Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Anthropology | Graduate Students
Tiffany Alvarez
Field of study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Edward Hagen
Email:Tiffany.Alvarez@wsu.edu
I am a bio-cultural anthropologist interested in female reproduction, evolutionary models of human drug use, and cultural and evolutionary perspectives of health. I focus on human female life-history allocation challenges to reproduction in the face of acculturation pressures, toxin exposure (specifically tobacco), and/or illness.

My PhD research integrates evolutionary biological theory with cultural methods to examine how biological, reproductive, and socio-cultural factors influence tobacco use patterns among Latin American migrants and Indigenous women living in a tobacco-producing region of NW Argentina. This work highlights the bidirectional relationship between culture and biology and seeks to answer nuanced questions on the effects culture and acculturative processes have on tobacco use patterns, reproductive behaviors, and reproductive decision-making.

Areas of concentration: Life History Theory, Evolutionary Medicine, Reproductive Ecology/Toxicology, Ecological Immunity, Maternal Health, Indigenous Health, Latin America.


Temechegn G. Bira
Field of Study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Barry S. Hewlett
Email:temechegn.bira@wsu.edu
I am a doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology working with Dr. Barry Hewlett.
I obtained MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies from KU Leuven, Belgium in 2019. My thesis focused on dispossession and human insecurity caused by development intervention in Nyangatom, Southwestern Ethiopia. I also obtained MA in Social Anthropology from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Bachelor Degree in History from Jimma University in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
For my dissertation, I propose to study the social learning of Pastoralist and Hunter-Gatherer children in Southwestern Ethiopia, by focusing om Mursi and Kwegu ethnic groups respectively.
Darcy Bird
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Tim Kohler
Email: darcy.bird@wsu.edu
I am a doctoral student in archaeology working with Dr. Tim Kohler. My main research interests include human adaptive strategies to changing environments, modeling and computational archaeology, paleodemography, human ecology, social differentiation, and anthropological big data.

I received an M.S. in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management at Utah State University in 2019. My thesis addressed the population density/stability tradeoff between agriculturalist and hunter-gatherer populations using radiocarbon dates as representative of population with all available radiocarbon data in the United States and Canada. For my dissertation, I propose to study the indirect relationship between climate change and human populations and societies by quantifying environmental and social factors that may mediate or exacerbate the effect of the changing climate on people.
 
Valda Black
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: valda.black@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student working with Dr. Erin Thornton in the Stable Isotope Lab.
I obtained my Bachelor and Masters degrees in Anthropology at CUNY Hunter College in New York. My MA thesis focused on using 3D geometric morphometric techniques to analyze intentional cranial modification heterogeneity and how it might relate to social identity in prehistoric Andean Peru. My dissertation work will continue in this region by incorporating skeletal analysis, ancient DNA, and stable isotope techniques to explore migration, lineage, and reformulation of identity.

 
 
 
James Brown
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: james.w.brown@wsu.edu
I am an archaeology Ph.D. graduate student working with Dr. Grier. My dissertation research is on the Northwest Coast of North America focusing on identifying plankhouse villages in the San Juan Islands of Washington using ground-penetrating radar, percussion coring, and radiocarbon dating. I completed my Bachelors and Masters degrees at Central Washington University. During my Bachelors, I took part in a Science Honors Research Project that developed the use of calcined bone in radiocarbon dating for North America. My Masters was on validating thermoluminescence dating on the Northwest Coast through comparison with radiocarbon dating of charcoal and calcined bone. Academic and CRM fieldwork I have been part of has occurred in Washington State on both the Coast and Plateau. My research interests include household archaeology, lithic technology, radiocarbon and luminescence dating, and more general interest in the culture change of the Northwest Coast and Columbia Plateau.
Cameron Blumhardt
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: cameron.blumhardt@wsu.edu
I am a first year MA student working for Dr. Grier. My focus is in photogrammetry, GIS, and other software applications relevant to archaeology. I specifically plan to center my research on ethical approaches in conducting fieldwork and on utilizing technology to further our ability to collectively learn about the past in ways that satisfy and respect all stakeholders.
I received my BS in Archaeology with a minor in Geology from Appalachian State University in 2021. I completed an undergraduate thesis while at the university, focusing on ethical approaches to curating virtual museums that are centered on small-scale archaeology sites. My research provided me with experience in curation ethics and in technology used to create platforms for public accessibility to archaeology.

