Monday, June 20, 2011

Yay me! 2011 AAA Leadership Fellow

I am very pleased to announce to the BANDIT readership that I have been selected as one of two Leadership Fellows by the American Anthropological Association for 2011. Professor Heide CastaƱeda of University of South Florida is the other Fellow. Dr. CastaƱeda and I will be matched with more established anthropologists who are involved in AAA governance; we will learn what goes into planning and executing the annual meeting and how the association works behind the scenes. It's a fantastic opportunity and I am very grateful to the AAA officers for selecting me. I also have the BANDIT community to thank because I think our dialogue here on the blog and especially the passionate conversation here and elsewhere online regarding the AAA Long Range Plan and attendant philosophical debates played an important role in my being selected. Thank you, and I will share as much of my fellowship experience with you as I can. See you in Montreal!

AAA Leadership Mentoring Award Program

The American Anthropological Association is pleased to announce the annual AAA Leadership Mentoring Award Program. The purpose of this mentorship/award program is to provide a unique opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about AAA and leadership opportunities and to encourage future leadership in the association. Anthropologists three to five years beyond completion of their terminal graduate degree are encouraged to apply. Each year a group of three to five awardees (mentees) will be paired with a mentor chosen from among AAA leadership. Mentors will be available to mentees throughout the year to answer questions related to AAA. Mentees will shadow mentors at the AAA Annual Meeting where there will also be a lunch scheduled for all mentors and mentees to share their experiences in the program.

Dr. Robin Nelson elected to AAA Biological Anthropology Section

Congratulations to colleague and friend Dr. Robin Nelson of the University of California Riverside for her recent election to the Executive Committee of the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association. Dr. Nelson will be filling the Member-at-Large position which is particularly involved in student awards and outreach. I can't imagine a better ambassador of biological anthropology scholarship to our newest members. The BAS will certainly benefit from Robin's energy!

Postdoctoral opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania

Announcing Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania:

1) Dr. Eduardo Fernandez-Duque ( is looking for postdoctoral fellows interested in joining the Owl Monkey Project, a multidisciplinary research program with an emphasis on understanding the evolution of monogamy and alloparental care. Over the years we have examined those central research questions with a multitude of approaches and data on genetics, endocrinology, demography, behavior, chronobiology and energetics taking advantage of a long-term study of wild owl monkeys in the Argentinean Chaco.
We are now looking for fellows who may be interested in developing a proposal for new lines of research or expanding existing ones that could be submitted for the Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity recently announced by the University of Pennsylvania (see information below). The submission of the proposal needs to be done directly and independently by the applicant, but anyone interested in developing a proposal that would further develop our project can contact Dr. Eduardo Fernandez-Duque ( for further information

2) We are looking for postdoctoral fellows interested in a collaborative research project that combines anthropology, cellular/molecular biology, and circadian/sleep medicine to study a wide range of sleep-wakefulness phenotypes. This research will leverage cellular and animal models. Our long-term goal is to explore the architecture and genetics of diurnal and nocturnal sleep. We will use a primate model with unusual patterns of activity: the owl monkey (genus Aotus). Although diurnality is a signature feature among most primates, different species of the genus Aotus show full nocturnality or a mixture of diurnality and nocturnality (like humans). The project will initially take advantage of a long-term study of wild owl monkeys in the Argentinean Chaco, as well as captive populations in the US. During the first phase of the project, the applicant will have access to infrastructure and logistic support for field work in Argentina through Fernandez-Duque’s research and for cellular and molecular studies through Hogenesch’s lab. The applicant will also have access to resources and opportunities offered by the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology . Subsequently the research team will seek additional extramural funding.

Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania
Application deadline: August 1, 2011

Program Description:
The University of Pennsylvania (PENN) is dedicated to worldwide academic excellence and is enriched by individuals, who, through their different races and ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities, abilities, economic status, and sexual orientation, contribute to an intellectually challenging and inclusive educational setting. The Academic Diversity Fellowship Program seeks to attract promising scholars and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse groups whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute significantly to our academic excellence.

The fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at the University and seek to attract graduate students from PENN and other institutions who have completed, or will complete their requirements for Ph.D. by their start date. In addition postdoctoral scholars from other institutions who have completed their dissertation within the last three years are eligible. Persons with professional degrees (such as M.D., D.M.D., V.M.D., J.D.) who are within a year of completing their post-degree professional training from Penn and other institutions will also be considered. Postoctoral research fellows who are already at Penn are not eligible. Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents. Postdocs, residents and fellows who currently have a position at Penn are ineligible for this program.

The three year fellowships will begin as early as January 2, 2012.

Stipends and Allowances:
Fellows receive a stipend of $43,000 in year 1 with $2,000 increments in years 2 and 3, as well as annual allowances for travel ($2,000) and research ($5,000), and one-time relocation expenses of $5,000. The University also provides a medical, vision, dental and life insurance benefits package. Successful candidates will receive highly mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research success skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university.

Selection Process:
A committee appointed by the Senior Vice Provost for Research will review and select the candidates for the Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity.

