Wednesday, December 4, 2013

American Anthropologist's "particular problem" with biological anthropology

"Singling out biological anthropologists as representing a “particular problem” reinforces the pervasive premise that sociocultural anthropology is normative anthropology, and the measure against which all other specialties are compared (and apparently fall short)."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Assistant Professorship, UNLV

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) invites applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology. Expertise in paleoanthropology is preferred. The successful candidate will engage in theory-driven field research, and demonstrate evidence of effective teaching, of obtaining extramural funding, and of a strong record of scholarly publications. The candidate should synergize with other faculty focused on bioarchaeology, prehistoric archaeology, hunter-gatherers, and the evolution of human social behavior and nutrition. The Department offers BA, MA, and PhD degrees, and has research emphases in adaptive strategies; food and nutrition; childhood and parenting; and sexuality, gender, and identity. Applicants should be able to teach a range of courses, from an introductory course in Biological Anthropology to more advanced undergraduate and graduate classes. The successful candidate must have a PhD in hand by July 1, 2014. Review of applications begins on November 15 and continues until the position is filled. Submit a letter of interest, a detailed resume listing qualifications and experience, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references who may be contacted. Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience, with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications because this is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based. The review of materials will begin November 15, and will continue until the position is filled. Materials should be addressed to Dr. Peter Gray, Search Committee Chair, and are to be submitted via on-line application at  For assistance with UNLV’s on-line applicant portal, contact UNLV Employment Services at (702) 895-2894 or Applicants of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Visiting Assistant Professorship, UNLV Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) invites applications for a one-year Visiting Assistant Professorship. Expertise in biological anthropology is required, with more specific interests including paleoanthropology and skeletal biology. The Department offers BA, MA, and PhD degrees, and has research emphases in adaptive strategies; food and nutrition; childhood and parenting; and sexuality, gender, and identity. The successful candidate must have a PhD in hand by July 1, and be able to teach Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Physical Anthropology. There will also be an opportunity to teach a class drawing upon the applicant’s expertise. Review of applications begins on May 15 and continues until the position is filled. Submit letter of application, curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching excellence, and the contact information, including email addresses, for three references via an online application at For assistance with UNLV’s online applicant portal, contact UNLV Employment Services at (702) 895-2894 or Applicants of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. EEO/AA Educator and Employer.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Jill Scott, Student Liaison to the AAPA Executive Committee and BANDIT FB mod!

My name is Jill Scott and I am a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Iowa (where I also received my MA). I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my BA in Anthropology, and prior to that, I received my AA at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL.

It is my pleasure to write this post as the current American Association of Physical Anthropologists Student Liaison to the Executive Committee. What this means is that I am the only student representative on the AAPA Executive Committee. While students make up a significant portion of the AAPA membership and presenters at each annual meeting (and by significant, I mean at least half), there is a dearth of student representation within the organization. The AAPA Executive Committee realizes this, and hence, wanted to increase the voice of students in the AAPA. As such, one of my first official acts was to create an AAPA ad hoc Student Committee, that is, a committee run by students, for students. Even if you are not a student representative or don’t serve on a committee, there are ways to get involved in the AAPA other than presenting. The reasons for students to get involved are many.

“If you want to assume a leadership position in the AAPA, start early.”
These words are not directly my own, but are paraphrased from a faculty advisor I heard tell this to her own students when encouraging them to attend the AAPA Business Meeting, and I think they’re particularly appropriate here. 

Yes, networking at the meetings is important, and something that we all hopefully already do. However, there are activities at the meetings (other than hitting the bar with our friends after a long day of talks and posters) that are also important to learning how the organization functions, which is useful for all members to know. The simplest way to get informed is to attend the AAPA Business Meeting. I myself never attended in the past because I thought it was some kind of “secret society” that only full (i.e., non-student) members were allowed to attend. After all, they vote on resolutions at the business meeting, right? Right, but I can tell you that as a student member, it’s YOUR duty to vote on these resolutions and proposals too! 

I am happy to report that this year I attended the AAPA Business Meeting after having been explicitly told that it’s open to ALL members. And I am even happier to report that I actually found it INTERESTING (then again, I am a huge nerd, but I hope that we all are!) At the business meeting, each member of the Executive Committee and all Committee Chairs give a very brief report of their activities over the past year. This includes a report from the AJPA and Yearbook editors (including some useful tips on how to get published in each), a recap of how much money was made at the AAPA Auction (which is useful to know because that money goes to fund OUR student awards), and brief reports from Wenner-Gren President, Leslie Aiello, and NSF Biological Anthropology Program Chair, Carolyn Ehardt. Both of their reports reflected the current statuses of their respective funding agencies along with some useful tips on how to get funded. In short, the business meeting is full of all kinds of benefits, but you have to be present to reap them!

