new types of data-intensive research. The databases or techniques should have significant impacts, either across multiple fields or within broad disciplinary areas, by enabling new types of data-intensive research in the SBE sciences.”

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15523/nsf15523.htm#toc

 

It’s time to apply for the BAS Student Poster/Paper Award

Are you a student? Are you giving a presentation at the AAA meetings? Are you interested in positive exposure with colleagues in your field (and $250!)?

Then apply now for the BAS student prize!

  • Send an email to Adam Van Arsdale
  • Include your name, presentation title, abstract, and presentation time/session
  • Make sure it is received no later than November 14, 2014.

To learn more about your eligibility and the rules, click hereSee last year’s winners featured here.

New Mexico State University Visiting Professor

The Department of Anthropology at New Mexico State University is seeking a spring 2015 sabbatical replacement in biological anthropology. Please see the attached job description and the application link for the position listed below. Please note that Completion of the PhD is required.

Title:  Visiting Asst Prof
Posting Number: 1400171F
Department:  331700-Anthropology

https://jobs.nmsu.edu/

Ideally applications should reach us before October 31st. Please contact Rani T. Alexander  with any questions. 

Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in Biological Anthropology at The College of New Jersey

The Sociology & Anthropology Department at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) invites applications for a tenure-track appointment in biological anthropology at the Assistant Professor rank, to commence in Fall 2015. A Ph.D. is required by the time of appointment. We are seeking a teacher-scholar committed to undergraduate liberal arts education with an active research program in the health of modern humans. Any geographic focus is welcome. Successful candidates will be able to teach Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Human Evolution, and will develop courses related to health and human biology. We welcome a colleague whose research and teaching combines biological research and attention to human inequality. This hire will join a small but growing anthropology program that supports a rapidly expanding Public Health minor popular with pre-Med students. The hire will create courses in biological/physical anthropology that would complement our existing strengths in cultural anthropology, in preparation for launching a new anthropology major. Candidates should provide evidence that they can maintain a successful program of research at an undergraduate-focused public college with a limited research budget. The standard teaching load is three courses (usually two preps) per semester. In addition to teaching and research, faculty participates in the TCNJ community through a variety of service contributions. Candidates must provide evidence that they can contribute to the development of our intellectual community.

The TCNJ Department of Sociology & Anthropology values diversity and appreciates the perspective that members of a diverse community can bring to the enhancement of learning. For more information on our program and specific descriptions of the undergraduate specializations, visit our website at: http://sociology.pages.tcnj.edu/.

About TCNJ

Founded in 1855, TCNJ is a highly selective institution that has earned national recognition for its commitment to excellence. Emphasizing a residential experience for its nearly 6,000 undergraduates, TCNJ is one of Barron’s 75 Most Competitive American colleges, and U.S. News & World Report’s No. 1 public institution of its kind in the northern region of the country. The College also offers focused graduate programs in nursing, education and English. In 2006, TCNJ was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter-an honor shared by less than 10 percent of colleges and universities nationally. A strong liberal arts core forms the foundation for programs offered through TCNJ’s seven schools-Arts & Communication; Business; Education; Humanities & Social Sciences; Science; Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science; and Engineering. TCNJ faculty members are teacher-scholars who share a commitment to liberal learning. TCNJ is located within an hour, by train, of NYC and Philadelphia. The College’s campus is set on 289 tree-lined acres in suburban Ewing Township and is known for its natural beauty. TCNJ has 39 major buildings, including the 4th-best college library in the nation, according to the Princeton Review. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences enrolls about 2200 majors across 11 B.A. programs.

Contact Information

Send a letter describing how your credentials meet these needs, a copy of your curriculum vitae, a recent publication, and names of three references by September 1, 2014, to Dr. Elizabeth Borland, Chair of Sociology & Anthropology, [email protected]. After initial review, candidates may then be asked to submit a statement of teaching philosophy, description of research program, student evaluations or other evidence of teaching effectiveness, and copies of additional publications. They may also be asked to request letters of recommendation be emailed by the recommenders. Employment is contingent upon completion of a successful background check. The successful applicant must present proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

The College of New Jersey is committed to creating a diverse community that supports its entire faculty, students and staff. All members of the TCNJ Campus Community share a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning environment where difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced. The College of New Jersey is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.

https://jedi.tcnj.edu/webteam/employment/show_job.php?jobid=12867&category=Academic/Faculty%20Positions

 