 
 
 
Laura Brumbaugh
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Andrew Duff
Email: laura.brumbaugh@wsu.edu
I am a first year MA student, and my research interests are in the archaeology of the United States Southwest. Specifically, I am interested in studying the factors influencing Ancestral Puebloan community formation during the transition between the Pueblo I and Pueblo II time periods in southwestern Colorado. I have previously engaged in some preliminary research into the impact of Pueblo I trading patterns on Pueblo II great house community formation in the Mesa Verde region. I earned my BS in Biology at Gettysburg College in 2017, and have participated in archaeological projects in northeastern Arizona, Pennsylvania, France, southwestern Colorado, and southeastern Utah.
 
Beatrice Caffe
Field of study: MA Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Courtney Meehan
Email:beatrice.caffe@wsu.edu
I am a Master’s student working with Dr. Courtney Meehan. My Master’s research will investigate the social, environmental and behavioral correlates of human milk immune
factors. I earned my BA in Anthropology at Humboldt State University. My broader interests include reproductive health and maternal-infant microbiomes.
 
Jaime Chambers
Field of Study: MA/Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisors: Dr. Marsha Quinlan, Dr. Rob Quinlan
Email: jaime.chambers@wsu.edu
I’m broadly interested in environmental and medical anthropology, human-animal interaction, ethnobiology, and domestication, with prior experience in Malawi and Tanzania. My master’s research explores cross-cultural variation in practices, roles, and beliefs surrounding dogs, to better understand their cultural, ecological, symbolic, and economic significance across subsistence strategies, as human beings’ oldest, most widespread domesticate. I’m particularly interested in how cultural practices surrounding dogs mediate the human-animal disease interface – including perceptions of free-ranging dogs and the role of ethnoveterinary medicine. Prior to graduate school, my professional experiences include work in international student advising, refugee resettlement, and the Peace Corps.
 
Will Damitio
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: william.damitio@wsu.edu
I am currently an M.A. student focusing on archaeology under Dr. Shannon Tushingham. My current research focuses on pipes and smoking in the Pacific Northwest of North America, especially in the Columbia River Plateau. I am utilizing a combination of geographic information system approaches and chemical residue analyses of artifacts to create a better understanding of the antiquity of smoking practices in this region.

I received my B.A. in Anthropology and Linguistics from Western Washington University. While there, I participated in the marine invertebrate component of a large zooarchaeological project analyzing a site on the Olympic Peninsula. I have also been involved in archaeological collections management, in which I maintain an interest.
 
 
 
 
Kanupriya Dhawan
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Clare Wilkinson
Email: kanupriya.dhawan@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology and my research interests lie at the intersections of sartorial practices, gender, nationalism and modernity. Through my research I aim to create a hermeneutic of Indian woman’s social life and identity through sartorial practices. My M.Phil. thesis surveyed the importance of ocular experiences in the identity-formation process. Building on my experience, I aim to explore sartorial practices in India that generate a society’s code and habits of ‘seeing and being seen’. Sartorial practices can be seen as ‘bodylores’ through which the body is culturally managed and supervised. In my research I aim to understand how narratives of law, religion and media have played a significant role in imposing ‘ideas of decorum’ on women’s clothing in India.

Areas of concentration: Anthropology of dress, South Asian Studies, Visual Cultures, Gender studies, Postcolonial theory.

Teaching Experience: In addition to my research pursuits, I worked as an Instructor of English literature and Art History in India and worked as a Teaching Assistant at University of Pennsylvania for Hindi language and Culture.


 
 
 
Evelien Deelen
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email: evelien.deelen@wsu.edu
I am a cultural anthropology PhD student working with Dr. Marsha Quinlan and Dr. Robert Quinlan. I received my BA and MA (Res) in archaeology from Leiden University in the Netherlands. For my MA thesis I studied the construction of indigeneity in relation to traditional dress in contemporary Mexican society, which relates to my interest in Latin America, identity, and cultural survival.
My PhD research incorporates my interests from a different perspective: human-animal relation studies, ethnobiology, and multispecies ethnography. I am particularly interested in human-horse entanglements, traditional equestrian knowledge, and concepts and constructs of wild and tame. My dissertation research centers on the traditional horse culture of the Colombian Llanos region in relation to modernization and the oil industry. I am also very interested in Mustang adoption and Bronc riding in the United States and aim to incorporate a cross-cultural perspective in my research.
 