Application Procedure:
Required application materials include:
(1) A completed fellowship application form,
(2) A curriculum vitae including current and pending publications
(3) A personal statement, no longer than three pages, which addresses the following:
• reviews your previous research accomplishments
• outlines your future research goals and proposed research
• describes your commitment to pursuing an academic career
• includes academic, employment or other life experiences that would bring new perspectives to the University community and your chosen field
4) Three letters of reference from people acquainted with the applicant’s work. One reference letter should be from the applicant's thesis advisor or faculty mentor. Reference letters must be submitted electronically on letterhead stationary. Email subject line should be applicant's name followed by the words reference letter, e.g. Jane Smith_ Reference letter.

All materials must be submitted electronically by August 1, 2011.
Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.
If you have any questions please contact Josie Rook, Executive Director, Office of the Vice Provost for Research at

Dr. Mike Jarcho, professionally awesome.

Dr. Mike Jarcho recently graduated from the Psychology Department of the University of California, Davis (filing in July). His advisors were Dr. Karen Bales and Dr. Sally Mendoza, and the title of one his dissertation publications is SOCIAL CONDITION AND EXPERIENCE PREDICT ADRENOCORTICAL ACTIVITY IN A MONOGAMOUS NON-HUMAN PRIMATE. His next step is a postdoc at UCLA working with Drs. Steve Cole and Naomi Eisenberger at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology.

Mike and I worked together in 2005 at the Southwest National Research Center in San Antonio and bonded over marmosets and the NBA finals (Go Spurs Go!). He's an excellent scholar and a fine, fine dancer. Come to ASP 2012 in Austin to find out for yourself. Congratulations, Dr. Jarcho!

Andrea Holmes - awesome person - just finished her MA!

Andrea Holmes just completed the masters program in anthropology at Northern Illinois University.

In her words:
"My thesis is entitled "Prey Item Handling by Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)" and my advisor was Dr. Leila Porter. I'm currently preparing a manuscript of my study for publication--the specific journal has yet to be decided. In the fall, I'll be attending Purdue University and working with Dr. Melissa Remis on regurgitation/reingestion in captive gorillas."

Congratulations Andrea on successfully completing your masters degree and pursuing your doctorate in biological anthropology. Best of luck on your journey!

Shiny and new Dr. Laurie Kauffman is awesome!

It is a great pleasure to announce that Laurie Kauffman has successfully defended her dissertation and now joins the ranks of new biological anthropology PhDs. A student of Sue Boinski at the University of Floriday, the title of Dr. Kauffman's dissertation is "Primate response to tourist presence at Raleighvallen, Central Suriname Nature Reserve"

In her own words:
"I presented portions of my dissertation research at AAA in New Orleans, and at AAPA in Minneapolis. In August I'll be starting a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor of Biology at Oklahoma City University. I am looking forward to working on research projects with undergraduates at OCU, likely in Costa Rica and also in local zoos. I'll also be teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology, Zoology, and Primate Behavior. And I am looking forward to the Oklahoma State Fair and its many fried food on a stick offerings!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

New PhD Elizabeth Rowe is awesome!

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Rowe, a newly minted PhD in anthropology from Temple University. Her dissertation advisor is Dr. Christie Rockwell.

In Elizabeth's own words:
"My thesis title was "The impact of variation in the progesterone receptor gene, life history and lifestyle on endometrial function and the menstrual cycle". I'm putting together a talk on it for the upcoming AAPA (or HBA) meetings in 2012, so look for my abstract! I just accepted a non-tenure track position teaching biology at Georgia Southern University."

Her work sounds fantastic - I am truly looking forward to seeing her presentation at the meetings. Also happy to hear about employment! Hurray!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Natalia Reagan, recent grad, is awesome!

Congratulations to recent MA grad Natalia Reagan. She graduated with honors from California State University Northridge with an MA in anthropology.

In Natalia's words:
"My focus was primate conservation and I conducted a survey of the Azuero spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis), a critically endangered subspecies endemic to the Azuero peninsula in Panama. The survey was part of my thesis field work (my advisor was Dr. Christina Campbell). The title of my thesis is "The Effects of Forest Fragmentation on the Distribution of the Azuero Spider Monkey". This July I am returning to Panama to conduct some follow-up data collection and to work with the local population to curb deforestation in the region. I will present the findings of my survey at the ASP meeting this September (Dr. Christina Campbell and Mr. Daniel Essiambre are co-authors).

Concurrently, I have been writing and shooting various television shows that focus on the similarities between humans and nonhuman primates using comedy to both educate and entertain audiences (Here's a link to one of the videos). The goal is to reach a wide demographic and encourage primate conservation while perhaps inspiring future primatologists and anthropologists to keep pursing their academic dream. Here's my personal website: and email:

Congratulations to Natalia on her achievements and her commitment to education, conservation, and the importance of a sense of humor!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New grads on BANDIT?

During this celebratory graduation season, I want to highlight recent bioanthropology MA or PhD grads or recently defended ABDs. Send your info or that of someone you know who should get a BANDIT shout-out to and I will compose a personalized post! Tell me your name, university, degree, thesis title, any links to pubs or websites, and future plans: teaching/research gig, postdoc, field work, guys are special!