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Anthropology | Graduate Students
 
 
Adams,Jacob
Jacob Adams
Field of study: Ph.D. Candidate Archaeology
Advisor:
Email: jsadams@wsu.edu
Description: I am currently an archaeology Ph.D. student working with Dr. Andrefsky. My research interests include hunter-gatherer adaptations, lithic technology and the prehistory of Alaska. I have worked on field projects in Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Alaska. My dissertation work involves examining toolkit variability of late Pleistocene/early Holocene hunter-gatherers in Eastern Beringia, with an emphasis on experimental archaeology. In my free time I enjoy ice climbing, mountaineering, fly fishing, travel, and of course long walks on the beach.
 
 
 
Tiffany Alvarez
Field of study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Edward Hagen
Email:Tiffany.Alvarez@wsu.edu
I am a biomedical anthropologist interested in bio-cultural and evolutionary perspectives on health, disease disparities, disease dissemination, and sickness symptom expression.

In the past, my research has focused on human female life-history allocation challenges during acute illness; specifically the effect acute upper respiratory infection has on various aspects of sexuality.

Currently, my research concerns sex-biased disease susceptibilities caused by endocrine-immune interactions. I am especially interested in the role estrogen and progesterone play in mediating the maternal-fetal immune relationship and the trade-offs between maintenance (immunity) and current reproduction (pregnancy). Specifically, exploring the biological and behavioral mechanisms of the plant toxin defense network in cultural context and within a life history framework.

My areas of concentration include: Latin America, Toxicology, Human Reproductive Ecology, Ecological Immunity, Maternal Health.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Awoke Amzaye Assoma
Field of study: Ph.D. candidate Cultural anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Barry Hewlett
Email:awoke.assoma@wsu.edu
I am cultural anthropology PhD candidate focusing on cultural ecology (environmental anthropology). I am working with Dr. Barry Hewlett and Robert Quinlan. My research is on the enset agricultural system, its current status, and its future; my special focus is on the enset agricultural system of the Kore people in Amaro, South Ethiopian Regional State. I am also active faculty at Hawassa University (Anthropology Program, School of Behavioral Sciences), Ethiopia. In the past I had training in history (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, BA degree), in paleontology, human and animal anatomy and field methods (The University of Tokyo, Japan, MSc), and social anthropology (The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, MSc. I undertook paleoanthropological field research (for my MSC thesis, Tokyo) in southern Ethiopia. Moreover, I participated, as team member, in various paleoanthropological and ethnographic field research projects in Ethiopia. As one of my biggest achievements, I conducted research (with two of my colleagues, Dr. Yonas Beyene and Dr. Metasebia Bekele) and produced UNESCO heritage nomination file for inclusion of the Konso Cultural Landscape onto the World Heritage List, for which I was awarded certificate of recognition by the Ministry of culture and Tourism, Ethiopia, and UNESCO. I also wrote my MS thesis on the ‘Heritagization of Konso Cultural Landscape’.
 
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.
 
 
Justin Brown
Field of study: Ph.D. student Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Rob Quinlan
Email: Justin.brown2@wsu.edu
Justin has a MS in Ecology and is a PhD student interested in biocultural anthropology. His current research will test experimental methods to operationalize culture without introducing language barriers. If these methods prove reliable, he hopes to implement them broadly in cross-cultural research. These methods will be used to supplement his current experimental research exploring within- and between-sex differences in density-dependent cultural and biological moderation of mate preference and intra-sexual trust. In the future Justin hopes to explore these phenomena in non-experimental settings and study biocultural interactions across stages of biological and cultural development. Justin is particularly interested in the effects of environmental stability and acculturation on cultural variation within generations, cultural fidelity across generations, and concomitant effects on mating strategies.
 
