PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Sabrina C. Agarwal

Sabrina is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her B.A. and M.Sc. from the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. from the same institution, working in both the
Department of Anthropology and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Her interests are focused broadly upon the age, sex and gender-related changes in bone quantity and quality, particularly the application of biocultural and developmental/life course approaches to the study of bone maintenance and fragility. More recently, she has become interested in the application of research in bone maintenance to dialogues of social identity, embodiment, developmental plasticity, disability, and inequality in bioarchaeology. She has examined age- and growth-related changes in cortical bone microstructure, trabecular architecture, and mineral density in several historic British and Italian archaeological populations, and has examined the long-term effect of growth and reproduction (parity and lactation) on the human and non-human primate maternal skeleton, studying samples from prehistoric Turkey and Japan. Her current research is also invested in bioethics of skeletal biology/bioarchaeology, specifically the practice and ethics of skeletal conservation, and she currently serves as Chair of the UC Berkeley NAGPRA Advisory Committee. She is also interested in the philosophies of teaching, and actively involved in the pedagogical training of current and future college instructors. She is co-founder of the Western Bioarchaeology Group (WeBiG), co-founder and Chair of the Bioarchaeology Interest Group in the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), serves on the Editorial Board of American Antiquity, and is co-founding Editor of Bioarchaeology International.

email: agarwal@berkeley.edu

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS

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Trent Trombley

Trent is a bioarchaeologist specializing in the analysis of human skeletal remains recovered from various municipally excavated sites in Santarém, Portugal. His dissertation research, funded by Fulbright, examines how religious identity during the Portuguese Middle Ages impacted the social and biological fabric of everyday life and ways of mourning. His methodological interests include analyzing stress indicators during growth and development, dental pathological lesions and oral health and hygiene, histology, and metacarpal radiogrammetry.

email: ttrombley001@berkeley.edu 

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José Marrero Rosado

José is an Anthropology graduate student from Puerto Rico. In 2017 he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Syracuse University in New York. José Luis is currently funded through the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. His dissertation proposes to study the cholera epidemic of 1855 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in order to assess the effects of structural violence and social identity in differential rates of morbidity and mortality of infectious disease. Other of his research interests include biomolecular approaches in bioarchaeology, paleopathology, historical archaeology, and the Caribbean. 

email: jose_marrero@berkeley.edu 

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Martha Nuño Diaz-Longo

Martha is a PhD candidate with an area of concentration in bioarchaeology. Martha hopes to address questions regarding structural violence and how said violence can be seen on the skeleton, especially of those who attempt to cross the U.S./Mexico border. Skeletal evidence and understanding of structural violence can aid in the understanding of an individual’s life course, leading to a better understanding of the circumstances leading who were exposed to this type of violence, and why they may have ultimately decided to cross such a treacherous border. Martha hopes to continue applying bioarchaeological methods to these issues in order to delve into the humanitarian aspect involved with this crisis.

email: diaz_martha91@berkeley.edu 

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Jeffrey Seckinger

Jeffrey received his BA in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan, and an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology from University College London. He has research experience analyzing microscopic sections of bone and teeth as a part of the Hard Tissue Research Unit at New York University, excavating neonatal remains at a cemetery on the Greek island of Astypalaia, and has conducted fieldwork in Serbia and Kenya. His interests include intellectual history, archaeological theory, palaeopathology, growth and development, skeletal biology and dental  histology. Overarching themes to his research include inequality and concepts of “stress” in bioarchaeology. He interested in applying a biocultural approach, integrating social and critical theory into studies of health and disease. He hopes to examine patterns of early life stress and its effects on health over the life course in the context of cultural and political changes in Medieval Italian society, with particular reference to notions of chivalry, sex, and gender roles.

email: jeffreyseckinger@berkeley.edu 

FORMER GRADUATE STUDENTS

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Katherine Kinkopf

Katie is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Cal Poly Pomona. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology and English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley in 2020. Her dissertation research merged her interests in disability and bioarchaeology to look at daily life and inequality at two rural Medieval Italian sites in Tuscany and Lazio. Katie is a specialist in historic bioarchaeology, disability anthropology, and skeletal biology with particular interest in new materialisms and the biocultural consequences of identity, political institutions, and religious ideology on human health. Her research is grounded in an ethical and political commitment to intersectional Disability Justice and is multi-disciplinary.

