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News Archive


2022 Social Sciences News Highlights

Professor Keolu's Interview with National Geographic


New book publication from Anthro lecturer: "Making Gods: Mormonism, Transhumanism and Worlds without End"


Professor Keolu Fox's New Publication in BMC Genomics



New Quote from Professor Keolu Fox in Science Magazine:



Social Sciences News Highlights

The Misuse of Race in The Search For Disease-Causing Alleles

Amy Non of Anthropology co-authored a commentary in the Lancet highlighting “how theories and beliefs about a biological meaning of race have engendered dangerous misconceptions with implications for disease treatment, research and policy.”

Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age

Subtitled “Sending Out an S.O.S.,” a new book co-edited by Tom Levy of Anthropology “provides readers with a non-technical overview of how archaeologists and other stakeholders are increasingly turning to digital methods to mitigate some of the threats to at-risk cultural heritage.”

See Keolu Fox's article publication in Nature:

Featuring the people of Social Science making news- on campus and beyond...



Professor Keolu Fox's Correspondence in Nature

Correspondence with Professor Keolu Fox.

A Scientist's Life: Jade D'alpoim Guedes

Article n Professor D'alpoim Guedes.

Professor Keolu Fox's New Paper in Nature

Professor Keolu Fox's new paper.


Blog article with Professor Amy Non

Article with Professor Amy Non.

New York Times article with Professor Keolu Fox

Article from Professor Keolu Fox.

New York Times article on Professor Katerina Semendeferi's new study

Article on Professor Semendeferi's new study.

News article on Professor Carol Marchetto's new paper

News article on Professor Marchetto's paper.

News article on Professor Isabel Rivera-Collazo's research trip to Puerto Rico

Newa article on Professor Rivera-Collazo's research.

Professor Saiba Varma's interview with SWANA Region Radio

Radio interview with Professor Varma.

Instructors: As courses move online, please visit this site for Instructional Support

Resources for online learning for intructors.

UCSD Anthropology Alumni Alondra Nelson joins Biden-Harris Administration

Alondra Nelson article.

Professor Saiba Varma releases new book

Professor Saiba Varma's new book. 

Professor Keolu Fox receives award

Award for Professor Keolu Fox.

Instructor Dilsa Deniz publishes new article

New article from instructor Dilsa Deniz.



New paper from graduate student Brady Liss

New paper from graduate student Brady Liss.

Professor Jade d'Alpoim Guedes publishes study in Antiquity

New study from Professor Jade d'Alpoim Guedes.

Professor Pascal Gagneux publishes a new article

New article from Professor Pascal Gagneux.

Professor Keolu Fox publishes paper in New England Journal of Medicine

New paper from Professor Keolu Fox.

2020 Anthropology Honors Thesis Presentations 

Honors Thesis Presentations.

Running Low on Toilet Paper? Here Are Your Options

The Union-Tribune gets some multicultural perspective and advice from Nancy Postero and Saiba Varma of Anthropology. (Funny: The story also recommends subscribing to the Union-Tribune, as that’s likely to be a cheaper back-up option than buying TP on eBay.)

Coping with Coronavirus Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful. Emotions are running high, and we are all coming to terms with many aspects of an ever-changing situation. Amidst all the uncertainty about the coronavirus, it is more important than ever to protect our mental health. The ThisWeek feature story linked above offers some wellness tips and resources for our community, with thoughts from social scientists, including Alison Wishard Guerra of Education Studies and Karen Dobkins of Psychology. Also, the division’s own Center for Global Mental Health, directed by Janis Jenkins of Anthropology and Psychiatry, has created a compilation of wellness resources you might find useful, as well as a compilation of observations on the pandemic called “Lived Experiences.”

Politics Clouding Public’s Views on Coronavirus, Experts Say

KPBS speaks with Dan Hallin of Communication and Bonnie Kaiser of Anthropology and Global Health.

Explainer: What is ‘Flattening the Curve?’ And Why Are We ‘Socially Distancing?