 
Dominic Bush
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: dominic.bush@wsu.edu
I am currently an archaeology MA student working with Dr. Erin Thornton. I received my bachelor’s in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. I am primarily interested in zooarchaeology and using the analysis of animal remains to infer various cultural aspects of past societies. Specifically, I am focused on changes in Mayan animal use in response to the arrival of the Spanish. My current research is based in the Central Petén Lakes region in northern Guatemala. In the past, I worked with a 19th century Midwest fur-trapping assemblage, which included stable isotope analysis. I have also worked on archaeological projects in Ireland and the Philippines.
Judith Card
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Nancy McKee
Email: judith.card@wsu.edu
I am a kinship anthropologist, focusing on issues of child circulation, adoption, and the myriad ways that humans create families and relatedness. My interests are also in feminist anthropology and queer and trans lifeways.
 
 
 



Molly Carney
Field of study: PhD Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email:molly.carney@wsu.edu
Description: Broadly, I am interested in environmental archaeology. I used paleoethnobotanical and geoarchaeological methods to study the ways in which prehistoric people interacted with their natural and built environments. My research focuses on the signatures of prehistoric architecture of the Columbia Plateau with a particular emphasis on household archaeology and hunter-gatherer mobility. My other research interests include geomorphology, site and landscape formation processes, paleoclimate reconstructions, cultural resource management and heritage outreach, and indigenous collaboration and methodologies. I have worked in New York, Ohio, Kentucky, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.
Brooke Ann Coco
Field of Study: MA Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Jeanette Mageo
Email:brookeann.coco@wsu.edu
My academic interests fit within the realm of psychological anthropology as well as its broader application towards a more inclusive psychology, which transcends the boundaries of biomedicine through the acknowledgment of alternative models of health and healing. My thesis research seeks to explore idioms of distress within the socio-political climate in which they exist, specifically nervios within the highlands of Ecuador. Eventually, my dissertation research will expand upon this work by examining the impact of migration and acculturation on traditional conceptions of nervios among Ecuadorians living in the United States.

 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
Jessica Devio
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Erin Thornton
Email: jessica.devio@wsu.edu
Description: I am an archaeology PhD student working with Erin Thornton and Jade d'Alpoim Guedes. I received my BA from Florida Atlantic University and my MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. For my MA thesis, I studied food preparation at a Late Classic housing group at Xunantunich in Belize. My research used starch grain analysis to identify the function of an assemblage of chert bladelets. My research suggests that they were used to process a variety of different plant materials.
My dissertation research continues my research on Maya consumption using Paleoethnobotany as my primary method of analysis. I am interested in using a multi-proxy analysis incorporating macrobotanical, starch and phytoliths to understand consumption practices of the Maya. I am particularly interested in increasing our understanding of tuberous plant consumption. More broadly, I am interested in the production, distribution and consumption of plant materials, and their role in the formation of Mesoamerican foodways.
 
 
 
 
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.
Andrew Frierson
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: andrew.frierson@wsu.edu
I am currently an archaeology M.A. student working with Dr. Tushingham. My research interests include lithic technology and the prehistory of the Great Basin. I have worked in South Carolina, Washington, and Oregon. My thesis will examine variations in the lithic assemblage from Rock Creek Shelter (35LK22) located in southern Oregon to answer questions about mobility patterns, land use, and sedentism. I am also interested in cultural resource management and experimental archaeology.
Katie Flores
Field of study: Ph.D. student, Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email:katherine.e.flores@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student in cultural anthropology working with Dr. Marsha Quinlan. I am interested in medical anthropology, particularly reproductive health and its place within traditional medical systems in transitioning societies. I am also interested in ethnobotany. My dissertation will focus on contraception use among the Sidama in SW Ethiopia. I served as a research assistant for the Dr. Courtney Meehan’s INSPIRE project and assisted with data collection in Ethiopia. I am further collaborating with Dr. Meehan on a project exploring the cultural transmission of breastfeeding and post-partum practice norms among the Sidama.
 