For many of us in biological anthropology, the AAPA is our primary professional organization, yet you may have no idea how it actually operates (I didn’t until I began interacting with the Executive Committee over the past year). Unlike some of our “sister organizations” (e.g., the American Anthropological Association and the Society for American Archaeology), the AAPA has no permanent, paid staff. The AAPA is entirely volunteer-based, other than some of the work that we outsource (e.g., membership is managed in part by Allen Press- the website where you log in to become a member or renew membership). As such, I have learned that there are several AAPA committees on which one can serve. Presently, many committees are served only by full AAPA members, as is stipulated by the association bylaws, but there are opportunities for those of us who are still students as well.

I am here to tell you about some of the opportunities available to graduate (and undergraduate) students in the AAPA, some of which you may be aware of, some of which you may not unless you carefully read every word of the “Call for Papers” every year.

·         Attend the Business Meeting! Friday evening of the meetings.
·         AAPA Student Liaison to the Executive Committee: This position was started in 2012 and lasts for a 1 year term from one year’s meetings to the next (i.e., my official term runs from 2013–2014). The call for applications goes out in the annual “Call for Papers” and the applications for next year’s Student Liaison will be due September 15, 2013.
·         AAPA Student Committee: This was just founded at the meetings in Knoxville, so I’m not sure exactly what we’ll be doing yet, but Sarah Livengood (BAS Student Rep) and I have discussed holding a workshop of some sort at the 2014 AAPAs. If you are interested in serving on this committee and have ideas you’d like to see us accomplish, please contact me!
·         Reviewer for the Undergrad Research Symposium: For the last several years, the AAPA Committee on Diversity has hosted the Undergraduate Research Symposium on Wednesday evening prior to the Opening Reception. As part of this Symposium, graduate student volunteers review the undergraduate abstract submissions. Check the “Call for Papers” to find out how to volunteer to be a reviewer!
·         Career Development Committee Panel: Each year the Career Development Committee (CDC) hosts a panel on issues pertinent to students and early career bioanthropologists. This year’s session focused on tips for landing a job, next year is scheduled to discuss applying for grants, and other years the panel has discussed issues related to teaching and “non-traditional” jobs for physical anthropologists. I would highly recommend attending these panels!
·         PA WMN Luncheon/Happy Hour: Again for the past several years, the Physical Anthropology Women’s Mentoring Network (PA WMN) has hosted a luncheon (for which registration is required) for young females in the field to sit down and discuss important issues with more established women in the field. The PA WMN also hosts a happy hour open to all women in the field to come chat about issues faced by women in physical anthropology.
·         BANDIT Happy Hour: If you’re reading this blog post, you should already know that BANDIT holds a happy hour that students are welcome to attend to discuss issues pertinent to students and early career physical anthropologists!
·         Apply for Student Awards! The AAPA has a variety of student awards available for student research presentations (podium and poster), some of which are sponsored by or co-sponsored with the American Association for Anthropological Genetics, the American Association of Anatomists, and the Dental Anthropology Association. Even if you’re not presenting, you can still apply for funding to attend the meetings via the William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award. This year, the AAPA awarded 43 Pollitzer Travel Awards and this number has only been increasing! Again, check the “Call for Papers” to see when applications for student awards are due each year!
·         Volunteer to Chair a Session: Remember when you register to present at the AAPAs and you’re asked if you’d be willing to chair a session? Well, yes, you can do this as a grad student! But remember, you have to be comfortable with stopping people at 15 minutes, including all the big wigs in the field, so if you’re not comfortable with this, this is not the position for you!

Opportunities for student involvement are ever increasing in the AAPA, so I hope that you will consider getting involved. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any additional questions, suggestions, or would like to volunteer for the Student Committee!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sarah Livengood, BAS rep and BANDIT FB mod!

My name is Sarah V. Livengood and I am the current student representative for the Biological Anthropology Section (BAS) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). I am a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas. I earned my MA at Georgia State University and my BA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a freshman I was lucky enough to attend the AAA conference with student government funding allocated to our anthropology club. The experience gave me the chance to see everything my discipline has to offer. It also provided me the opportunity to see what an academic conference actually is, and when it came time to present my research I was far less intimidated by the experience.

I did not attend the AAA meeting again until my first year as a graduate student. I became active in BAS accidently when I stumbled into the BAS board meeting. My advisor had encouraged me to attend the BAS business meeting, and I misread the program. My mistake became an opportunity when I was encouraged to throw my name in the hat for the student representative seat. Getting involved in the “business side of things” has been an eye-opening experience. Not only have I got to spend time with professional anthropologists that I admire, but I have also learned what keeps an association running, how they support their members, and the resources available to me as a student. 