Appearing on KPBS TV and radio, Bonnie Kaiser of Anthropology and Global Health and Jeff Clemens of Economics help the public understand the importance of stay-home measures

The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2020 

Anthropology alumna Alondra Nelson ‘93, president of the Social Science Research Council, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, which honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields

2020 Integrity Champion

Isabel Rivera-Collazo of Anthropology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been selected as a recipient of the university’s Integrity Award for 2020

Graduate students Mario Borrero and Luke R. Stroth publish article

Check out this article from some of our graduate students. 

UCSD Anthropology Graduate Students Successes Winter 2020

Check out these accomplishments of Anthropology graduate students. 

  Anthropology Professor Awarded Integrity Award

Congratulations to Professor Isabel Rivera-Collazo on this award.

Virtual Reality Visualization of Cyber Archaeology

Check out this article from Professor Thomas Levy.

Collaborative Ethnographic Methods: Dismantling the ‘Anthropological Broom Closet’

Check out this artile written by Anthropology Graduate Student Amy Kennemore and Anthropology Professor Nancy Postero.

Biographical Memoir of Roy D'Andrade

Read about the biography and life of former UC San Diego Department of Anthropology Professor, Roy D'Andrade.

Ethics, informal learning, and citizen science in the practice of indigenous archaeology

Check out this article from Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo!

Scientists Race to Document Puerto Rico’s Coastal Heritage

Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo, professor of archaeological anthropology, documents indigienous sites along Puerto RIco's coast that are being destroyed due to rising sea levels.

Degrees Designed to Make a Difference

As the new academic year begins, new majors begin as well. Check out what Anthropology Department Chair Steve Parish had to say about out new Anthropology minor Climate Change & Human Solutions and our new B.S. in Biological Anthropology!

The Kingdom of Copper in Faynan, Jordan

Matt Howland, spearheaded the use of a new program called ArcGIS StoryMaps to create a compelling story about his work at Khirbat en-Nahas and the Iron Age in Faynan, Jordan.

Ancient remains more wisely

Researchers rushing to apply powerful sequencing techniques to ancient-human remains must think harder about safeguarding, urge Keolu Fox and John Hawks.


2018-19 Distinguished Teaching Awards

Congratulations to Joseph Hankins of Anthropology for being recognized by the Academic Senate for his teaching during the 2018-19 Distinguished Teaching Awards!

Underwater Fortress Found

“Underwater archaeology is helping to transform our knowledge of the ancient world,” writes Ancient Origins. “In Israel, maritime archaeologists have discovered a 2,200-year-old Hellenistic fortress linked to biblical battles. The discovery is helping us to understand Hellenistic military fortifications and strategies and the impact of rising sea levels on ancient communities.” Tom Levy of Anthropology is part of the team making the discovery; you can also read a report about it in Haaretz (if you have a subscription).   

Kashmir Group Seeks UN Probe into Torture by India Troops

The effects of torture have been “systematic, pervasive, and psychologically, physically and socially devastating” in Kashmir, Saiba Varma of Anthropology told the Associated Press. “Torture is not just a technology on the individual body, but it is a profoundly social, relational, and political technology,” she said. “In making these bodies spectacles, the state is further exerting its power, not only on those who have been tortured, but by also sending a message to those who have not been tortured, saying, ‘this could be you.’”  

UC San Diego Library Awarded Recordings at Risk Grant to Preserve Melanesian Audio Recordings

UC San Diego Library is awarded Recordings at Risk Grant to preserve Melanesian audio recordings within the world-renowned Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology. The Tuzin Archive was founded in the early 1980s by the UC San Diego Department of Anthropology professors, Donald F. Tuzin and Fitz John Porter Poole, in partnership with the UC San Diego Library.

