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  • Spring/Summer 2020

    • The work of Jill Pruetz and former Iowa State PhD student, Kelly Boyer Ontl, with chimpanzees in Senegal is featured in the New York Times article Mother Chimpanzees Know the Coolest Place in a Scorching Savanna. It’s a very cool article (pun intended)! When it’s 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the savanna, it can be up to 55 degrees cooler in the caves. Mother chimpanzees spent most of their time in the caves resting, socializing and grooming, while their infants played with one another. Sometimes, the mothers brought along snacks: fruits of the African baobab and camel’s foot tree.

    • Highlighted in the link below are Dr. Todd Ahlman and his team’s contributions in November 2018 and August 2019 to the archaeological research related to the restoration of a collapsed 1723 defensive wall at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park on St. Kitts. Graduate students Taylor Bowden and Bryan Heisinger were on the crew with Todd and Dr. Gerald Schroedl (emeritus professor at the University of Tennessee). Their work was crucial to the preservation of an 1820s hospital and deposits associated with the hospital.

    • Dr. Emily Brunson was interviewed for Mistrust of a Coronavirus Vaccine Could Imperil Widespread Immunity in The New York Times. Also attached is the published report mentioned in the article by the working group co-chaired by Emily and Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana. Anthropology doctoral student, Rex Long, is a member of the working group and co-author of the report.

      Schoch-Spana M, Brunson E, Long R, Ravi S, Ruth A, Trotochaud M on behalf of the Working Group on Readying Populations for COVID-19 Vaccine. The Public’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccination: Planning Recommendations Informed by Design Thinking and the Social, Behavioral, and Communication Sciences. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; 2020.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Kent Reilly who was featured again on the YouTube series Museums From Your Home by the University of Alabama.

      Dr. Reilly's talk was titled The Search for Underworld Powers and was recorded on June 29, 2020. 

    • Congratulations to Amy Reid, Curator at the Center for Archeological Studies (CAS)!

      Amy has a new TxDOT Curation Services agreement in place for 2021-2022 for $287,623.70.
      This new agreement will include some new and exciting tasks to our curation services for TxDOT, including specialized artifact imaging and archival processing:

      • Hi-res artifact photography using computer-operated, drop-out lighting system with standardized composition for publication, analysis and curation-quality 2D Digital images
      • 3D scanning and printing
      • Oversized archives scanning
      • Digitization of archival photographic prints, film and slides
    • Congratulations to our first cohort in the Ph.D. program – The Groundbreakers – who are officially ABD! Congratulations to Sophia Mavroudas, Courtney Siegert and Devora Gleiber for passing their qualifying exams and successfully defending their dissertation proposals. In addition, they each have brought in significant amounts of external funding from sources such as the NIJ and the NSF. They have set a very high bar for future cohorts! A sincere thanks to their mentors – Nick Herrmann, Kate Spradley and Danny Wescott.

    • Dr. Carolyn Boyd from the Department of Anthropology will be joined by renowned French archaeologist Dr. Jean-Michel Geneste and award winning film producer Martin Marquet in an online event entitled "The Adventure of Rock Art." The event will take place on Sunday, May 31 via Zoom and is sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM.

      To register for this Zoom event please visit the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe website.

       

    • Students in Dr. Emily Brunson's ANTH 3336/5336 (Community Research Project) recently completed a service learning project on behalf of Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX). Building off of MA student Christine Bonagurio's thesis research, the class designed and conducted a survey of MOWCTX clients and developed the following video (with the help of Texas State communications student Andrew Wright) to highlight the study findings. The overall purpose of the project is to explain, to state legislators and others, how the service provided by MOWCTX is about more than just providing meals.

      You can find view the project video on our Community Research Project webpage.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Kent Reilly who was recently featured the YouTube series Museums From Your Home by the University of Alabama.

      Dr. Reilly's talk was titled Beliefs/Symbolism of Ancient Moundville and was recorded on May 19, 2020. 

    • In February, Dr. Jean-Michel Geneste, University de Bordeaux, gave a talk in the Anthropology Department called Sapiens Think in Images: The Paleolithic Art of Chauvet Cave. His presentation included the awarding film, The Final Passage, which is available on to view on https://www.missingmatter.info/tara-expo from May 7 to June 7.

    • Congratulation to Ashley Eyeington (mentor Dr. Kilby) who was recently awarded the Council of Texas Archeologist’s 2020 Student Research Grant for her thesis research, “Geoarchaeological Approach to Resolving the Origins of Bison Bone Beds at Bonfire Shelter, 41VV218, Val Verde County, Texas.” The award provides $1200 of support for her analyses.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Todd Ahlman, Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies, who was recently elected as President of the Council of Texas Archeologist’s (CTA)!

    • The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce that anthropology major, Olivia Green, was chosen as the recipient of the Presidential Upper Level Scholarship for the College of Liberal Arts. The Presidential Upper Level Scholarship Program provides financial assistance and special recognition to a limited number of undergraduate students who have been outstanding in their college work. Each Scholarship is valued at twelve hundred dollars. Each of the eight undergraduate colleges are authorized to choose one student per year for the award.

    • Medial anthropologists, Dr. Emily Brunson and Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, are featured in, “Our Pandemic Summer,” in The Atlantic. It’s a sobering and excellent article by Ed Yong.

    • Dr. Jill Pruetz’s book, You Can Be a Primatologist: Exploring Monkeys and Apes with Dr. Jill Pruetz (National Geographic Kids), is now available!  Congratulations, Jill!

    • Dr. Kent Reilly has been working for several years with colleagues from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on an exhibition and catalogue of the artifacts, symbols, and motifs of the prehistoric Spiro people. (The Spiro people created a sophisticated culture which influenced the entire southeast of the U.S. Artifacts indicate an extensive trade network, a highly-developed religious center, and a political system that controlled the entire region. The Spiro Mounds were occupied by AD 800 and were used until about AD 1450.) We are happy to announce that the group was awarded a $400,000 National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) implementation grant for the exhibition! The exhibition opening will occur sometime next year.

      Congratulations to Kent, Eric Singleton (curator at the museum), and everyone involved!

    • Congratulations to Doctoral student, Sophia Mavroudas (mentor Herrmann), who has won a P.E.O. Scholar Award for $15,000. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards intended to recognize and encourage academic excellence and achievement by women in doctoral-level programs. These awards provide partial support for a variety of things such as study and research …, and even childcare! P.E.O. Scholars have demonstrated their ability to make significant contributions in their chosen field of study, having assumed leadership positions in university academics, scientific research, medicine, law, performing arts, international economics, history, literature, government and other demanding fields.

      Congratulations to Sophia! Thank you to Dr. Herrmann for his mentorship and to Dr. Hilkovitz and Dr. Smith (Graduate College External Funding Coordinators) for their hard work helping our students craft their proposals.