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Celise Chilcote-Fricker

Celise is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky and NAGPRA Coordinator for the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology. She received her BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, her MA in Biological Anthropology in 2010 from Trent University, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Biological Anthropology with a Designated Emphasis in Dutch Studies. Celise is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in the examination of skeletal markers of bone growth and maintenance, and activity-related stress.  Her research interests focus on the embodiment of social processes via skeletal plasticity, activity patterns and the interplay between lifecourse and social identities. She is especially interested in how the human body represents a contextually dependent materiality that can illuminate information about the connection between an individual, the different stages of their life and identity, and reveal how they were situated within the context of the larger society in which they existed

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Melanie Miller

Melanie is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She is a bioarchaeologist whose work focuses on the intersections of human diet, activity patterns, and health outcomes in relation to social identities and social inequalities. Melanie received her PhD at UC Berkeley in 2016, and her doctoral research examined diet, activity, and skeletal health markers in a Muisca community from the Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia (1000-1400 CE). Her postdoctoral research examines gendered dietary patterns and the emergence of male-female inequalities in historical Chinese populations ranging from the Neolithic to the Han Dynasty periods from the Central Plains of China. Melanie uses a number of techniques to study human diets and health, including analytical chemistry methods (stable isotope analyses, compound-specific analyses), studies of bone morphology (cross-sectional geometry, radiography), and analysis of skeletal pathologies (such as microscopic techniques to study dental defects related to physiological stress). In addition to her bioarchaeological research, Melanie works on a number of archaeological projects using advanced chemical techniques to study ancient human, plant and animal communities including studying the use of psychoactive plants in the past, and reconstructing ancient ecosystems and their change over time. 

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Julie K. Wesp

Julie completed her BA in Latin American Studies and Anthropology from University of Miami, and doctoral research in bioarchaeology at UC Berkeley in 2014 with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality and is currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and a faculty affiliate for the Science, Technology, and Society Program at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on labor and activity through an analysis of skeletal changes from biomechanical stress and how these indicators can be used to understand labor organization in the past. She has archaeological experience in Central Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Honduras for both the Prehispanic and Colonial period, and has recently expanded to broader Colonial Latin America as co-director of an archaeological project in Bogotá, Colombia. 

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Ashley Lipps

Ashley has been awarded two degrees in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley: Bachelor of Arts in 2007 and Doctorate in 2014. Her dissertation work focused on the role of female reproduction history in determining bone microstructure differences in a non-human primate model. Her work has clinical applications toward furthering our understanding of human bone fragility, skeletal aging, and osteoporosis risk. Her work was completed in collaboration with scientists from the Texas Biomedical Primate Research Institute, the UCB Anthropology Department, the UCB Engineering Department and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Due to the multi-interdisciplinary nature of her work, she has experience teaching a variety of topics including: Human Evolution, Bioarchaeology, and Human Anatomy. Ashley currently lives in Sacramento with her husband and two young children. 

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Patrick Beauchesne

Patrick is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan Dearborn. He received his B.A. from McMaster University, his M.A. from the University of Western Ontario, and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2012. His training has been within a 4-field anthropological framework and he considers bioarchaeology as the anthropological study of archaeological human remains, which includes asking broad questions about health and disease in the past, the nature and scope of human variation, human/environment interactions, and social questions relating to gender, childhood and aging. His interests include osteoporosis and bone loss through time, childhood in the past, paleopathology, and life course approaches to human osteology. He is experienced with and has employed many methods, including cortical bone histomorphometry, radiogrammetry, and the analysis of trabecular bone architecture.

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K. Elizabeth Soluri

Liz earned a B.A. in anthropology from New York University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from UC Berkeley (UCB). While at UCB, Liz’s research initially focused on issues of cultural interaction and identity, often as seen through resource use. She conducted and published research on Native Californian plant use and worked on field projects in California and Hawai’i. While studying with Dr. Sabrina Agarwal, Liz’s research shifted to the pedagogical issues surrounding teaching anthropology to college students. Liz’s dissertation research examined the effectiveness of the newly designed classroom interventions in aiding students’ development of and long-term retention of key course concepts and skills. Since completing her Ph.D. in 2010, Liz’s continuing research explores the efficacy of this and other teaching strategies in introductory biological anthropology classes, both in-person and online. Her present research largely focuses on learning contexts in the California Community Colleges, where she has worked since 2008. She is currently an Associate Professor in the anthropology department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. Liz also serves as Department Chair of Sociology and Women's Studies and Faculty Lead for Guided Pathways at Cabrillo, where she strives to bolster student success and equity via policy guidance and Guided Pathways implementation.