Free Screening of WILLIAM and Panel Discussion

Join the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program, the Center for Academic
Research and Training in Anthropogeny, OnePlace, and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination for a free screening of the film William, which tells the story of what happens when two scientists clone a Neanderthal from ancient DNA and raise him in today's world. Following the film, a panel will explore the scientific and ethical questions the film raises, with experts including:

Katerina Semendeferi (UCSD Anthropology)
Pascal Gagneux (associate director, Center of Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny)
Rich Horner (CEO, OnePlace)
Craig Callender (co-director, UCSD Institute for Practical Ethics)
And special guest Tim Disney (director, William)
Moderated by Alysson Muotri (co-director, UCSD Stem Cell Program)

Where: Roth Auditorium at the Sanford Consortium
When: May 13 from 5:30–8:30pm


Descendants United for Nature, Adaptation, and Sustainability

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico causing considerable impacts to both natural and human communities. For this small Caribbean island, the ramifications of global climate change are visceral and imminent — however, Puerto Rico’s is not a story of desperation but of resilience.   

In collaboration with Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo, Climate Science Alliance (CSA), Para la Naturaleza (PLN), Vida Marina, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (CCCIA), the DUNAS project was convened to restore coastal dunes in northern Puerto Rico that were severely degraded by Hurricane Maria. Although sand dunes are vulnerable to damage, they are critical for protecting ecological environments, cultural artifacts, and human communities.

Attending to the Dark Side of Medicine

Saiba Varma's piece titled "Attending to the Dark Side of Medicine" has been published on the Anthropology News website.

An Archaeology of Abundance

Most scientists have assumed that the islands of Alta and Baja California were marginal for Native habitation even before European contact. “An Archaeology of Abundance,” a book co-edited by Anthropology doctoral student Mikael Fauvelle, reevaluates this long-held belief, analyzing new lines of evidence to show that California islands were once rich in resources important to human populations.

Woodrow Wilson Foundation Names 2019 Career Enhancement Fellowships

Join us in congratulating Assistant Professor Hanna Garth for being one of 10 junior faculty members who received a 12 month Career Enhancement Fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

National Academy of Science biographical memoir of Prof. Robert McCormick Adams 

Prof. Robert McCormick Adams was an adjunct professor at UC San Diego and was the most impactful 20th century archaeologist working in the Middle East, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and much more.

Limitations, mosaic nature of global health tackled at LA Global Health Conference

Hear what Saiba Varma had to say about the future of global health at the Los Angeles Global Health Conference.

"Ghosts in the Ward: Hospital Infrastructures and their Hauntings"

Saiba Varma and Emma Varley's co-edited special issue on haunted hospitals in Medical Anthropology is out! "Ghosts in the Ward: Hospital Infrastructures and their Hauntings"

Archaeologists discover the temple of the 'Flayed Lord'

Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered the temple of an pre-Aztec God known as the 'Flayed Lord'. The traditional diety was called Xipe Totec and Priests worshiped the God wearing the skin of human sacrifices. Items relating to the deity were discovered at a site in Puebla state, and are believed to date from 900-1150 AD.

Geoffrey Braswell, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California San Diego, tells us more.

Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology Seeks Answers to the End of Civilizations

“The oceans are the last great frontier for archaeology on Earth,” says Tom Levy of Anthropology, who co-directs the new cross-discipline Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology. “Our goal is to study near-shore coastal environments and to see how human and natural systems are embedded together through deep time.” The center marries earth and social sciences, and this summer teams of SCMA researchers set out on expeditions to uncover secrets of ancient eastern Mediterranean societies. They brought back to San Diego a trove of evidence: information on previously undiscovered ancient shorelines swallowed by sea-level rise in a Greek bay; sediment cores containing thousands of years of human history; and remnants of a submerged port linked to the Biblical copper trade in Israel. The story includes a video and also quotes Isabel Rivera-Collazo of Anthropology and Scripps Oceanography: “If we want to understand what’s happening now with sea-level rise, we need to look at places in the past that have suffered it. Marine archaeology can help us do that.” 

Anthropology Graduate Student Wins Prestigious CRES Award

Maya Azarova, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology and an affiliate of the Design Lab, has won a Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarship to investigate the backstage of innovation. The goal of Azarova’s project is to explore how teams comprising of individuals from various disciplines create new technologies.

Beings Without Bodies: Contemporary Catholic Exorcism and the Discourse of Evil

Tom Csordas of Anthropology and Global Health gave the keynote address at a conference of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, Italy, dedicated to the theme “Embodying Modern Scientific Medicine and Religious/Spiritual Healing: A Comparative Perspective on Non-Voluntary Spirit Possession and Exorcism.”