I have found there are benefits to getting involved as a student. The AAA as a whole offers countless opportunities for students to be active in a professional organization, and the boost to your CV isn’t too shabby. You can find ways to get involved through sections and committees, and there is even a student section (National Association of Student Anthropologists). Biological anthropology students can benefit from all of these opportunities and gain a supportive network within the AAA. The Biological section has a business meeting and reception every year, sponsors several poster and paper sessions, and has a student paper/poster competition that includes recognition at the business meeting, a monetary prize, and publication in the BAS section of Anthropology News.

One of the biggest issues I face as BAS student representative is encouraging student participation in AAA, and helping students realize that there is a place for them and their research at the AAA conference. The AAA has provided me with countless opportunities to further my career, and the chance to meet and work with people I might never meet otherwise.  Attending any conference can be expensive, and I only made it to my first meeting with the support of my department and university. A lot of universities offer funding if you are presenting, but there are also options if you aren’t presenting. Your anthropology club is a great way to get a group of students together to help alleviate some of the costs through shared hotel rooms, transportation, etc. and a university sponsored organization can petition student governments to help fund educational trips. Also check out the variety of student awards offered by different sections of the AAA’s, some of these are travel related. And of course, contact your student representative if you have any questions!

Friday, February 22, 2013

BANDIT on Facebook!

If you haven't already, please come join us on Facebook! I have teamed with an amazing cohort of biological anthropologists (Kate Clancy, Robin Nelson, Katie Hinde, Katie MacKinnon, and Elizabeth Quinn) to grow BANDIT in new and exciting ways outside the constraint of a regular blog. I will continue to post original content here, including guest posts on a variety of subjects, but the FB page is a more nimble tool for up-to-date postings and discussions. Check it out, and "like" us!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Postdoc Opportunity in Health Disparities!

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Center for Women's Health and Health Disparities Research
Mentored Post-doctoral Training Program in Health Disparities Research (T32 Program)
Application Deadline: April 1, 2013

Program Background: Mentored post-doctoral training program in health disparities research funded through the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grant (T32). This post-doctoral program provides year-long support for training in interdisciplinary research that addresses disparities in health status and health outcomes among minority mothers, infants, children and their families. The Center for Women's Health and Health Disparities (CWHDR) Research T32 Program began under the direction of Dr. Gloria E. Sarto in the spring of 2007. The program has been renewed for an additional 5 years.

Goal of Award: To provide training at the postdoctoral level in interdisciplinary research that addresses disparities in health status and health outcomes among minority populations as well as to recruit underrepresented minorities into academic research careers. The HDRS Training Program provides interdisciplinary and multifaceted opportunities for research that includes not only biomedical and behavioral sciences, but also investigation into quality of care, including cost, access and satisfaction with services; the causes of and barriers to reducing health disparities; attitudes towards health, language spoken, educational level, community profile and socioeconomic status; identification of assessment measures for outcomes, quality and appropriateness of health care services. Attracting minorities from various disciplines such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, sociologists, social workers, and nutritionists, into academic research careers will help in this endeavor.

To address not only the broad array of research areas outlined above but also the interdisciplinary nature of the possible candidates, the faculty is interdisciplinary and consists of physician scientists, perinatal researchers, sociologists, nurse scientists, nutritional scientists, epidemiologists and economists. To promote interdisciplinary research and disciplinary cross training, we provide two mentors for each Scholar, balancing the biomedical/basic science and behavioral/demography and epidemiology approaches to address health disparities. Benefits include a full NIH stipend, tuition, fees and travel funds. The CWHDR currently funds a total of 5 positions.

Eligibility Requirements:

· Postdoctoral scholars must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., D.P.T., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), D.S.W., Psy.D, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research.

· Scholar agrees to devote full-time effort in research related activities for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years to this T32 training program.

· Scholars must be interested in research that involves health disparities or health in underserved populations.

· No individual may receive more than 3 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of Kirschstein-NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships.

· An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

· Scholar will be a US citizen or non-citizen national, or has been lawfully admitted for permanent resident status and possesses an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

Find more information about the Center for Women's Health and Health Disparities Research T32 Program and how to apply at

Direct Questions to: Julia Brasileiro or Doris Franklin at (608) 262-7573 or CWHDR@obgyn

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Funding opportunity: NSF's INSPIRE program

Thanks to NSF Biological Anthropology Program Director Carolyn Erhardt for the following announcement: 

NSF will be providing an informational webcast on INSPIRE (Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education) to be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST.  During the webcast, the FY 2013 INSPIRE solicitation (NSF 13-518) will be discussed, and INSPIRE program officers will interactively answer questions submitted by the online audience. (Check out the current list of INSPIRE Frequently Asked Questions.)