Nichole Fournier
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: nichole.fournier@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D student of archaeology working with Dr. Shannon Tushingham. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from North Carolina State University, where I focused on Forensic Anthropology. I have an interest in research that draws on multiple disciplines to answer anthropological questions and is applicable to fields outside of anthropology, particularly genetics, human biology, and public health. I plan to use my background in human osteology in conjunction with several aspects of archaeological science in order to answer questions regarding human variation and population history. For my dissertation research, I plan to study a prehistoric human population living in the San Francisco Bay Area during a period of resource stress caused by a major drought. Using osteological, ancient DNA, and isotopic evidence, I will explore whether certain groups, such as ages or sexes, were more influenced by this resource stress and use this information to reconstruct population history.
Samantha Fulgham
Field of Study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: samantha.fulgham@wsu.edu
I am interested in mapping prehistoric subsistence and environmental changes in Hunting and Gathering communities in the Pacific Northwest using a combination of zooarchaeology and paleoethnobotany. My thesis research will be on a site on Galiano Island excavated by Professor Grier, and will most likely involve a combination of zooarchaeological and paleo-botanical analysis of a sea urchin feature. My B.A of Anthropology was completed at UC Santa Barbara in 2015 where I worked on shell midden analysis, and conducted an independent research project identifying groundstone from a local Chumash site.


Michael Gaffney
Field of study: MA Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Ed Hagen
Email:michael.gaffney2@wsu.edu
I am an MA/PhD student interested in signaling, symptoms, and conflict between kin. I am particularly interested in situations where support from others is beneficial for both the provider and the receiver, but the optimal amount is disagreed upon. Previously, my research involved nocebo responses and primate ranging patterns at UC Santa Barbara, where I received my BA.
 
 
 
 
Chancy Gatlin
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 PhD student in Archaeology working with Dr. Tim Kohler. My research interests include modeling, agriculture, paleoclimate, computational archaeology, environmental archaeology, and research that surrounds how humans respond to environmental change.
I received a MS in Applied Geography, specializing in Environmental Archaeology, in August 2016 from the University of North Texas. My Master’s thesis research was directed toward understanding the spatial variability of soil moisture on a small scale in the central Mesa Verde region (CMV). In an area with limited moisture and agricultural features, I wanted to understand where farming may have taken place on the landscape (using soil moisture) and how settlement patterns in relation to agricultural fields changed over time on a local level, particularly leading up to the depopulation of the CMV.
My dissertation research will focus on experimenting with paleoecological data (e.g., pollen) to assess whether or not different approaches are feasible for paleoclimatic field reconstructions. In addition, I will also use pollen data to generate vegetation (biome) reconstructions. By using tree-ring and pollen data, we can gain a better understanding of the paleoclimate and the spatial distribution of vegetation communities and how those changed over time. These data can be used to better understand changes in demography and how people responded to environmental change.
I also currently serve as an Executive Board Member for the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology and an Editorial Assistant for Ethnobiology Letters.
 
Kathryn Harris
Field of study: Ph.D. Candidate Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. William Andrefsky, Jr.
Email: kaharris@wsu.edu
Description: My research explores lithic technological organization, human behavioral ecology, and the conditions under which people choose to change their social organization. I have worked in Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Mongolia; my dissertation research examines the development of sociopolitical complexity on the Columbia Plateau. More recently, I have become involved in a research project that explores the archaeological evidence for the foraging to pastoralism transition in northern Mongolia.

My other interest is in public policy. I believe that anthropology is useful well beyond the ivory tower, and that the time is ripe for anthropologists to become the agents of social change we are primed to be. I currently serve as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Graduate and Professional Student Association at WSU and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students.
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.
Emily Helmer
Field of study: MA Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: emily.helmer@wsu.edu
I am currently an archaeology MA student with a BA from the University of California Santa Cruz. My primary interests are Native American heritage, landscape archaeology, and resource use in the Pacific Northwest. I am especially interested in linking archaeological research with the modern political issues faced by Native peoples surrounding their sovereignty and access to traditional resources.
Chaise Jung
Field of study: MA Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Jeannette Mageo
Email: chaise.jung@wsu.edu
I am a cultural anthropology M.A. student interested in psychological anthropology. My research will focus on the relationship between the individual and culture in regards to different conceptualizations of self within a cultural construct. In other words, the relationship between individual and cultural ideas of personhood. Additionally, I am interested in the way this relationship manifests within the mind; such as an individual’s dreams. I currently plan to focus my research in the South Pacific region.
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.