Reporting That Respects The Camp Fire's Victims

The 60 Minutes team has been covering wildfires in the west for years. They explain how they find facts while being sensitive to the dead and missing. UC San Diego's Melanie Beasley is shown in this clip helping to recover bone fragments of bodies lost in the fires.

UC San Diego Archaeologist Tom Levy Spotlighted as Conference's Most Central and Connected Scholar 

According to a social network analysis from the University of Toronto, UC San Diego's Tom Levy is a key player in Middle Eastern archaeology. He's not only the most connected scholar in the field, he's also the only one in the top five to be U.S.-based, too.

What Happened in the Past When the Climate Changed?

With the climate changed, the people of ancient Asia responded by investing - in crop diversity, trade and a large public project. That may have helped them adapt and survive, suggests a new paper by Jade d'Alpoim Guedes.

Fieldwork in a Changing Field 

Now that the future researchers predicted is here, climate change is changing how science is done. Isabel Rivera-Collazo of Anthropology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been traveling for research to Puerto Rico’s northern coast for nearly 25 years, since her days as a college student. An environmental archaeologist, she has pursued her work operating under the maxim that archaeology doesn’t move. Now, recent events have caused her to abandon that notion. “What I’ve seen in the last two years, I’ve never seen before,” said Rivera-Collazo. “Sites are literally disappearing one day after the next.”

Studying Abroad Without Leaving Home

UC San Diego students typically travel overseas to conduct archaeological fieldwork. This summer, one group stayed in San Diego County, however, to analyze prehistoric sites on sovereign tribal land in partnership with the La Posta band of Kumeyaay Indians. The fieldwork was led by UC San Diego's own professor of Anthropology, Paul Goldstein.

Indigenous Immigrants Face Unique Challenges at the Border

In Latin America, at least 560 Indigenous languages are spoken by 780 different tribal and ethnic groups. Speakers of these languages who don’t also speak Spanish have an even harder time at the U.S. border than other migrants. John Haviland of Anthropology, who provides Tzotzil interpretation services for Homeland Security, court proceedings and medical situations, speaks with High Country News, a nonprofit media organization reporting on the American West.

The Story Behind the Little-Known Catholic Group Called People of Praise

When Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s name was floated as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Washington Post (linked above) and Slate sought the expertise of Tom Csordas of Anthropology and Global Health, a leading scholar on Catholic charismatic groups. Csordas said the same communal impulse that generated the hippie communes of the 1960s fueled religious groups like People of Praise at the same time.

Opinion: How Family Separations Mess Up Children’s Genes

The separation of immigrant children from their parents made waves across the nation. President Trump signed an executive order to end the policy however ending this policy is not enough. Read Associate Professor Amy Non’s op-ed published in the Times of San Diego on the epigenetic effects of family separations.

From Condors to Oysters, California Sea Grants New Coastal Research 

Why do people fish in San Diego Bay even when they know their catch may be contaminated? David Pedersen of Anthropology will be working on that question and more with Theresa Talley of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Check out the story of our very own "Indiana Jones", Professor Tom Levy, posted in the Triton magazine!

Indiana Jones with a laptop. That’s how one writer described archaeologist Tom Levy. But for a more complete picture, add reams of data and a drone. Instead of a fedora, swap in a scuba mask or a checkered keffiyeh wrapped around his head. Or you can imagine him as he was dressed on the day of this interview, in sweats and sneakers, just before a visit to the gym.

Making Mental Health a Global Priority

The UC Global Health Institute speaks with Vikram Patel, noted psychiatrist from Harvard Medical School, ahead of his keynote speech at UC San Diego on April 22, when the system-wide UC Global Health Day comes to our campus. The story also includes Janis Jenkins of Anthropology, director of the Center for Global Mental Health, who is serving as commentator during the event: “As a matter of social justice,” Jenkins says, “[global mental health] research, care and advocacy must be developed wherever needed. Worldwide, there are no shortages of need.”