    • The Anthropology Department is happy to announce that MA student, Alexis Baide (mentor Herrmann) was selected for a very prestigious National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) award. MA student, Ivanna Robledo (mentor Herrmann) was given an honorable mention by the award committee. The NSF GRFP provides three years of support ($138,000) for graduate education. Fellows may pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM education, and NSF-supported social sciences.

      Congratulations to Alexis and Ivanna! Thank you to Dr. Herrmann for his mentorship and to Dr. Hilkovitz and Dr. Smith (Graduate College External Funding Coordinators) for their hard work helping our students craft their proposals.

    • The Anthropology Department will be holding a virtual Career Workshop where students will have the opportunity to both explore job prospects and career options with an Anthropology degree, and learn skills related to resume and cover letter writing.  The workshop will be hosted by Dr. Augustine Agwuele.

      Date | Thursday, April 9, 2020
      Time | 3:00 - 4:00 pm
      Where | The workshop will be held via Zoom (meeting link to follow)

      Tentative Event Timeline Overview: 

      • Moderator: Augustine Agwuele
      • 3:00 pm – 3:50 pm: Career Option Discussion
        • Dr. Timothy Gotcha: Associate Director, Forensic Anthropology Center
        • Dr. Todd Alhman: Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies Texas State
        • Ms. Tori Graham: Career Service: 
        • Dr. Neil Hadder: Internship Coordinator
      • 3:50 pm – 4:00 pm: Resume / Cover Letter / Q&A

      Please submit the Registration Form to receive the Zoom invitation.

      Please contact Dr. Agwuele at aa21@txstate.edu for more information.

    • Courtney Sieger Photo, 2020Congratulations to Ph.D. student, Courtney Siegert, who has been selected as the Outstanding Doctoral Student in the College of Liberal Arts for 2019-2020. The Department is especially pleased because this was the first year we were able to compete at the doctoral level.

    • Recently, Center for Archaeology staff at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri were awarded Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards for Cultural Resource Management and Environmental Quality. These awards reflect highly on Fort Leonard Wood and the Texas State University staff at the installation. 

      Our Fort Leonard Wood staff include:

      • Stephanie Nutt (Cultural Resources)
      • Judy Harmon (Clean Water Act)
      • Heather Williams (Clean Water Act)
      • Kimberly Snouffer (Clean Water Act)
      • Jeffry Lamb (Clean Water Act)
      • Randall Willis (GIS)
      • Patricia Littleton (National Environmental Policy Act)
      • Joe Proffitt (Natural Resources)

      The Fort Leonard Wood staff do wonderful work and these awards reflect their dedication to cultural resource and environmental preservation.

    • Master's student, Stephanie Medrano (mentor Spradley), won a Pollitzer Student Travel Award for $500 to present her paper, Postcranial sex estimation for unidentified migrants along the U.S. Southern Border, at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference in April. Well done, Stephanie!

    • The faculty are proud to announce the Outstanding Anthropology Students for 2020:

      • Outstanding Undergraduate Major – Anneke Paterson
      • Outstanding Master’s Student – McKensey Miller
      • Outstanding Doctoral Student – Courtney Siegert
    • Congratulations to Todd, Ashley and Nick who won the Diversity Field School Award from the Gender and Minority Affairs Committee (Society for Historical Archaeology) for their NSF funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates field school in the Caribbean on the island of St. Eustatius. This award recognizes field schools offering “archaeological practices that foster diversity in research objectives, perspectives, and participation.” The Gender and Minority Affairs Committee “recognizes that diversity is multi-dimensional and thus ‘inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and socio-economic background.’”

      Their field school offers a wide range of research opportunities and topics for the students in archaeology, bioarchaeology, and geophysics. Todd, Ashley and Nick strive to include students from a variety of backgrounds. From their field school nomination form: “Between June 2018 and December 2019, 20 undergraduate and 3 graduate students have participated in the field school. Within our goal of providing research opportunities for women and racial and ethnic minorities, 65% of the undergraduate students identified as racial and ethnic minorities, 80% were women, half were first generation college students, and roughly 40% of the students started their studies at a community college. Five undergraduate students would be considered “non-traditional” in that they did not immediately attend college after graduating high school.”

    • The first annual Anthropology Research Conference will be held on the afternoon of Friday, March 27.

      Graduate and undergraduate students in all fields of anthropology are invited to submit proposals for presentations to be included in the conference by March 1, 2020.  Presentations should be 15 minutes long (they will be timed) and may include PowerPoint slides.

      Cash prizes will be awarded in both graduate and undergraduate categories as follows:

      Graduate Research

      • First Prize | $100
      • Second Prize | $50

      Undergraduate Research

      • First Prize | $100
      • Second Prize | $50

      To enter your research in the conference, please submit the Anthropology Research Conference Form.

    • KRGV reports on Texas State faculty and students conducting exhumations at La Grulla Cemetery near the South Texas/Mexico border.

    • A two part series from Texas Public Radio featuring Dr. Kate Spradley and Ph.D. students from the new Applied Anthropology program conducting exhumations in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Falfurrias, Texas.

      The Dead In The Desert: Unknown Burials And Operation I.D.

      The Dead In The Desert: Christian's Journey Home

    • The Guardian features Dr. Kate Spradley and undergraduate and graduate students from Texas State University Department of Anthropology as they exhume unidentified human remains in La Grulla, Texas, near the border.

Fall 2019

  • Dr. Kent Reilly, along with current and former students, were recently invited to participate in the Harvest Busk of the Florida Tribe of the Eastern Creeks at the White Earth Community/Square Ground.

    Dr. Reilly at Florida Harvest BuskSmall group at Florida Harvest Busk

  • Photo of Hannah Munsch and Dr. CunninghamAnthropology undergraduate major Hannah Munsch (mentor: Dr. Cunningham) presented her undergraduate Honors Thesis entitled "Undergraduate misconceptions of evolutionary principles: a comparative study." Congratulations Hannah!

  • Molly Kaplan, MA student under Dr. Kate Spradley, received a $1,500.00 Forensic Sciences Foundation travel grant.

    Mariah Moe, MA student under Dr. Kate Spradley, won the AAFS Anthropology Section Diversity Award $1,000.00 student travel award.

  • Doctoral students Courtney Siegert and Sophia Mavroudas won $1,500 Forensic Sciences Foundation/CRC Press Student Travel Grants, which also includes complimentary registration to the American Academy of Forensic Science 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, CA, in February 2020.

    In addition, Sophia was chosen as the Book Prize Recipient by CRC and will receive $1,500-worth of pre-selected books and a plaque at the Academy’s Annual Business Meeting.

  • Photo of student winner from TABATwo Texas State students won research awards at this year's Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists meeting held at Baylor University from November 8-9.

    Olivia Green won the undergraduate poster research award for her collaborative project entitled "Comparing patters of pathology in enslaved Africans of an 18th century cemetery on St. Eustatius." This research project was an outgrowth from her experience in the Texas State’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program “Exploring Globalization through Archaeology" headed by Drs. McKeown, Ahlman, and Hermann.