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.
Avery Lane
Field of Study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Courtney Meehan
Email: avery.lane@wsu.edu
I am an MA/PhD student in the Biocultural lab. My primary research interests are cross-cultural variation in the microbiome of human breastmilk and the human gut, how this variation is shaped by genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and sociocultural factors, and its implications for the adaptive nature of cooperative breeding and the evolution of sociality.
 
Aaron Lightner
Field of study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Edward Hagen
Email:aaron.lightner@wsu.edu
I am an MA/PhD student primarily interested in human cooperation and cognitive ecology. In particular, I am currently investigating the impact of socially learned frames on economic decision making and its implications for existing models of human cooperation. This explores a broader research question asking to what extent human nature and social context shape individual beliefs and preferences involved in economic exchange. This research primarily draws from experimental economics, evolutionary psychology and game theory.
 
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
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.




Galen Miller-Atkins
Field of study: Evolutionary Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Luke Premo
Email:galen.miller-atkins@wsu.edu
I am currently a Ph.D student working under Dr. Premo.
My research interests include the origins of behavioral modernity, mobility, time-perspectivism, agent-based modeling, and the Middle Stone Age record in southern Africa. My research includes combining agent-based modeling with distributional archaeology in order to explore landscape use through time. Ultimately I want to understand how the archaeological record allows or prevents us from answering questions pertaining to cultural change and differentiation. I have worked in southern Ohio, Dmanisi, Georgia and South Africa. For my M.A. thesis I investigated how local extinctions and time-averaging affect the spatial scale of cultural similarity in simulated assemblages. Currently I am exploring mobility strategies, lithic variability, and time-averaging in the South African Paleolithic
 
 
Piyawit "Jiw" Moonkham
Field of study: PhD Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email:piyawit.moonkham@wsu.edu
I am currently a PhD student in Archaeology working with Dr. Shannon Tushingham on a project that connects myth and folklore to historical landscape change in northern Thailand and Laos. My MA thesis examined northern Thai legends and folktales of the naga (a kind of magical serpent) as clues to the ways that people have modified their landscape and communally adapted to disasters in the region, especially in periods after historical floods and earthquakes. I am working on developing a theoretical approach that integrates archaeological and cultural theories to understand patterns of interaction and relations between human, objects, and the environment of early historic settlements in northern Thailand and Laos, in locally-structured transitions to its complexity. My research interests also include the social networks involved in collective memory, and ethnohistorical archaeology of changing landscapes relating to historical disasters and climate changes 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.
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.
 
 
 
Jennifer Roulette
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email:jennifer.roulette@wsu.edu
My research focuses on the intersection of medical anthropology and child development, within the context of sub-Saharan Africa. More specifically, I explore children’s ethnomedical knowledge and theories of disease causality, including how it is acquired and how it develops throughout childhood. Ultimately, I want to use this knowledge to build culturally and developmentally appropriate health education material. My first ethnographic research was with the Aka foragers and Ngandu horticulturalists of the Central African Republic. More recently I begin to conduct research with Maasai agro-pastoralists in northern Tanzania, which involves a mixed-methods approach to collect ethnomedical data evaluating how Maasai people across the lifespan think and feel about health issues that impact their lives. It also involves working with the local school to disseminate core findings about an antibiotic resistance research project and developing health education material about germ theory and hand washing.
Caroline Smith
Field of study: MA Evolutionary anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Ed Hagen
Email: caroline.smith@wsu.edu
I am an MA student working with Ed Hagen. I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Richmond where my undergraduate work focused on testing adaptationist theories of depressive symptoms. I plan to continue my research in this area, with a focus on the social causes and consequences of depression and low mood.
Mulye Tadesse
Field of study: Ph.D. student Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Robert Quinlan
Email: mulye.tadesse@wsu.edu
Currently I am attending my PhD in Cultural Anthropology program. For my PhD research I am working on migration, social networks and remittance in the Southern Nation, Nationalities and Population Region of Ethiopia.
Amanda Thiel
Field of study: Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Marsha Quinlan
Email: amanda.thiel@wsu.edu
I am an MA student of cultural anthropology working with Dr. Marsha Quinlan. I study ethnobotany, the interrelationship of plants and people, and more broadly, how people fit into and think about their local natural environment. My thesis research is on Q’eqchi’ Maya home gardens in rural Guatemala. I have previous personal and academic experience in ethnomedicine, medicinal plants, and sustainable wild-harvesting practices. I also own and operate a herbal products company, Isla Botanica, based on San Juan Island, WA.
 