Honorary Doctorate for Tom Levy

Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348, has bestowed an honorary doctoral degree on Thomas Levy of Anthropology. Local newspaper Lidové Noviny ran a feature story on the proceedings, complete with a photo of Levy in ceremonial robes.

Assistant Professor Isabel Rivera-Collazo on PBS Show SciGirls

Isabel Rivera Collazo of Anthropology was interviewed for the PBS show SciGirls as Role Model. SciGirls aims to get tween girls, ages 8 to 12, interested in STEM. Each episode follows a group of middle school girls who are eager to find answers to their questions while inspiring kids to explore the world around them and discover that science and technology are everywhere. The girls, with the help of scientific mentors, design their own investigations on topics ranging from the environment to engineering and nutrition. The show's website is integrated into the episodes with archived projects from the site being featured on the show. This year it also broadcasts 3 minute videos of Role Models and is tailored for Hispanic Communities (this year the series is in Spanish).


Did David and Solomon's United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers

Archaeology has provided precious little evidence for the biblical account of a powerful Judaic kingdom 3,000 years ago, but the sheer extent of copper mining in Timna, when Egypt was in a state of collapse, is otherwise hard to explain. Prof. Thomas Levy with Dr. Mohammad Najjar of the University of California found a scarab in Timna with the saying "Bright is the manifestation of Re, chosen of Amun/Re".

Anthropology Assistant Professor Amy Non was one of 11 UC San Diego Faculty Members Honored with Hellman Fellowships

Amy Non of Anthropology was among the faculty receiving Hellman Fellowships, which support the research and creative endeavors of junior faculty.  Non will use her Hellman Fellowship to investigate whether the children of Hispanic immigrants are aging faster due to stressors such as poverty or discrimination.

Woolard’s Timely Book on Catalonia Wins Award

“A surging movement for Catalan political independence from Spain has brought renewed urgency to questions about what it means, personally and politically, to speak or not to speak Catalan and to claim Catalan identity” begins the book description for “Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia,” by Kathryn “Kit” Woolard of Anthropology. Woolard has won another award for her work – this time the 2017 Edward Sapir Book Prize from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, which is awarded to “a book that makes the most significant contribution to our understanding of language in society.”

The Killing Zone For Sperm | Pascal Gagneux

The female reproductive system and jungles of Africa face foreign invaders. In this episode, we follow San Diego scientist Pascal Gagneux through these environments, and find out more about their intruders. Check out the fascinating interview on KPBS Rad Scientist Podcast!

Mysterious Braid-Chopping Bandits Have Kashmiris in Panic

Saiba Varma of Anthropology is quoted by the Associated Press: “Hair has historically symbolized sexuality and a certain excessive feminine energy,” she said. “The braid-chopping seems to be a clear example of someone trying to curtail these feminine energies.”

Cyber-Archaeologist Participates in ‘Dialogue of Civilizations’

Tom Levy of Anthropology traveled to India for a conference sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Archaeological Survey of India and India’s Ministry of Culture. Levy is also mentioned in a Berkeley blog post, this time for his role in a digital, UC-funded project to preserve at-risk cultural heritage sites.

Winner of the 2017 Sharon Stephens Book Prize - A Diagram for Fire by Jon Bialecki

We are delighted pass on the news that the American Ethnological Society has selected Jon Bialecki as a winner of the 2017 Sharon Stephens Book Prize for a scholar's first book. Jon earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology here at UC San Diego, and is currently a popular Lecturer in the department. His book is entitled A Diagram for Fire: Miracles and Variation in an American Charismatic Movement, and is published by the University of California Press.

Gift to UC San Diego Library Enhances Its Distinguished Melanesian and Anthropology Studies Collection

The UC San Diego Library recently received a generous gift to create the Schwartz Library Collection Endowment for Melanesian/Anthropology Studies, in honor of UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Theodore (Ted) Schwartz, a prominent figure in psychological anthropology. 

Hurricane Maria isolates archaeological site that UC San Diego was studying

Anthropology Professor Isabel Rivera-Collazo says that Hurricane Maria struck a sensitive archaeological site that she and other researchers were studying when the storm hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.