    McKensey Miller won the graduate poster award for her master's thesis research under the guidance of Dr. Jill Pruetz: "The importance of microclimates: Environmental differences between habitats at Fongoli, Senegal."

  • Numerous Texas State undergraduate and graduate students attended the annual Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists (TABA) annual meeting hosted by Baylor University on November 8 - 9. Five undergraduate research projects (some from internships and Honors College theses) were presented and one graduate student's master's thesis research project was presented.

    Undergraduate research:

    • Laci L. Frank: Estimating stages of facial decomposition via time-lapse footage
    • Olivia Green, Ashley McKeown, Nick Hermann: Comparing patterns of pathology in enslaved Africans of an 18th century cemetery
    • Hannah Munsch: The effects of secondary-level evolution education on undergraduate perceptions of science
    • Amanda L. Rodriguez, Deborah Cunningham, Danny Wescott, Rob McCarthy: Association between distal humerus measurements and body mass in modern humans: Application for fossil hominin MK3
    • Christina Tinsley: Proportional trends in dental metrics of Texas Hispanic individuals: Forensic ancestry application

    Photo of Laci Frank at TABA

    Photo of Olivia Green at TABA

    Photo of Hannah Munsch at TABA

    Photo of Christina Tinsley at TABA

     

     


    Left to right: Laci L. Frank, Olivia Green, Hannah Munsch, Christina Tinsley

    Graduate research:

    • McKensey Miller, Jill Pruetz: The importance of microclimates: Environmental differences between habitats at Fongoli, Senegal

    Other Student Photos

    Photo of students at TABAMore student photos from TABA

     





    From left to right: (first image) Laci Frank, Hannah Munsch, Olivai Green, Veronica Flores-Guiillen, Ian Long
    second image: Cole Clawson, McKensey Miller, Christina Tinsley

  • Anneke Paterson (mentor Dr. Nicole Taylor) has been awarded the URF scholarship in the amount of $630, to support her research project titled Visually Re-Membering the Eastside: Trajectories of Belonging and Displacement in Austin.

  • Dr. Taylor was featured in a recent Bustle.com article on how to use your phone more mindfully.

  • Dr. Taylor was interviewed recently by Bustle.com about social media and mental health.

  • This week CAS was awarded a cooperative agreement with the USACE for Cultural Resources Support for US Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC) Midwest Region Installations for $686,194. This includes continued support for staff positions at Hill Air Force Base in Utah and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado and funding for historic building surveys of Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base (teamed with Historical Research Associates, Inc.), an archaeological survey of Schriever Air Force Base teamed with Metcalf Archaeological Consultants, and GIS data updates of site boundaries at the US Air Force Academy. The latter two projects will include Texas State students.

  • Dr. Wescott recently received $5,964 from the Forensic Science Foundation for his research project "Detection of Clandestine Surface and Buried Remains in Central Texas Using Unmanned Aerial Systems equipped with Infrared and Near-Infrared Sensors: Relationship between Ground Truth and Sensor Data"

  • Dr. Wescott was recently featured in Ologies with Alie Ward, a comedic science podcast, where they discussed Osteology and the Forensic Anthropology Research Center (FACTS).  You can listen to the poscast at alieward.com

  • Two of our doctoral students have won Graduate Research Fellowships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics from the National Institute of Justice.

    Courtney Siegert’s award is for $150,000 and her project is titled, “A Multifactorial Approach to Estimating Geographic Origin of Hispanics Using Cranial and Dental Data." Courtney’s doctoral advisor is Kate Spradley.

    Devora Glieber’s award is for $150,000 and her project is titled, “Detection and Diagnosis of Mobility Impairment via Cortical and Trabecular Bone Properties to Aid in the Identification of Human Remains in a Medicolegal Context.” Devora’s doctoral advisor is Danny Wescott.

     

  • Dr. Danny Wescott has received an National Institute of Justice grant for $286,468 for the project Detecting and Processing Clandestine Human Remains with Unmanned Aerial Systems and Multispectral Remote Sensing.

  • According the News and World Report, anthropology is one of the best science jobs!

  • Dr. Kate Spradley is a co-PI on a grant that received funding from the National Institute for Justice for $785,827. The project title is "Subadult ancestry estimation using craniometrics, macromorphoscopics, odontometrics, and dental morphology."

    Collaborators are from University of Nevada, Reno including Kyra Stull (PI), and co-PIs Marin Pilloud, and Richard Scott. 

  • Dr. Taylor was recently interviewed by NBC Better about how parents can address weight loss with children, encourage a healthy relationship with food and exercise, and balance the risk of disordered eating against the risk of an overweight or obese child. You can read the interview on NBC Better

  • Congratulations to Dr. Kate Spradley who was recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the state's Homeland Security Grants Division (HSGD) for Operation Identification. 

  • Congratulations to Amy Reid and everyone at CAS. The Veteran’s Curation Program agreement has been renewed for another year with a total award of $225,228.

  • Congratulations to Christi Conlee whose archaeological work in Peru was featured on the Discovery Channel show, Mysteries in the Alien Desert, on 7-14-19.  Christi started an NSF funded project this summer Nasca.


Spring/Summer 2019

  • Drs. Danny Wescott and Deborah Cunningham’s NSF grant, “Collaborative research: obesity as a natural experiment to investigate bone functional adaptation,” has been approved. Danny and Deborah are working with a colleague from Johns Hopkins. The grant is for $255,500, split between the two institutions. Importantly, there are funds for MA and PhD research assistants. It will also pay for two years of the maintenance contract for the micro-CT system, which is a huge benefit to FACTS.

  • Archaeology graduate student, Ted Kmiec (Advisor, Dr. Kent Reilly) was interviewed by Kenosha News.  In the interview, Ted discusses his undergraduate degree work with CAS, his recent field school in Belize, his graduate studies under Dr. Reilly and more.  You can find the full interview on the Kenosha News website

  • Congratulations to our students who recently presented at the 2nd Annual Undergraduate Research Conference for the NSF-REU program.  Our students presented their research from "Exploring Globalization through Archaeology," which is a NSF-REU program led by Drs. Todd Ahlman, Ashley McKeown and Nick Herrmann.  The student posters and presentations were excellent, and reflected their hard work and the intensive mentorship of Todd, Ashley and Nick.

    Doctoral student, Courtney Siegert, was also one of two guest speakers for the conference. Courtney did an excellent job as well. She described Operation ID and their work locating, identifying and repatriating the remains of migrants who have died in South Texas. Some members of the audience were in tears.

  • Dr. Britt Bousman and his collaborators, Michael Toffolo (University of Bordeaux Montaigne) and Kristen Wroth (University of Tübingen), took a break in their archaeological excavations when they were invited to speak to faculty, students and researchers at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa about their research in the nearby Modder River Valley. A large crowd attended their three presentations. Dr. Bousman has been collaborating with Professor Louis Scott from the UFS, and Drs. James Brink and Lloyd Rossouw from National Museum for the last three decades.