Ohio University tenure-track assistant professor in biological anthropology

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio University invites applications for a tenure‐track Assistant Professor of Anthropology in biological anthropology beginning in August 2015. We are interested in candidates with research and teaching specialization in human evolution, human diversity, and/or primate behavior and conservation. The specific research area is open. Ideal candidates will demonstrate an active and innovative research program and will be committed to excellence in undergraduate teaching. The successful candidate will be expected to teach upper‐level courses in Human Evolution and their areas of expertise, as well as Introduction to Biological Anthropology. Anthropology faculty at Ohio University currently teach 2 courses per semester: 1 upper‐level course and 1 Introduction to Biological Anthropology course. Housed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Anthropology Program (http://www.ohio.edu/socanth/anthropology/) consists of 7 full‐time faculty and approximately 110 majors, and maintains a core focus on public engagement and outreach across the subfields. This focus provides opportunities for undergraduate students through community‐based research and learning such as internships, field schools, independent research projects, and study abroad programs. Ohio University (http://www.ohio.edu/) is a Research Extensive institution that serves 20,000 students on a residential campus in Athens, Ohio, a college town seventy‐five miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio. To apply online, go to http://www.ohiouniversityjobs.com/postings/10188 and submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, publications or other samples of scholarly writing, statement of teaching philosophy, recent teaching evaluations (if available), sample syllabi (if available), and contact information for three professional references, who will each receive an email invitation to upload a letter. Candidates should provide record of /or potential for scholarly activity involving students, as well as the demonstrated potential for effective teaching. The successful candidate is expected to have completed the Ph.D. at the time of appointment in August, 2015. The application submission deadline isSeptember 22, 2014. Questions may be directed to Nancy Tatarek, Search Committee Chair, at [email protected]. Ohio University is committed to creating a respectful and inclusive educational and workplace environment, and is an equal access/equal opportunity and affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to building and maintaining a diverse workforce. Women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

2014 CoGEA Award Call for Nominees

Nominations Due: May 1 to Suzanne Mattingly, AAA CoGEA Liaison at [email protected].

The CoGEA Award (formerly known as the Squeaky Wheel Award), sponsored by the AAA Committee on Gender Equity in Anthropology (CoGEA), recognizes individuals whose service to the discipline, and the collective spirit of whose research, teaching and mentoring, demonstrates the courage to bring to light and investigate practices in anthropology that are potentially sexist and discriminatory based on gender presentation.

Continue reading 2014 CoGEA Award Call for Nominees

Archaeological Field School Peruvian Central Coast

The Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), one of the most prestigious research institutions on the social sciences in Latin America, announces the third season of its international field school in archaeological methods “Peruvian Central Coast”. Our field school offers training in mapping, survey and excavation techniques in the field as well as basic training via onsite workshops on statistical sampling in archaeology, bioarchaeological analysis, ceramic analysis and cataloguing, and lithic analysis. Prior experience in archaeological fieldwork is not required.

Continue reading Archaeological Field School Peruvian Central Coast

CFP: AFA column

As the co-editors of the AFA’s (Association for Feminist Anthropology) Anthropology News section notes, we are looking for submissions for both in print and online columns. This is a great opportunity to share your research with the readers of AN and support feminist research in humanities and social sciences!

There are no limitations on themes. Any contribution/report that focuses on feminist anthropological concerns and/or employs feminist research methodology is welcome.

Continue reading CFP: AFA column

2013 AAA BAS Student Paper/Poster Award Results

KisselThe winner of the BAS Student Paper/Poster Award for 2013 is Marc Kissel (University of Wisconsin, Madison) for his paper, “Testing Genetic Models of Human Evolutionary History against the Anthropological Record.”

Comparing measurements of supraorbital skeletal features from two Neandertal populations (Vindjia and Krapina), Kissel explores whether genetic drift or natural selection best explains observed morphological variability. Having found that observed variability cannot be explained by drift alone, he suggests that closer attention be paid to human reproductive behavior as illustrated in ethnographic record of hunter-gatherer communities, and that effective population size may not be a good indicator of census size in the Pleistocene.

ScottHonorable mention for this prize went to Jill E. Scott (University of Iowa) for her paper, “A 3-D Morphometric Analysis of Mandibular Symphyseal Variation in Homo.”

In this paper, Jill Scott tests whether various measurements of chin morphology can be used to successfully differentiate H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, and H. heidelbergensis. Using Principal Component Analysis, she finds that H. sapiens separate from both Neandertals and H. heidelbergensis along PC1. However along PC2, H. sapiens group with Neandertals to the exclusion of H. heidelbergensis. In this study, she explores new ways to measure and statistically test morphological differences that have been explored primarily in a qualitative manner in the literature.