UC San Diego-Led Expedition Documents Ancient Land and Sea Sites in Israel 

The expedition, led by UC San Diego Department of Anthropology professor Thomas E. Levy, involved a land-and-sea approach to understanding trade and exchange during Biblical times, at sites dating to the Iron Age, circa 1200 to 586 BC.

BCC Welcomes New Leader

Anthropology Ph.D. alumna Eva Bagg is the new superintendent and president of Barstow Community College.

Teaching students across disciplines to detect, map and characterize changes to the Earth

Anthropology graduate student Brady Liss and his classwork with the UC San Diego Big Pixel Initiative was included in a Google Earth and Earth Engine blog post.

Renaming Non-communicable Diseases

Janis Jenkins and graduate student Ellen Kozelka of Anthropology publish a letter in The Lancet.

San Diego Archaeologists are Going Underwater for a Deeper Look at Humanity's Past

KPBS took a look at the region’s efforts to support marine archaeology, including the recent launch of an effort co-led by the Division of Social Sciences, the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology. Thomas Levy of Anthropology is co-director. He discusses plans to explore a submerged Israeli port that might have been an important trade hub during the time of kings David and Solomon.

Research IT Awarded Grant for 3D Visualization Project with the Hearst Museum

The Student Technology Fund committee at UC Berkeley recently awarded Research IT a grant for the two-year project, Student 3D/Visualization Teams for Campus Museums, which will be run in collaboration with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (PAHMA).

What Color Blue did King Solomon Wear? New Evidence Tells Us

Excavations of copper mines find earliest Israeli traces of dye used for prestigious garments for skilled workers.

UC San Diego Researchers Discover Human Burials and Artifacts in Ancient Mycenaean Tomb

Researchers excavating what was believed to be a completely looted ancient Greek tomb have discovered 15 adult and two juvenile human burials, as well as artifacts dated to a period just before the collapse of Mycenaean society during the late Bronze Age.

Giving Students a Place to Prep for Tomorrow's Virtual (Reality) Economy

It’s a laboratory that looks like a cross between a classroom and a tech pavilion at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There are virtual-reality headsets everywhere, and large, flat-screen 3D displays. College students work at computers, while teammates wearing goggles look from side to side, occasionally ducking or recoiling, as they react and engage with the virtual environments visible in their head-mounted displays.

Hacking Into a Lost World

Somewhere in the at-risk ruins of Khirbat en-Nahas in the Faynan region of southern Jordan lie untold stories of copper mining and smelting industries from the time of David and Solomon and the Edomite kings. Stories that, until now, could only be told in words, maps and photographs. Thanks to UC San Diego engineering and archaeology students that teamed up for the world’s first cyber-archaeology hackathon, the story of King Solomon’s copper mines now exists in virtual reality.

An Archaeologist Perspective on Humans and Climate Change 

How are modern day humans adapting to climate change? To find the answer, archaeologists are studying how human societies have responded to environmental changes in the past. Isabel Rivera-Collazo focuses on understanding human resilience and adaptation to past environmental change as a lens through which we can view the future. Finding answers involves diverse disciplines, including archeology, anthropology, geomorphology, ecosystem dynamics and climate science. Join us to learn how her work at Scripps Oceanography and in UC San Diego's Department of Archeology are changing the way we view climate change and its impacts on society.

Found: Fresh Clues to Mystery of King Solomon's Mines 

Manure preserved for millennia by the arid climate of Israel’s Timna Valley is adding fresh fuel toa long- simmering debate about the biblical king Solomon and the source of his legendary wealth.


Passing of Anthropology Professor Emeritus Roy D’Andrade

Roy D’Andrade, 84, played an important role at UC San Diego as one of the founding members of the anthropology department, as a strong advocate of research bridging traditional disciplinary boundaries, and as a founder of the field of cognitive anthropology.

Video: CAVEkiosk at UC San Diego Geisel Library Opens

The Geisel Library virtual reality CAVEkiosk is one of four planned for University of California campuses at San Diego, Berkeley, Los Angeles and Merced. All are partners in a UC collaboration led by anthropologist Thomas Levy, director of the Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability (CCAS).