  • Dr. Wescott was recently interviewed by CBS Austin for the work he and rest of the Forensic Anthropology Center are doing with various area law enforcement agencies.  Dr. Wescott and his team help law enforcement identify remains through dental records or DNA analysis.  You can read the watch the interview and read more about their work on CBS Austin.  

  • Shumla was featured on the program, Nation Swell, explaining their current work on the Lower Pecos murals and climate change. The degradation is very rapid. Four Texas State/Anthropology alumni are employed by Shumla and are in the video (Amanda Castaneda, Charles Koenig, Vicky Roberts and Jerod Roberts).

    Additionally, Shumla chemist, Dr. Karen Steelman was interviewed for Chemical and Engineering News for her work using PXRF technology to further study rock art.  You can find the video on the Chemical and Engineering News website. 

  • Congratulations to Sophia Mavroudas (PI) and co-PIs Nick Herrmann, David Falleur (Clinical Laboratory Science), Michelle Hamilton, Danny Wescott, and Jodi Jacobson on their National Science Foundation: Major Research Instrumentation Program (NSF MRI): Acquisition of Microscopy Equipment to Enhance Histological Research in Forensic Anthropology, Biology, and Bioarchaeology! Their award is $255,140.

    Project Summary

    Overview
    This request is for the acquisition of an integrated microscopy imaging and data analysis suite that consists of a Leica DM6M microscope and Leica M205C Stereoscope both with internal cameras that are connected to a central computer with associated Leica Aperio ScanScope CS2 slide scanner to enhance Texas State University’s research and outreach programs in forensic anthropology, biology, and bioarchaeology. This microscopy imaging system is a user-friendly system that will impact the large group of students and researchers (majority women) from the undergraduate through to the postdoctoral level who are part of the premier Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) at Texas State University, a Hispanic Serving Institution(HIS).

    Intellectual Merit
    As an asset of FACTS, this equipment would foster synergistic collaborative research and interactive teaching that will elevate the new PhD in Applied Anthropology Program and increase faculty and student federally funded research in forensic anthropology, biology, and arcaheology. Combined with existing FACTS resources, it will support innovative experimental studies including controlled human decomposition experiments that can model the microscopic diagenesis of human bone throughout the post mortem interval as well as macroscopic trauma investigation from vulture scavenging of human remains. The associated stereoscope with imaging software will also allow for novel and detailed 3D modeling of skeletal trauma and pathology from documented collections as well as forensic casework and bioarchaeological samples. The acquisition of this equipment would help build and make available to researchers the first ever referential catalog of histological human variation from the rapidly expanding Texas State University Donated Skeletal Collection (TXSTDSC). The resulting activities if the proposal were funded include the scientific training of women and underrepresented groups, undergraduate STEM training, graduate student research and professionalization, and the expansion of FACTS workshops to include histology and surface imaging. The microscopy system will allow FACTS to build on existing research programs that focus on bone histology in an applied context including the investigation of human vs nonhuman bone differentiation, histological mammal species identification, human ageing, dental histology season-of-death estimation, dental histology studies of pathology and stress, the application of GIS technology to study bone histomorphology, as well as histological human variation and its association with socioeconomic status, sex, ethnicity, age, disease, and genetics.

    Broader Impact
    The potential of the proposed equipment to advance knowledge and impact a large number of female STEM students is immense. Upon acquisition, this equipment would directly impact the academic experience of 31 graduate students 29 of which are female. Mentored by FACTS faculty, these students will be uniquely positioned to use this instrumentation and associated imaging software for detailed 3D measurement and documentation of trauma, pathology, and microdefects that are important for accurate forensic case analysis and scientific testimony. These activities have direct impacts on the success of our justice system to prosecute criminals and serve society. The images generated by this equipment will be used to train forensic anthropology students and practitioners to improve the overall caliber of forensic anthropologists within the United States.

    This equipment will be integrated into existing training modules for students and professionals. The user-friendly interface will allow undergraduates to acquire novel microscopy experience in biology, anthropology, and archaeology. These same features will also allow it to become part of FACTS’ established outreach programs for students K-12 a high majority of which come from minority backgrounds underrepresented in science.

  • Over the four week program, the students had the opportunity to excavate an Archaic midden and survey for historic artifacts with archaeologist Dr. David Kilby, as well as record ancient rock art with Dr. Carolyn Boyd and the Shumla research team. In fact, the students documented five sites as a part of the Alexandria Project. They learned how to capture gigapan images, SfM images, create 3-D models, complete TexSite and Rock Art Site forms. They even completed site summaries for Texas Parks and Wildlife and The Witte Museum about our work and findings at Vaquero Shelter and White Shaman Annex sites, respectively. Through this collaboration the students were engaged in investigating all aspects of the Lower Pecos archaeological record.  Very impressive results! 

    Dr. Carolyn Boyd Teaching about Rock ArtStudents Photgraphing Rock Art

     

    Cataloging Rock Art imagesShumla Staff Giving Lesson

     

    Students Shoveling Cactus PadsField School Group Photo

  • Congratulations to undergraduate student, Chisom Ogoke who was recently awarded a national Phi Kappa Phi fellowship of $8,500!  She was also awarded a $500 Phi Kappa Phi scholarship during the Spring 2019 semester.

    You can find out more about Chisom and Phi Kappa Phia on their Honors Society website.

  • Congratulations to forensic graduate student Megan Veltri who recently received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to support her research.  Megan is currently researching whether cultural conditions are correlated with biological, skeletal characteristics.  You can find out more about Megan and her research on the Texas State Stories page. 

  • Anthropology students were well represented at the recent College of Liberal Arts Research Expo. 

    The following students presented at the expo:

    Alexis Baide | Using Tabacco Clay Pipes to Trace Changes in Leadership of Sint Eustatius from 1680 to 1800 (poster)

    Richard McAulife | Central Texas Plank Baking (presentation)

    Richard Saavedra | Virtual Dissection of Complex Masticatory Muscles with DiceCT (poster)

    James Tichy | Comparing Ages-at-Death of Interred Individuals on Sint Eustatius (poster)

    Kim Wile | Mortuary Patterns of an 18th Century Cemetery on Sint Eustatius (poster)

    Alexis Baide, 2019 COLA Research Expo  Richard McAulife, 2019 COLA Research Expo  Richard Saavedra, 2019 COLA Research ExpoJames Tichy, 2019 COLA Research ExpoKim Wile, 2019 COLA Research Expo

  • Congratulations to anthropology majors Christina Tinsley and Richard Saavedra for winning 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the Undergraduate Research Conference poster competition!

    Christina Tinsley, Consideration of Possible Anthropophagy: Four Corners Region of the American Southwest, Anthropology

    Richard Saavedra, Femoral Length Estimation from Fragmentary Remains, Anthropology

  • Anthropology Department Welcomes New Lambda Alpha Members

    On Friday, May 3, 2019 the Anthropology Department held it's first annual Lambda Alpha Awards Banquet.  This banquet servers to celebrate the new and existing members of the Lambda Alpha Honors Society.