 
 
 
Laura Ellyson
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Tim Kohler
Email:laura.ellyson@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D. student in Archaeology working with Dr. Tim Kohler in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University. My research interests include Southwestern archaeology, zooarchaeology, wealth inequality, stable isotopes, and agent-based modeling.
My dissertation research focuses on evaluating the subsistence algorithms of the Village Ecodynamics Project, the development of wealth inequality among ancestral Pueblo households, and models of hierarchical social structures in relation to the flow of information in social systems. To evaluate the subsistence algorithms of “Village”, I will compare simulated predictions of deer, lagomorphs, and turkeys with real-world zooarchaeological data from sites located within the “Village” project area. In my study of wealth inequality, I assume that floor area of household domestic structures reflects the accumulation and cross-generational transmission of material wealth. Using Gini coefficients calculated based upon distributions of floor area, I will compare wealth inequality among ancestral Pueblo households from the Mesa Verde, middle San Juan, and Chaco areas from Basketmaker II to Pueblo III periods.
I received my M.S. in Applied Geography, with a specialization in Environmental Archaeology in December 2014 from the University of North Texas. My Master’s thesis research, under the direction of Dr. Steve Wolverton, was focused on the zooarchaeology and animal ecology of small sites surrounding Goodman Point Pueblo located in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado. Specifically, I investigated small animal hunting and turkey husbandry through combined lines of evidence including faunal indices, demographic profiles, and morphometrics.
Michael Gaffney
Field of study: MA Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Ed Hagen
Email:michael.gaffney2@wsu.edu
I am an MA student primarily interested in costly signaling and symptoms in humans. My research focuses mainly on depression; however, I am also interested in other proposed costly signals of need and what they might share. Previously, my research involved nocebo responses and primate ranging patterns at UC Santa Barbara, where I received my BA.
 
 
 
 
Chancy Gatlin Anderson
Field of study:PhD Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Clare Wilkinson
Email: Chancy.gatlin@wsu.edu
I am a first-year PhD student working with Dr. Clare Wilkinson.
Research Experience: I received my Master of Arts degree in Anthropology at Georgia State University in 2014 where I worked with the Atlanta Lolita and Japanese Street Fashion Community. I studied their fashion, use of photography, and their use of social media to analyze how Lolitas manage their impressions both online and in person. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology at Kennesaw State University in 2012 where I studied Hare Krishna community outreach practices and Belizean archaeology.
For my doctoral research, I plan to study the influx of Japanese plus-size designers and brands, plus-size representation in Japanese media, and what these changes mean for plus-sized Japanese women today.
Teaching Experience: In addition to my research pursuits, I worked as an Instructor of Anthropology at Georgia State University for the Spring 2015-Summer 2017 semesters
 
 
 
 
 
Andrew Gillreath-Brown
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Tim Kohler
Email: andrew.d.brown@wsu.edu
I am a doctoral candidate in Archaeology working with Dr. Tim Kohler. My research interests include computational archaeology, modeling, agriculture, paleoclimate, and how individuals and groups respond to both large scale processes such as climate change and local processes such as violence and wealth inequality, as well as tattoo archaeology and ancient music. I also conduct research on ancient tattooing in the southwestern United States. I discovered the oldest tattoo tool in western North America, which was about 2000 years old from southeastern Utah. I received a MS in Applied Geography, specializing in Environmental Archaeology, in August 2016 from the University of North Texas.

My dissertation research focuses on using paleoecological data (e.g., pollen) to do paleoclimatic reconstructions, particularly low-frequency temperature. Then, I am evaluating the effects that temperature had on the evolution and spread of maize agriculture in the southwestern United States. In addition, I will use the wavelet transformation technique to combine the low-frequency temperature reconstructions (using pollen data) that I am producing through the SKOPE (Synthesizing Knowledge of Past Environments) project with high-frequency temperature reconstructions from tree-rings. The combined reconstructions would be used to model the effects of temperature variability on prehistoric farming, particularly on maize niche and crop productivity models. These data can be used to better understand changes in demography and explore a variety of questions surrounding social and cultural responses to climate change.

I also currently serve as the secretary for the Anthropology Graduate Organization and am an Editorial Assistant for Ethnobiology Letters. I also serve on legislative committees for the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology (TCPA) and am a Government Affairs Network State Representative for the Society for American Archaeology on behalf of the TCPA.