Fellowships Totaling $120,000 Support Graduate Students Studying Human Origins

Four of the 2016 recipients are from the Division of Social Sciences. Co-directed by Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology, the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) will administer the research fellowships.

Experts Say Original Pyramid Found at Mayan Ruins in Mexico

The Associated Press sought the expertise of Geoffrey Braswell of Anthropology about an archaeological find at Chichen Itza, where Braswell has previously conducted research. He compared the pyramid – discovered within two other structures – to a Russian nesting doll and said it might be new or it might have been detected in the 1940s. The story appeared in the New York Times (linked above), CBS News, the Huffington Post, the Daily MailVice and the San Francisco Chronicle, among many others.

New 3-D CAVEkiosk Brings Cyber-Archaeology to Geisel

The university’s iconic, futuristic spaceship of a building, Geisel Library, will unveil its first virtual-reality 3-D display system during a public reception on Monday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. The CAVEkiosk will be open to the campus community and the public at large, and it will also allow researchers to analyze and visualize 3-D data from at-risk archaeological sites in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Morocco and Cyprus. The kiosk is part of a UC collaboration led by Tom Levy of Anthropology.

What Makes Humans Social?

Neurodevelopmental study on Williams Syndrome may give clues. Research on the rare genetic condition, which produces individuals with extremely sociable personalities, may also shed light on biology and behavior of persons with autism and other social disorders. Coverage of the Nature paper – by Katerina Semendeferi of Anthropology, and students Branka Hrvoj and Kari Hanson, along with colleagues at UC San Diego Health Sciences and the Salk Institute – included Live ScienceDaily Mail and Times of San Diego.

New Wave of Scientists Join San Diego Universities

The San Diego Union-Tribune highlights environmental archaeologist Isabel Rivera-Collazo of Anthropology, who studies coastal communities and how people respond to climate change, and Philip Guo of Cognitive Science, who researches human-computer interaction, online learning and computing education.

Ancient Mexicans May Have Raised Rabbits

“They were breeding rabbits as a form of specialized labor,” said Anthropology lecturer Andrew Somerville, who led the team of anthropologists that made the discovery. The study, co-authored by Margaret Schoeninger, garnered media attention around the world, including The Daily Mail, the New Historian and the Archaeological Institute of America.

UCSD to Explore, Digitize 100 Shipwrecks in Bermuda

Research at the Qualcomm Institute, including work by Tom Levy of Anthropology, is featured in the Union-Tribune.

Bolivia Decides It’s Time to Ditch the Gregorian Calendar

On PRI’s The World, Paul Goldstein of Anthropology weighs in on the Bolivian president’s push to resurrect an indigenous calendar. Starting in the 43rd minute, Goldstein explains the ancient Aymara calendar and the challenges of switching today.

26th Ramon Llull International Prize

Kathryn Woolard of Anthropology has been recognized by the Ramon Llull International Prize for “making a notable contribution to disseminating the situation of Catalan among the academic community.” Oxford University Press, meanwhile, is publishing Woolard’s book, “Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia.”

Nitza Villapol: The Woman Who Taught Cubans to Cook With Just About Anything

Discussing “Cuba’s Julia Child” with NPR, Hanna Garth of Anthropology said the legacy of Villapol is much more than a collection of recipes.

Did a Teen Discover a Lost Mayan City? Not Exactly

The internet was abuzz with a 15-year-old “discovering” a Mayan site, leading Geoffrey Braswell of Anthropology to weigh in. “Mr. Gadoury should be praised for his work, and it is clear that he will have an exciting future,” Braswell said. “Nonetheless, the images that he has shown are not of Maya pyramids.” News organizations around the globe began to update their stories with Braswell’s comments: New York MagazineWiredGizmodo and the Washington Post (linked above), among them.

Global Mental Health: Transdisciplinary Perspectives

Thomas Csordas and Janis Jenkins of Anthropology are among those working to move mental health from the margins to the mainstream of the global development agenda. Jenkins served as panel chair for “Conceptualizing Mental Health,” while Csordas served as a panelist for “Context and Mental Health: Culture, Poverty, and Religion,” at a meeting convened by the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University. The meeting was held in conjunction with the World Bank’s and World Health Organization’s “Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Health Development Priority,” covered by The New York Times and Huffington Post.