    Aliana Hinojosa Angela Biley Ashley Gonzalez Cristian Aguilar Damaris Santi Anthropology Lambda Alpha Member Indigo Cavazos Jasmyne Perkins Jennifer Ricks Jennifer Oriz Nathanael Coners Noelia Acosta-Silva Oceanna Hart-Pontejos Oliva Tate Richard McAuliffe Whitney Rose

  • Congratulations to Dr. Kate Spradely, Ph.D. student Courtney Siegert, and the rest of the Op ID team for a recent NPR feature.  On May 21, 2019 NPR posted a piece, "After Grim Deaths In The Borderlands, An Effort To Find Out Who Migrants Were" examining the cases of migrant boarder crossers.  NPR conducted interviews with Dr. Spradely and Courtney for the piece to showcase the work of the Op ID team in the effort to identify migrants and return them to their families. 

  • Undergraduate anthropology majors Amanda Rodriguez, Richard Saavedra, and Christina Tinsley presented posters at the 13th annual Undergraduate Research Conference at Texas State University held in April.

    Anthropology Undergradute Student Presenting Poster at Undergraduate Research Conference | 2019Anthropology Undergrad Student Presents at Undergraduate Research Conference, 2019

    Anthropology Undergraduate Student Presented at 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference

  • Congratulations to Dr. Kent Reilly who as received a $17,807 grant from the Lannan Foundation to fund the 26th Southeastern Iconography.

  • Sarah Morris (advisor Dr. Britt Bousman) was accepted to the Department of Archaeology PhD program at Simon Fraser University in Canada with a 4-yr support award (full tuition and a generous stipend). She will be working under Prof. Francesco Berna studying geoarchaeology.

  • Richard Saavedra, a senior anthropology major, presented research that he completed during a SOAR (Summer Opportunities in Anatomy Research) internship at the UNT at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Cleveland. His poster, entitled "Virtual Dissection of Complex Masticatory Muscles with DiceCT," was co-authored with R. Kile and G.A. Menegaz.

    Richard Saavedra

  • MA students McKensey Miller (mentor, Dr. Jill Pruetz) and Megan Veltri (mentor, Dr. Kate Spradley) have won $138,000 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)* awards. This is the first time any of our students have won this award.

    McKensey’s project focuses on Senegal chimpanzees use of microclimates in a savanna-woodland environment as a means of behavioral thermoregulation.

    Megan’s project focuses on using facial asymmetry to understand the biological implications of social race.

    Congratulations to McKensey and Megan, and to their mentors, Jill and Kate! This is an outstanding achievement. A special thanks to Dr. Andrea Hilkovitz from the Graduate College. Dr. Hilkovitz works very hard with our students whenever they apply for external funding.

  • Undergraduate anthropology major, Amanda Rodriguez (mentor-Cunningham) was chosen as one of two students for an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) internship in biological anthropology at the prestigious Field Museum in Chicago. Amanda will join a graduate student to assist with the respectful care of human remains from North America. These paid, 10-week internships are designed to help train future biological anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, and collections managers in both the technical and ethical aspects of human osteological curation, collections management, and research. It is anticipated that the laboratory interns will assist the museum’s bioarchaeologist with osteological inventories, as well as be responsible for re-housing of the remains, data collection, and data entry of new metrics into the museum’s database system.

  • Archaeology graduate students won an invitation to the 2019 Texas State Innovation Lab at SXSW to showcase how 3D technology is being used to record and investigate archaeological sites in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Southwest Texas. The Texas State University Innovation Lab @ SXSW Interactive Festival was designed to provide the public an exclusive look at students using and creating breakthrough technology that solves real-world problems. Members of Texas State’s Ancient Southwest Texas Project Sean Farrell, Janaka Greene, Emily McCuistion, and Victoria Pagano, along with faculty mentor David Kilby, all demonstrated the use of Structure from Motion graphic technology to create georeferenced precision 3D models of archaeological sites, features, and artifacts. In addition to aiding in research, documentation, and preservation, these models provide a way for members of the public to virtually visit archaeological sites that might otherwise be inaccessible due to remote locations or private land. The presentation attracted the interest of both archaeology and tech fans in equal amounts. The ASWT crew even created a 3D model of the display itself in real time for attendees.

    SXSW 1 SXSW 2

  • Dr. Spradley's 2014 paper "Toward Estimating Geographic Origin of Migrant Remains along the United States-Mexico Border" is featured in the latest issue of Open Anthropology - Walls, Fences, and Barriers: Anthropology on the Border.

    Open Anthropology is an open-access, public journal that helps bring anthropology into "the public conversation about critical social issues and policy debates" by focusing on "a selection of articles relevant to contemporary concerns".

  • Doctoral student, Sophia Mavroudas, is the recipient of a Society of Forensic Anthropologists (SOFA) Atlas grant in the amount of $750.00, with her Co-PI Dr. Victoria Dominguez from Lehman College. Their project is entitled, Exploring the potential for microCT analysis on histological age markers, which will be initiated in April 2019 and completed March 2020. The aim of this project is to use microCT to quantify trabecular changes within the human 6th rib to explore how these variables correlate with age. The ultimate goal is improve age at death estimation methods for the biological profile.

  • Our 2019 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Anthropology is Richard McAuliffe and our runner-up is Angela Bailey.

    These undergraduate students have won Academic Excellence Awards:

    Garrett Adams

    Bennett Dampier

    Richard McAuliffe

    Angela Bailey

    Kasey Ellington

    Whitney Rose

    Reece Black

    Michael Eppler

    Adrienne Stainton

    Chandler Buchfink

    Sarah Haynes

    James Tichy

    Megan Copeland

    Natalie Little

    Kimberly Wile

    Our 2019 Outstanding Master’s Student is Caroline Znachko and our runner-up is Alejandro Allen.

    The Outstanding Student and Academic Excellence awards will be presented at the College of Liberal Arts Awards Day on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm on the 11th floor of J.C. Kellam (JCK) building.

  • Dr. Nicholas Herrmann has received the 2019 Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) / Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Fellowship for work on the Hellenistic to Early Christian burial samples from Ayioi Omoloyites in Lefkosia and Ancient Kition in Larnaka. The fellowship will provide travel support and research funds for Dr. Herrmann and Texas State graduate students while in Cyprus this summer.

    CAARI_Research_Picture

     NPH_T49_work

  • Dr. Robert L. Williams, or “Father Robert,” as we called him passed away on January 5, 2019. After his “retirement” as a priest and bishop of the Western Rite Orthodox Church, Father Robert received his MA in Anthropology at Texas State in 2007 (mentor-Reilly) and his PhD at UT-Austin in Latin American Studies in 2009. Father Robert wrote several important books on the Mixtec Codices and taught several courses in the department. Here is a link to Fr. Robert’s obituary. http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Robert-Williams&lc=7983&pid=191319259&mid=8134277

  • Anthropology Department professor, Dr. Jill Pruetz, was recently featured by the Texas State Newsroom.  The piece about Dr. Pruetz examines her work studying chimps and her larger career as an Anthropologist.  You can find a full article on the Texas State Newsroom page.