 
 
Cynthiann Heckelsmiller
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email: c.heckelsmiller@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology, studying ethnobotany with Marsha Quinlan. I am interested in how indigenous people adapt to modern development changes, especially related to plant use and knowledge. I completed my MS in Ethnobotany at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, where my fieldwork and dissertation focused on plant food use and ethnic identity as subsistence strategies change for Maasai in NE Tanzania. My past fieldwork also includes looking at TEK, land rights, and conservation with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Northern British Columbia. My PhD thesis will expand on the connections between subsistence, cultural identity and transmission in East Africa. Outside of anthropology, I am still a field botanist at heart, and can be found somewhere in the bush with a hand lens and my research assistant/dog.
 
 
Elliot Helmer
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: emily.helmer@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student specializing in the spatial analysis and the archaeology of the southern Northwest Coast. My research interests include human-landscape relationships, resource use, practice theory, identity, and cultural heritage. My M.A. thesis at WSU investigated the phenomena of persistent places in southern Oregon using regional-scale settlement pattern analysis in GIS.
Madison Honig
Field of Study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Aaron Blackwell
Email: madison.honig@wsu.edu

I am a first year M.A. student broadly interested in evolutionary medicine, infectious disease, and life history theory. I am particularly interested in how immune activity related to infectious disease exposure shapes female reproductive health.
I received my B.Sc from the University of Toronto where I studied Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology. My previous research involved disease modelling in Daphnia in the Krkosek Lab and 3D surface scanning of Australopithecus anamensis casts under the supervision of Dr. Bence Viola. I propose to investigate energetic trade-offs in horticulturalist groups related to immune investment from infectious disease pressure and how this affects fertility.
Arian Karimitar
Field of study: PhD Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Jeanette Mageo
Email: arian.karimitar@wsu.edu
I graduated with an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran, Iran. Also I was formally trained in psychoanalysis at some private institutes in Tehran. Because of this background, I am interested in psychological, psychoanalytic, cultural and medical anthropology. I am interested to study on topics such as religion, self, identity, interaction of cultural and mental processes, interpretation of social and cultural phenomena and cultural symbols.
The area which I concentrate on will be Iran. Iran, also known as Persia, is an expansive country in the Middle East which is heir to one of the world’s oldest civilizations which lead to having a vast vary of materials in different fields such as archaeological, historical, cultural, and literary fields.
Taekyeong Kim
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. John Blong
Email: Taekyeong.kim@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D. student in Archaeology working with Dr. John Blong. My research focuses on explaining the diversity of lithic assemblages past human left in Northeast Asia during and after the Last Glacial in the light of technological organization. I am interested in hunter-gatherer’s mobility, lithic technology, and paleoenvironmental fluctuations
Emily Kinney
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: emily.g.kinney@wsu.edu
I am a MA candidate in the field of archaeology, working with Dr. Erin Thornton. My research interests include zooarchaeology, stable isotope analysis, political economy, and human-environment interactions in Mesoamerica and the Andes. For my master’s thesis, I will be studying the economy and environment of Aventura, a Terminal Classic Maya site in Belize, through the lens of zooarchaeology and stable isotope analysis. I received my BA in Archaeological Studies from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in May 2021. My undergraduate thesis used in-depth faunal analyses to compare the animal economies of Kizsombor-Uj-Elet, Hungary, and Pecica Santul-Mare, Romania, two sites occupied by the Maros culture during the European Bronze Age.
Tiffany Kite
Field of Study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr.Shannon Tushingham
Email: tiffany.kite@wsu.edu
I am a first-year master's student in archaeology studying with Dr. Shannon Tushingham. I earned my bachelor's degree at Washington State University in Anthropology with minors in History, Native American Studies, Environmental Science, and Geospatial Analysis. I participated in SURCA during my undergrad earning a Novice Award for our work with identifying human skeletal remains. My research now is focused on starch grain analysis.