 
Dakota Wallen
Field of study: PhD Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Shannon Tushingham
Email: dakota.wallen@wsu.edu
I am currently a Ph.D. student focusing on archaeology under Dr. Shannon Tushingham. My current research focuses on the prehistory of the Columbia Plateau and Great Basin culture areas, especially lithic technology, land use practices, and resource exploitation.
I received my M.A in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology from the University of Idaho, studying under Dr. Robert “Lee” Sappington. My thesis was on public archaeology in the Weiser River Valley in west-central Idaho, an area that was utilized by peoples of the Columbia Plateau and northern Great Basin. During my time at the University of Idaho I worked in the field doing cultural resource management with Lee Sappington and I worked at the Alfred W. Bowers Laboratory of Anthropology as an archaeological laboratory technician, rehabilitating and curating collections. Most of my time was spent curating the Donald E. Crabtree Lithic Technology collection.
Daphne Weber
Field of study: MA Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Julia Cassaniti
Email:daphne.weber@wsu.edu
I am currently an MA student in Cultural Anthropology working with Dr. Julia Cassaniti. I am interested in the role of women in Theravada Buddhism, particularly Bhikkhuni ordination. Thailand serves as an area of focus since the Songdhammakalyani Monastery is an active community of Buddhist nuns, some of which seeking full ordination.

Emily Whistler
Field of study: Ph.D. student Zooarchaeology
Advisor: Dr. Colin Grier
Email: emily.whistler@wsu.edu
I am a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Colin Grier in the Salish Sea region. My research interests include: Zooarchaeology, Birds, Coastal Foraging strategies, Isotopes and aDNA, Conservation Ecology, and Social aspects of hunting.

Ashenafi Zena
Field of study:Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Andrew Duff
Email: ashenafi.zena@wsu.edu
I am a PhD student and currently working on the stelae of Gedeo, South Ethiopia. My research interests include monumentality, cultural landscape and historical archaeology.
 
 
Xinyi "Katya" Zhao
Field of study: MA in Cultural Anthropology
Advisor: Dr. Julia Cassaniti
Email: xinyi.zhao2@wsu.edu
I am interested in the intersection of medical, psychological, and linguistic anthropology. I focus on cross-cultural psychiatry, psychosis, emotion expression, embodiment, and psycholinguistics. I want to explore the nuances within psychosomatic syndromes in a cross-cultural environment, and to describe how ideas about abnormality, madness, and cognition are influenced by religion and language. Geographically, my research will take place in Japan and Thailand. My previous training experience includes sociology, anthropology, psychology and medical humanities.
Mario Zimmerman
Field of study: Ph.D. Archaeology
Advisor: Dr. Steve Weber
Email: mario.zimmermann@wsu.edu
I'm a PhD student in Archaeology and I'm specializing in Paleoethnobotanics. Having achieved B.A. and M.A. degrees at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan at Merida, Mexico, my research and professional experience falls within Mayan Archaeology. I'm particularly interested in human-environment interactions, the impact and strategies of tropical pre-Columbian agriculture, as well as the social aspects of food distribution. My dissertation research focuses on the identification of areas of food preparation and consumption within pre-Columbian residences by ways of chemical residue analyses and the subsequent identification and analyses of micro-botanical elements (starch grains). The goal of my project is to obtain data relating to crop variety, diet and socioeconomic differentiation within and amongst urban Maya settlements. My background well as working as a CRM and public archaeologist on both pre-Columbian Maya and historical sites on the Yucatan Peninsula.