  • The understanding of fire is one of the traits that sets humans apart in the animal kingdom. Primatologist Dr. Jill Pruetz will explain how savanna chimpanzees in Fongoli, Senegal exhibit a behavior not common to other animals in the face of grassland wildfires.

    Similar to the chimpanzee "rain dance" observed by Jane Goodall during approaching storms, Pruetz has witnessed alpha male chimp perform ritualistic "fire dance" while facing the flames. The Fongoli chimps exhibit no signs of panic or flight as animals normally exhibit with wildfires. Instead the Fongoli chimps observe and monitor carefully in preparation for the tribe response to the leading edge of the fire. Should we expect less from our closest living relative, the chimpanzee?

    Biological anthropologist and primatologist Dr. Jill Pruetz is director of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project and founder of Neighbor Apes. Pruetz is professor of anthropology at Texas State University and a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer.

  • Drs. Kate Spradely, Nick Herrmann, and their students were recently featured in a New York Times piece for their work on Operation Identification at Sacred Heart Burial Park.  The article, Along the U.S.-Mexico Border, can be found here.

  • Dr. Carolyn Boyd has been invited to give a lecture at UCLA as part of the Costen Public Lecture Series.  Her talk, A Painted Landscape: Lower Pecos Rock Art, draws on twenty-five years of archaeological research and insight from ethnohistory and art history, to identify patterns in art that relate to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples, including the Aztec and contemporary Huichol.  

    The talk will take place at the California Nano Systems Institute at UCLA, February 12, 2019 at 7.  More information can be found on the UCLA Event Page.


Fall 2018

  • University Marketing has a piece on the Veteran’s Curation Program (VCP) at the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS). CAS curator, Amy Reid, who runs the program is featured, as are two of our students who are part of the program. Congratulations to Amy and Dr. Todd Ahlman worked very hard to bring VCP to the university. It’s wonderful to see the program flourishing.

  • Our own Dr. Kate Spradley will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 meeting of the Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists held on the Texas State Campus. This talk will be held on Friday, 11/9, at 6:00 in the Grady Early Building (1921 Old Ranch Road 12, San Marcos).

    Dr. Spradley will be speaking about Operation ID: The Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in South Texas: Anthropological Application

    Dr. Kate Spradley, Professor at Texas State University, is the founder and director of Operation Identification (OpID) established in 2013.

    OpID provides humanitarian assistance to families of the missing and human rights assistance to migrants that die crossing the Texas/Mexico Border. The mission of OpID is to facilitate identifications and repatriations through community outreach, forensic anthropological analysis, and collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Spradley will discuss the applied anthropological aspects of OpID as well as research derived from studying migration from Latin America from a skeletal biology perspective.

  • The Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists (TABA) is a regional organization dedicated to biological anthropology including topics such as human variation, evolution and ecology; primate behavior, evolution and ecology; medical anthropology; forensic anthropology; anthropological genetics and related fields.

    The 2018 meeting will be held on the campus of Texas State University on 11/9 - 10. We hope to see you there!

  • At the 2018 Plains Anthropological Conference in San Antonio October 26th, Dr. Chris Lintz, research associate in the Anthropology Department, received the society's Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is for outstanding lifetime achievement in Plains anthropological research, teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession. It goes to the people whose work is essential to our field, and is the most valued award given by the Plains Anthropological Society. The DSA has been awarded 23 times since initiated in 1991.

    Dr. Chris Lintz

    Dr. Doug Bamforth gives Dr. Chris Lintz Plains Anthropological Society Distinguished Service Award.

  • The Midwest Primate Interest Group (MPIG) named Dr. Jill Pruetz the Distinguished Primatologist of 2018 based on her contributions to Primatologist in the Midwest. Pruetz received a doctorate at the University of Illinois in 1999, was a post-doc at the University of Miami of Ohio, and then worked as a professor of anthropology at Iowa State University from 2001 to 2017, when she returned to teach at her alma mater, Texas State University. She will give the keynote address at the annual MPIG meeting, which will be held in Bloomington, Indiana on October 26-27.

  • Kilby TAS EpisodeDr. David Kilby was a guest on The Archaeology Show and was interviewed regarding his research on the earliest North Americans.

    The Archaeology Show podcast's 50th episode consists of interview and discussion with Dr. David Kilby regarding the peopling of the New World, Clovis archaeology, artifact caches, and the controversial Solutrean hypothesis for the origins of Clovis. The Archaeology Show is part of the Archaeology Podcast Network and is hosted by Chris Webster and April Kamp-Whittaker.

  • Dr. Christina Conlee will give the Annual Jeffrey Parsons Lecture at the University of Michigan Department of Anthropology on Oct. 25th; the talk is titled "Beyond the Lines: Exploring Long-Term Cultural Dynamics in Nasca, Peru."

  • Dr. David Kilby and his work at Bonfire Shelter are featured on the Texas State home page! Congratulations to David and his graduate and undergraduate students, Janaka Greene, Sean Farrell, Ashley Eyeington and John Hedges.

  • Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Shumla Endowed Research Professor, was interviewed by the late Anthony Bourdain for his series “Parts Unknown” on the White Shaman panel. Carolyn will be featured on the October 21 episode on CNN.

  • The TAS Annual meeting will hosts new research presentations and posters along with tours of the Alamo and Mission Concepcion, Rancho de las Cabras and the Witte Museum. The Council of Texas Archeologists host a meeting on Friday morning and there is a public forum from 7-9 discussing the La Belle ship wreck. A CTA Careers in Archeology Social follows immediate after the public forum. Get registration information at : https://txarch.org/civicrm-event/189.

  • We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nick Herrmann has received a National Institute of Justice Award for his project "Investigation of subadult dental age-at-death estimation using transition analysis and machine learning methods,” for $898,550.  Impressively, this was Nick’s first submission of this proposal.

    From the grant description: "The goal of this research is to provide forensic practitioners with an accurate age estimation method based on a large, demographically diverse, modern subadult sample that captures the variation in dental development. Current standard methodology based on tooth mineralization often underestimates age by one to more than two years as age increases, an issue we aim to minimize. This research will use dental development data collected on radiographs from modern living subadults from different populations in the United States (US), the United Kingdom, and South Africa from birth to late teens. These samples include underrepresented populations, such as US Hispanics, that are lacking in the original publication samples because of a shift in population demographics since the methods were originally developed as compared to the present-day demographic profile of the US."

  • Last summer, CAS's Associate Director, Jodi Jacobsen, submitted a proposal for a National Park Service Master Cooperative agreement contract, which she received. The NPS gave out a total of 25 awards, but only five of those went to “large” institutions who could handle projects in the $250,000 range, and CAS was one of the five. Project types are quite varied, and can include Archeological Identification/Evaluation Studies, Cultural Affiliation Study, Lineal Descent Studies to National Heritage Area Plans and Evaluations, and so on. This is not just a great opportunity for CAS, but it hopefully lead to NPS internships for undergraduate and graduate students.