Athar Khan
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Rob Quinlan
Email: athar.khan@wsu.edu
I am a PhD Student with a research interest in application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in climate change mitigation and adaptation in Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu-Kush (HKH) Mountain Ranges. A part of his research is to find how climate change adaptation policies are viewed in the local discourses and what material consequences that has in practice.
I have received M.Sc. degree in Forestry from Pakistan Forest Institute Peshawar and M.Sc. in Carbon Management from University of Central Lancashire UK. I worked as a director of the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) in Pakistan, participatory forestry expert and advisor for FAO in Afghanistan and Biodiversity Specialist with IUCN Pakistan.
Sreenidhi Krishnan
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Clare M. Wilkinson
Email: sreenidhi.krishnan@wsu.edu
I am currently a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology and my research interests include looking at the production and significance of material culture in everyday life, understanding the capacity of religious practices in deciding the gender dynamics within media and industry, the content produced and its subsequent role in shaping production processes and workplace culture. Areas that specifically interest me are creative direction, art, costuming and design within the Hindi television industry.
Areas of concentration: Anthropology of media, Visual culture, Indian Television, Production Cultures, Postcolonial Theory.
 
Katy Leonard-Doll
Field of Study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: katy.leonard-doll@wsu.edu

I am a first year MA student working with Dr. Colin Grier. My research interests include Pacific Northwest archaeology, community-based participatory research, archaeobotany, material analysis, residue studies, and Indigenous food security and revitalization. More specifically, in my research I would like to work with local Indigenous communities and use residue studies and material analysis to support food sovereignty movements. I am dedicated to fostering meaningful and respectful collaboration with Indigenous communities in any research I am involved in.
I received my BA in Anthropology with minors in Religion and Global Studies from Pacific Lutheran University in 2016. After receiving my BA, I have participated in the University of Washington’s Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology field school led by Dr. Sara Gonzalez and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. I have also worked with Dr. Joyce LeCompte, an Environmental Anthropologist where I have processed and analyzed macrobotanical samples from multiple archaeology sites in the Pacific Northwest.
Michael Lorain
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: michael.lorain@wsu.edu
I am currently a master’s student in archaeology under Dr. Colin Grier. My research will focus on the distribution of fish weirs on the Pacific Northwest coast. My broader interests consist of landscape archaeology, environmental archaeology, and paleoecology. I received my B.A. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where I gained four years of field and lab experience throughout Alaska. While there, I learned techniques in dendrochronology and the use of GIS in archaeology which have shaped my interests in archaeology.
 
 
 
Hannah MacIntyre
Field of Study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Nancy McKee
Email: Hannah.macintyre@wsu.edu
I am a second year cultural anthropology MA student working with Dr. Nancy McKee. My interests lie in Educational Anthropology and its application to meaningful and lasting education reform efforts at the state and national levels; and the examination of structural and material impacts of public institutions in shaping contemporary human experience including the development of self. The focus of my thesis work is on the educational access of LGBTQIA public school students in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in north Texas. My professional background prior to graduate school is comprised primarily of community education, public education and advocacy, working in outreach and education for an AIDS Service organization in north Texas (5years) and the 6 years preceding my studies at WSU were spent in a variety of secondary classroom settings as a social studies teacher (specific classes taught: World Geography, US History, Government, and Economics).
 
 
 
Brandon McIntosh
Field of Study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: brandon.m.mcintosh@wsu.edu
My research interests include the prehistoric cultures of the Great Basin, U.S. Southwest, and Mesoamerica, stable isotope ecology, zooarchaeology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and conservation biology. My research includes stable isotope analysis in connection to the faunal component of the archaeological record for the purpose of understanding prehistoric relationships between humans and their animal neighbors, and the archaeology of environmental change. I seek to understand cultural and biological change through evolutionary and niche construction theory. My Master’s thesis research was directed toward understanding turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) domestication, and the exploitation of freshwater fish species as strategies for resilience in subsistence and market trade at the Postclassic site of Isla Cilvituk (Campeche, Mexico). My dissertation research combines zooarchaeological, isotopic and ancient DNA analyses to explore turkey use and domestication in the Jornada, Mimbres and Casas Grandes regions of the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico.




Tara McLaughlin
Field of Study: Archaeology
Advisor: Shannon Tushingham
Email: tara.mclaughlin1@wsu.edu
I am a first year Graduate student. I am a Tribal Member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and I currently work as an archaeologist for the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. My interest lies in indigenous archaeology, complex hunter-gatherer societies, lithics, and zooarchaeology. Previously, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University in Anthropology. Currently, I manage the collections housed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and work with researchers who are interested in collaborating and expanding knowledge from these collections. My primary goal is to help bridge the gap between cultural resource management and academia, with the intent of publishing research to open source platforms.
Daniel McCloskey
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Jeanette Mageo
Email: daniel.mccloskey@wsu.edu
I am a first year M.A. student who is interested in a wide range of topics regarding ideas of self and identity. Specifically, I am interested in how socially shared and culturally specific ideologies effect and inform our constructions of ourselves. As an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, I specifically focused my research on ideologies of gender and masculinity. As a graduate student I would like to continue with inquiries about gender as well as build upon that work by investigating other forms of identity.
 