Information on accessing and registering for the free webcast will be available through the INSPIRE program website. Participants must be registered to view the webcast.
Summary of the INSPIRE funding opportunity: The INSPIRE awards program was established to address some of the most complicated and pressing scientific problems that lie at the intersection of traditional disciplines. It is intended to encourage investigators to submit bold, exceptional proposals that some may consider to be at a disadvantage in a standard NSF review process; it is not intended for proposals that are more appropriate for existing award mechanisms. INSPIRE is open to interdisciplinary proposals on any NSF-supported topic, submitted by invitation only after a preliminary inquiry process initiated by submission of a required Letter of Intent (LOI). In fiscal year 2013, INSPIRE provides support through the following three pilot grant mechanisms:
  • INSPIRE Track 1. This is essentially a continuation of the pilot CREATIV mechanism from FY 2012, which was detailed for 2012 in Dear Colleague Letter NSF 12-011.
  • INSPIRE Track 2. These are "mid-scale" research awards at a larger scale than Track 1, allowing for requests of up to $3,000,000 over a duration of up to five years. Expectations for cross-cutting advances and for broader impacts are greater than in Track 1, and the review process includes external review.
  • Director's INSPIRE Awards. These are prestigious individual awards to single-investigator proposals that present ideas for interdisciplinary advances with unusually strong, exciting transformative potential.
All NSF directorates and programmatic offices participated in INSPIRE in FY 2012 and are continuing their participation in FY 2013.
INSPIRE Track 2 Inquiries: Letter of Intent Due Date February 20, 2013
INSPIRE Track 1 Inquiries (also for Director’s INSPIRE Awards): Letter of Intent Due Date March 29, 2013
Full proposal submission is by invitation only, based on evaluation by NSF staff of the required Letter of Intent. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 Anthropological Anatomy Research Winners!

At last year's AAPA meeting in conjunction with the anatomy career workshop sponsored by the American Association of Anatomists and hosted by me and my colleague Alison Doubleday, a student prize competition was held to recognize student poster and podium presentations that best implemented anatomical methodologies in innovative anthropological research. Seventeen graduate students from programs across the United States applied for the “American Association of Anatomists Anthropological Anatomy Award”. Presentations were judged on novelty of research question and design, use of anatomical methodologies, and presentation style. Two $500 prizes were awarded, one for best podium presentation and one for best poster presentation. Two $250 prizes were awarded, one for honorary podium presentation and one for honorary poster presentation.  Each award winner also received the most current issue of The Anatomical Record.  Over 100 individuals attended the student awards ceremony, during which these award winners were announced.

Awardees include:

  • -  Best podium presentation: Gabrielle Russo (University of Texas at Austin) for her presentation, Internal bone structure of the last sacral vertebral body and its relationship to tail length
  • -  Best poster presentation: Adam Foster (University of Arizona) for his presentation, Ontogenetic development of postcranial adaptations to bipedalism in the rat
  • -  Honorable Mention podium presentation: Neil Roach (Harvard University) for his presentation, Derived anatomy of the shoulder and wrist enable throwing ability in Homo
  • -  Honorable Mention poster presentation: Justin Gladman (City University of New York) for his presentation, Detailed measurements of primate calcanei from 3D models allow for reliable body mass estimation

We had very generous one-off funding last year via a grant from AAA and no plans to be able to offer the award for a second year. However, AAPA is collaborating with AAA so that we can offer a single award this year

2nd annual Anthropological Anatomy Award at AAPA

Very excited to announce the second annual Anthropological Anatomy Award for the 2013 AAPA meeting. Last year Dr. Alison French Doubleday and I received funding from the American Association of Anatomists (the "other" AAA) to host a workshop on careers for biological anthropologists in anatomy education and research. Those funds also afforded us the opportunity to recognize stellar student research on hot topics in anatomy. This year, AAPA is teaming with AAA to fund a single award for the best presentation on anthropologically-oriented anatomy research. This means that posters will be judged against talks, because we feel strongly that the two formats are of equal value. My email address is in the announcement. Feel free to contact me with questions and submissions (due March 1).

IMPORTANT NOTE 1: You may participate in this competition even if you are already competing in the overall AAPA student competition. No limit!

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: Presentations co-authored by students can be considered, but note that the cash prize will be split among the winners. In the case of co-authored presentations, it must be made very clear how each student contributed equally.