RESEARCH

I currently maintain two active research threads. My first, Genetic ancestry, race, & national belonging in Argentina,  generates and uses genetic information on ancestry to gain insight into identity formation in the nation of Argentina.

 

The second, Genetics & Morphology, is focused on understanding and testing patterns of human genetic variation (using paleogenomic techniques) and their correspondences with morphology.

 

Visit my academia.edu page for a taste of some of my other research threads, including migration theory, global patterns of human variation and their explanatory evolutionary models, population history of the western Andes (South America), and research protocols for degraded DNA.

 

I am also deeply interested in ethics in biological anthropology.

My involvement in the Ethics Committee of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) has lead to the start of

a series of collaborative papers with my colleagues. Stay tuned!

Genetic ancestry, race, & national belonging in Argentina

 

The project site is in Luján, Argentina.

Pictured here: 

The famous Basílica Nacional de Nuestra Señora de Luján, and the main commercial and touristic street leading up to it, Calle San Martín.

Photography by Loruhama T.R.

This project is run by an interdisciplinary research team from

the U.S. and Argentina.

 

We are interested in understanding the ways in which public perspectives of race, ethnicity, and national belonging may be affected by recent trends in genetic ancestry research in Argentina.

 

Given the current social and political context, we are curious to know what it means to be Argentine. In what ways do “race,” ethnicity, and national belonging have to do with the construction of “Argentineness”? Does genetic information inform or alter those constructions?

To learn more, visit the project website:

www.cei-ar.org

 

Genetics & Morphology

Now a standard part of the bioarchaeological toolkit, biological distance (biodistance) analyses are conducted to reveal intra-and inter-population relationships as well as to infer the microevolutionary events responsible for their formation and maintenance. A common rationale for the use of biodistances is that they highly correlate with selectively neutral genetic distances.

 

This project tests this presumed correlation with limitations of bioarchaeological analyses in mind. Bioarchaeological studies often rely on fragmentary cranial or decayed genetic material to estimate biological or genetic distances, respectively.

 

With my collaborators, we are exploring inter-individual relationships between cranial and genetic distances using individuals from an archaeological mortuary site, and inter-population relationships using matched, globally-distributed population samples. 

 

We have published our results using mtDNA data, and we're currently generating higher-resolution nuclear data to address this issue.

Mailing address: 

The University of Tennessee

Department of Anthropology

Strong Hall Rm 502A

1621 Cumberland Avenue

Knoxville, TN  37996-1525