 
 
Piyawit "Jiw" Moonkham
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: piyawit.moonkham@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D. candidate in archaeology working with Dr. Shannon Tushingham. My dissertation research focuses on Northern Thailand and Laos geographic areas, where I address human use of social space and the built landscape through a diachronic investigation of spatial patterns of historical monuments. My recent research goal is to elucidate how local cosmological worldview interacts with the spatial layout of Buddhist temples in the Chiang Saen Basin, Northern Thailand, particularly how it may reflect changing concepts of social life before and after Buddhist reform (c. fourteenth century). I am also working on developing a theoretical approach that integrates archaeological and cultural theories to understand patterns of interaction and the relationships between humans, objects, and the landscape in early historic archaeological settlements in Mainland Southeast Asia.
 
 
 
Lori Phillips
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: lori.phillips@wsu.edu
I am currently an archaeology Ph.D. student working with Dr. Erin Thornton. My research interests include stable isotope analysis, zooarchaeology, and the ancient Maya. Before coming to WSU, I worked on archaeological projects in both South Africa and Central America, but my current research is based in the Maya region. My M.A. thesis focused on turkey husbandry at the Postclassic site of Mayapán (Yucatan, Mexico) through integrated zooarchaeological and isotopic analyses. My dissertation research uses stable isotope (carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur) and zooarchaeological analyses of faunal assemblages from the Belize River watershed to explore ancient Maya aquatic resource use, specifically how use may have changed during periods of environmental and population stress.
 
 
 
Megan Plummer
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Andrew Duff
Email: Megan.plummer@wsu.edu
Description: I am currently a Master's student worth with Dr. Andrew Duff. My thesis focuses on using isotopic turquoise sourcing in northern Southwest. I have worked in Southeastern Idaho, the Great Basin, Ethiopia, and the Southwest. I am interested in material sourcing, archaeological geochemistry, and environmental reconstruction. I graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Chemistry. I am passionate about interdisciplinary research and public outreach in archaeology.
 
Katie Richards
Field of Study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Andrew Duff
Email:katie.richards@wsu.edu
I am currently a Ph.D. student in Archaeology working with Andrew Duff. My research primarily focuses on the prehistoric cultures of the American Southwest and Great Basin, with a special interest in the Fremont cultural area. My research interests include ceramic studies, architecture, and social organization. For my thesis project I created a typology of Fremont painted ceramic designs and examined the implications of the similarities of painted designs across the Fremont region. My dissertation research will expand this and explore the relationships between the Fremont and the Ancestral Puebloans as well as examine the function of painted pottery in the Fremont region. I have worked in Petra, Jordan, Idaho, Nevada, and at Fremont, Promontory, and Ancestral Puebloan sites across Utah.
 
 
Jackie Rumberger
Field of Study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email:jacklyn.rumberger@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student focusing in archaeology under Dr. Erin Thornton. I received a BA and MA in Anthropology at the University of Central Florida where I had a regional focus in Central American, specifically coastal Oaxaca, and a methodological focus in bioarchaeology and stable isotope analysis. My MA research focused on human diet and mobility during periods of social collapse in coastal Oaxaca. I hope with my dissertation work to create an isotopic food web and gather environmental data from isotopic analysis of shell to create a more complete understanding of the environmental pressures and food resources available to and used by pre-Columbian peoples living along the coast.
Kate Shantry
Field of Study: PhD Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: kate.shantry@wsu.edu
I am currently an archaeology PhD student with a BA from the University of Washington and an MA from Western Washington University.
My dissertation topic relates to the movement of people and places on the dynamic shoreline landscape of southern Puget Sound, in the traditional territory of the Puyallup, Muckleshoot, and Snoqualmie people. I am building a contextual model that uses archaeology, language, oral history, landscape and settlement pattern theory to understand how people responded to a cataclysmic mudflow (lahar) event from Mount Rainier [Tahoma] ca. 5,500 years ago.
My other interests include traditional food studies, experimental archaeology, geoarchaeology, protection of cultural resources, tribal sovereignty, history, and mentoring archaeology students, among other subjects.
Kimberly Sheets
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Andrew Duff
Email: kimberly.sheets@wsu.edu
I am a MA student in archaeology with a BA from the University of Arizona. My thesis research focuses on using stable isotopes (strontium) to source bighorn sheep, a nonlocal species present in the Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster, Northeast Arizona (c. 1260-1400). I hope to use what I learn to source other nonlocal fauna within the Cluster’s assemblages to better understand landscape use and resource procurement by Ancestral Hopi peoples.
 