  • CAS's curation facility expansion kicked off on Tuesday, September 25 and should be completed in four months. Due to Amy Reid’s hard work, CAS was recently recertified by the Texas Historical Commission to be a held-in-trust curation facility. Amy has also been working hard to also make sure that we meet federal curation standards set forth in 36 CFR 79, which will help us acquire and curate federal collections. Amy also was able to negotiate with the Texas Department of Transportation to extend our curation agreement with TxDOT through FY2020. The estimated total under this agreement for FY2019-FY2020 is $214,701.

  • Last year, CAS Director, Dr. Todd Ahlman, was awarded a five-year with the US CAS Army Corps of Engineers, which brought in over $2 million dollars in the first year. CAS was recently awarded new three projects through the agreement. On two projects they will team with Statistical Research Inc (SRI) to conduct archaeological surveys at the Barry M. Goldwater Range ($567,000) and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base ($720,000) in Arizona. The third project ($280,000) involves providing two staff members to support the cultural resources needs for Air Force Midwest installations and organizing a Native American consultation meeting with CAS's partner Stell Environmental.

  • The Anthropology Department will be having an open house for anyone interested in our MA and PhD programs on October 19th 10:00am-5:00pm.  All attendees are required to RSVP with the department by October 10, 2018 using our RSVP form.  The schedule can be found on our Open House page.

  • Texas State University is pleased to announce that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved a new Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) with a major in Applied Anthropology.

    Ph.D. CohortThe program is the first applied anthropology doctoral program in the state of Texas and only the third in the nation! The Department of Anthropology at Texas State excels in two areas of applied anthropology: forensic anthropology and cultural resource management archaeology. Coursework in those areas incorporates intercultural communication, interdisciplinary understanding, research design, grant writing, project management, ethics and professional conduct, methods of data collection, and the use of theory in the interpretation of data. The global economy has created a tremendous need for research-based information and pragmatic uses of anthropological knowledge and skills, creating exciting and extensive career opportunities for applied anthropologists!

  • Each year the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. convenes six renowned scholars to present research and provide a panel discussion on an important theme in American archaeology. David Kilby has been chosen to present research on this years theme, the Peopling of the Americas. Dr. Kilby will present a lecture on Clovis caches and address their role in the controversial "Solutrean hypothesis" for European migration to the Americas during the last ice age. His lecture argues that North American and European caches are part of a larger global phenomenon in the late Pleistocene, but do not support a direct connection between Clovis and Solutrean populations.

    Simon Cache

  • Dr. Emily Brunson was interviewed about her research on why parents choose to vaccinate their children (or not) by the CBC in Canada on Friday in response the the measles outbreak in Europe this year. The World Health Organization reported "a record number of measles cases in Europe this year, with more than 41,000 people infected in the first six months of the year — almost double the total number of cases for 2017 — and of those, at least 37 people have died."

  • Dr. Kate Spradley has been chosen as the keynote speaker for first Human Rights and Dignity workshop in Falstad, Norway on October 10, 2018.  The right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution (§14) is one of the fundamental rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary. However, the erection of border walls and fences along the US and European Union’s borders, and the adoption of stricter immigration policies severely curtails these rights and forces refugees and migrants to take ever greater risks in seeking refuge. Dr. Kate Spradley will discuss migrant deaths in Texas at the Falstad Center for Human Rights first workshop on Human Rights and Dignity.

  • The Veterans Curation Program (VCP) recently established a new satellite lab at the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS) in San Marcos, Texas. CAS is a research center within the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. The lab will employ and train student veterans to rehabilitate artifact and archives collections from the Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. CAS’s Curator, Amy Reid, is a longtime admirer of the VCP and is proud to serve as lab manager. “I am so excited to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country. The VCP is such a great way to prepare veterans for the mainstream job market, especially student veterans who enroll in our University for that very reason.”

  • As part of this summer’s NSF REU: Exploring Globalization Through Archaeology and Bioarchaeology program, undergraduate students from Texas State and other universities spent 3 weeks doing fieldwork on Saint Eustatius, and 4 weeks on campus analyzing their data and writing up their project results. The students did a great job presenting their posters on August 2nd.   Each student will also apply to present their research at the national Society for American Archaeology conference, which will be next April in Albuquerque.

    More details for the project can be found on the CAS: REU website.  The students are also writing blogs about their experiences.

    This summer's work was directed by Ashley McKeown and Todd Ahlman.

    Gelenia_Trinidad-Rivera_PosterJames_Tichy_PosterSydney_Tucker_Presents

  • Dr. Christina Conlee was awarded a NSF grant in the amount of $239,556 for her project titled "The Cyclic Rise and Fall of Complex Societies."

    With funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Conlee will be conducting a multi-year archaeological project in the desert of Nasca, Peru. She will examine the development, expansion, and collapse of complex societies during the Middle Horizon (AD 650-1000), a time of unprecedented change when the highland Wari empire expanded into many areas of the Andes, including the south coast of Peru and home of the Nasca.

  • The Air Force does not normally employ archaeologists and conservation specialists, so, to give the aviation experts a break from shovels and paperwork, last year Texas State University entered into a $1.6 million agreement to perform cultural resource surveys and support at Air Force installations in eight states. The agreement, made between the Integrated Natural and Cultural Resources Team (INCRT) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is part of a larger, potentially $45 million five-year cooperative agreement acquired in 2016 by Dr. Todd Ahlman, INCRT head and director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State.

    You can read more about Dr. Ahlman and the project in HillViews Magazine.


Spring/Summer 2018

  • Dr. Wescott and colleague Hayley Mickleburgh from Leiden University published the results of their actualistic experiment examining joint disarticulation patterns in a seated burial and discuss the results. The research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

  • Dr. Wescott along with four current and former Texas State students and colleagues at Sam Houston State University and the University of Tennessee published a paper in the new "Forensic Anthropology" journal examining the validity of the TBS/ADD model. This is the first collaborative research project involving three human decomposition facilities.

  • In the August, 2018 issue of the "Journal of Human Evolution," Drs. Deborah Cunningham and Daniel Wescott, along with their collaborators, published a paper entitled "The effect of ontogeny on estimates of KNM-WT 15000's body size." The 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus specimen KNM-WT 15000 (Nariokotome Boy) has played a critical role in our understanding of body size evolution. New interpretations suggest that KNM-WT 15000 had a younger age-at-death and a more rapid ontogenetic trajectory than previously suggested. Recent fossil discoveries and new interpretations suggest a wide range of body size and shape variation in H. erectus. Based on these new insights, we argue that KNM-WT 15000’s adult stature and body mass could have been much smaller than has been traditionally presented in the literature. Using chimpanzee and modern human growth trajectories, we bracket the range of possibilities for KNM-WT 15000’s adult body size and argue that the Nariokotome Boy was near the mean rather than among the largest known H. erectus specimens.