 
 
Arpita Sinha
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Clare Wilkinson
Email:arpita.sinha@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology and my research interests lie at the intersections of issues of gender and labour relations, health and work, and women's self-image. To understand and analyse these issues within a particular industrial context, in my thesis I look at the contemporary fashion industry in India, with primary focus on the female fashion models who work there. Even though fashion models are the most visible labourers in the industry, they have rarely been accounted for in the discourse of fashion in India, therefore pushing them to the margins of the industry. The current work is aimed at intervening and redressing this issue. Some of the areas that I wish to explore in my work are how the Indian fashion industry and the profession of modelling have changed in the last two decades, how models become an ideological and political conduit in the negotiations between tradition and modernity in India’s postcolonial, globalized cultural context to create the image of the modern Indian woman, and how the profession of modelling is changing with the advent of the digital, arguably giving a section of the working models some agency. Being a former fashion model myself, my methodology includes a combination of autoethnography, case studies, and interviews.
 
Caroline Smith
Field of study: Ph.D. Evolutionary anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Ed Hagen
Email: caroline.smith@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student working with Dr. Ed Hagen to explore how interpersonal conflict and cooperation relate to depression and immune function. My MA thesis focused on postpartum depression in women, and the social and health factors associated with it.
 
 
 
 
Erin Smith, MA RPA
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: erin.m.smith@wsu.edu
My research in archaeology is comparative in looking at social organizations and networks in the Pacific Northwest, California, and the American Southwest. Using Big Picture and historical perspectives, I analyze connections at local, regional, and continental scales. I am interested in how interactions between people and things can be connected and may influence change, or support continuity in historical trajectories. I practice an indigenous archaeology by working with local communities and conducting ethnographic research.
I am a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Colin Grier. My publications include articles in American Anthropologist and the Journal of Archaeological Science.

 
 
Amanda Thiel
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email: amanda.thiel@wsu.edu
As a PhD student of cultural anthropology working with Dr. Marsha Quinlan, I study ethnobotany, or the interrelationship of plants and people. More broadly, I look at how people fit into and think about their local environment. I conduct research with Maya communities of various sizes—from rural village to semi-urban--in Guatemala and Mexico. My research seeks to understand how acculturation and cultural values affect ethnobotanical medical knowledge and practice in these communities. My MA thesis fieldwork in one Guatemalan Q’eqchi’ Maya village centered around utilitarian aspects of local ethnobotany and the variation in cultivation of medicinal plants in village homegardens. I own and operate an herbal products company, Isla Botanica (islaherbs.org), which allows me another avenue to follow my passion for plants and people.
Garrett Toombs
Field of study: Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Rachel Horowitz
Email:garrett.toombs@wsu.edu
I am a first year MA student working with Dr. Rachel Horowitz. I am broadly interested in the lithic technology of precontact North and Central America. I employ experimental methods to recreate and test lithic tools and technologies to better understand the people and societies that used them. My BA was in anthropology and history from Wake Forest University, where my undergraduate thesis aimed to understand the lithic economy of the Late Woodland Piedmont Village Tradition along the Yadkin River.
 
Daphne Weber
Field of study: Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Julia Cassaniti
Email:daphne.weber@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D. student in Cultural Anthropology working with Dr. Julia Cassaniti. I am interested in the role of women in Theravada Buddhism, specifically within Thai Buddhism.

 
 
Miranda Wootton
Field of Study: MA Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Julia Cassaniti
Email: miranda.wootton@wsu.edu
I am an MA student in Cultural Anthropology working with Dr. Julia Cassaniti. I am primarily interested in psychological anthropology, specifically in trying to understand how individuals (both children and adults) acquire and negotiate cultural models of mind. Other interests include medical anthropology, educational anthropology, anthropology of childhood, phenomenology, subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and emotions. I received my BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and have worked as a direct support provider to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as a biostatistical health survey researcher and supervisor, and as a teacher of English as a foreign language in Bangkok, Thailand.