     

  • Drs. Deborah Cunningham and Daniel Wescott, along with recent MA graduate Devora Gleiber and colleagues at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, published a paper in the brand new journal "Forensic Anthropology" entitled "The use of x-ray computed tomography technologies in forensic anthropology."

     

  • Congratulations to Dr. Kent Reilly who was recently awarded a Lannan Foundation Community and Ethnographic Studies grant for over $18,000.

  • Cultural anthropology MA student, Alejandro Allen (Advisor Dr. Nicole Taylor) has been awarded an REG (Research Experience for Graduates) grant from the National Science Foundation to study how college students experience food insecurity.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Carolyn Boyd who has been invited to participate in the 2018 Rock Art Colloquium this summer, sponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute. The attendees are leaders in rock art conservation and management from around the world.

    The report from the first (2015) colloquium is available for download from the Getty Conservation Institute site.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Jodi Jacobson who has been chosen as the new Associate Director of the Center for Archaeology Studies.  Jodi comes to CAS from TRC in Austin where she was a Senior Archaeologist, Project Manager, Office Practice Lead, National Program Director for Tower Environmental Compliance, and Central Region Market Director.

  • The apes of Senegal’s Fongoli savanna may offer hints to how our own ancestors moved out of the woodlands, shed their fur and started walking upright.”

    This piece is based on their paper, “The costs of living at the edge: Seasonal stress in wild savanna-dwelling chimpanzees,” published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

  • The Cross Bar Ranch Field School at Texas State was highlighted on the Bureau of Land Management's New Mexico Preservation Partner's in Preservation web page. Dr. Britt Bousman has been teaching an archaeological field school at the Cross Bar Ranch in the Texas Panhandle since 2004. He is instructing student, Olivia Adams, on mapping with a Total Station in 2016.

  • Congratulation to Elaine Chu (mentor Dr. Spradley) who was chosen by the Graduate College to compete for the 3MT regional competition in Knoxville, Tennessee in February 2019. 

    Elaine ChuElaine is a biological anthropology master’s candidate focusing on body mass estimation of migrant Hispanic individuals and variation in stature and body mass within the Hispanic population. For the Texas State University 3MT competition, Elaine highlighted the utility of body mass estimation for unidentified individuals, specifically for cases involving multiple unidentified individuals with similar descriptions, such as Operation Identification at Texas State University. After graduation this May, Elaine will begin the doctoral program at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she will explore variation in subadult individuals from multiple populational groups.

    For more information on the 3MT competition visit the University of Knoxville site

  • The family of Michael Kilby has made a $100,000 gift to establish a permanent endowment in support of graduate research in anthropology.

    Dr. Larry S. Kilby and Cheryl Kilby of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, have worked with David Kilby, an associate professor of anthropology at Texas State University to establish this endowment in honor of Dr. J. Michael Kilby. David Kilby, Ph.D. is the younger brother of Michael Kilby, M.D. 

    You can find out more about the endowment from the Office of Media Relations.

  • FACTS faculty and students present 15 talks/posters at 2018 AAFS meeting.

    Workshop
    Nicholas Herrmann | Data Standards, Archiving, and Analytics in Forensic Anthropology

    Presentations
    Audrey Schaefer and Jessica Galea | A Test of Quantitative Age-At-Death Estimation of the Pubic Symphysis Using the forAge Program

    Kate Flor-Stagnato, Susan Sincerbox, and Nicholas Herrmann | Using Structure From Motion Photogrammetry to Quantify Volume Gain and Loss During the Human Decomposition Process

    Kate Spradley | A Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Contemporary Hispanic Populations From Mexico and Colombia

    Nandar Yukyi and Kate Spradley | Craniometric Variation of Modern Asian and Hispanic Individuals Using Multivariate Analysis

    Kate Spradley | Validation, Verification, and Performance Checks of Anthropological Equipment and Software: The Importance of Quality Assurance in Forensic Anthropology Laboratories

    Chaunesey Clemmons and Daniel Wescott | Dental Morphological Ancestry Estimation in a Self-Identified Biracial Sample

    Kate Spradley | The Approach Toward Identification of Deceased Migrants in the United States and European Union: A Comparative Study Between LABANOF (Italy), OpID (Texas) and PCOME (Arizona) Experiences

    Kate Spradley | Humanitarian Science in the Texas Borderlands: Incorporating a Sociopolitical Perspective to the Forensic Investigation of Migrant Identification

    Robyn Kramer, Nicholas Herrmann, and Kate Spradley | The Application of Stable Isotopes and Geostatistics to Infer Region of Geographic Residence for Undocumented Migrants

    Courtney Siegert, Michelle Hamilton, Elizabeth Erhart | The Application of Consolidation Materials to Burned Bone: A Comparative Approach

    Elaine Chu and Kate Spradley | Body Mass Estimation: Preliminary Equations for the Undocumented South Texas Migrants Using Bayesian Inference

    Shelby Garza and Daniel Wescott | Reexamining Differences in the Rate of Decomposition Between Previously Frozen and Never Frozen Human Remains Using the Accumulated Decomposition Score (ADS)

    Krystle Lewis and Daniel Wescott | Assessing the Utility of Total Body Score (TBS) and Accumulated Degree Days (ADD) for Estimating Postmortem Interval (PMI) in Clothed Vulture-Scavenged Human Remains

    Daniel Wescott | Taphonomic Effects on Isotope Ratios of Human Hair

  • FACTS and Dr. Daniel Wescott were featured in the Houston Chronicle in an article titled Learning about decomposition at the body farm in San Marcos.

  • Dr. Jill Pruetz is one of the invited speakers at the Role of Hunting in Human Evolution Symposium.  This symposium will be live-streamed Friday, from 1:00-5:30 p.m. (West Coast time).  Her lecture is entitled, "Hunting by Savanna Chimpanzees".

  • Dr. Pruetz's latest publication on the Fongoli chimpanzees' behavior in their savanna environment was featured in a National Geographic video.

  • Congratulations to Dr. David Kilby was was recently awarded a National Geographic Society grant in the amount of $17,850 in support of his project in South Texas, "A new look at Bonfire Shelter: Using Structure from Motion photogrammetry to investigate the earliest Americans.”

  • Congratulations to these faculty who won 2018 Research Enhancement Program Grants.

    • Dr. Britt Bousman, Early Later Stone Age Excavations at Erfkroon, South Africa
    • Dr. Christi Conlee, Investigating Prehistoric Cultural Boundaries and Lifeways in North-Central Oregon
    • Dr. Nick Herrmann, Ancient Eleon Bioarchaeological Project, Greece
    • Dr. David Kilby, Investigations at Bonfire Shelter: New Dates for One of Americas Oldest Sites
  • Dr. Kate Spradley and her team recently made the front page of USA Today for their work on Operation Identification.


Fall 2017