‘Power of the Crowd’ to Monitor At-Risk Archaeological Sites

A team of researchers at the new Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability led by Thomas Levy of Anthropology has launched a joint online mission to monitor nearly 11,000 archaeological sites located in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

What You Need To Know About That ‘Cute’ Lemur Video

Did you see or share that viral video of a lemur demanding back scratches? Marni LaFleur of Anthropology, who co-directs the nonprofit Lemur Love, explains to NPR why interacting with wild lemurs is not good for you, or the lemur. LaFleur also spoke with Slate.

California Networking Consortium to Honor UC San Diego ‘Cyber’ Archaeologist

Thomas Levy of Anthropology will receive the CENIC Innovations in Networking Award for Research Applications in recognition of developing and deploying new systems for reconstructing the archaeological record through digital technologies.

Archaeology’s Information Revolution

The Atlantic reports on what big data and technology mean to the study of ancient artifacts, including the work of Thomas Levy of Anthropology. Also, Levy’s new Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability at the Qualcomm Institute is now partnering with the Israel Antiques Authority.

The Race to Save Threatened Cultural Heritage Sites

“When intolerant radical ideologies are coupled with modern bombs and bulldozers, the potential for total destruction of heritage sites is unparalleled compared with the past,” says Thomas Levy of Anthropology. A UC Newsroom feature and Forbes detail how cyber-archaeology research headed by Levy is coming to the rescue.

Cricket Team of Maasai Warriors Goes to Bat for Women's Rights

Huffington Post and NPR report on the Maasai Cricket Warriors, the focus of a documentary film that charts the players’ journey from their Kenyan village to their first championship in London. The team was founded by Aliya Bauer as part of her work at the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project run by Shirley Strum of Anthropology.

Feb. 23: Gun Violence in the United States – A Global Public Health Crisis

Hosted in part by the Global Health Program and co-sponsored by Department of Communication, the quarterly Conversations in Global Health event includes Janis Jenkins and Saiba Varma of Anthropology, and Brady Campaign Director Ron Marcus. The conversation starts at 3:30 p.

Tribes’ Win in Fight for Bones Clouds Hopes for DNA Studies

In addition to The New York Times, Forbes mentions Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology in reporting that the Supreme Court has declined to hear a lower-court case appeal regarding remains found on UC San Diego property.

Obama Administration Plans Shake-Up in Propaganda War Against ISIS

Anthropology alumnus Michael Lumpkin is appointed the new head of a State Department program on global engagement.

Archaeologists Find Captive Carnivore Remains in Mexico

Epoch Times features research analysis by Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology of puma, eagle and wolf remains found in Teotihuacan.


Thomas E. Levy Among Recipients of UC Presidents Research Catalyst Award

Anthropology professor Thomas Levy, the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands, will lead a $1.07 million project  to curate, analyze and visualize 3D data from at-risk archaeological sites in the Middle East. Levy served as a key participant in this year's Digital Heritage Conference.

Biographical Memoirs: Melford Spiro

The National Academy of Sciences produces a biography of Mel Spiro of Anthropology for its national archives.

Extraordinary Conditions

Janis Jenkins of Anthropology writes a guest post for the University of California Press blog and is interviewed on the "Thinking Aloud" radio program about her book "Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness."

Birch Aquarium Announces New Executive Director

Anthropology alumnus Harry Helling chosen to lead Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


Too many people, not enough water, now and 2700 years ago. New research co-authored by doctoral candidate Adam Schneider of Anthropology suggests that drought and overpopulation helped destroy the Assyrian Empire. The Climatic Change paper draws parallels with modern Syria and Iraq, and cautions other regions also facing weather stresses today

In memoriamMelford E. Spiro, 94, founder of UC San Diego's Department of Anthropology.

Congratulations to Marta Kutas of Cognitive Science, recipient of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society's 2015 Distinguished Career Contributions Award; to Tom Levy of Anthropology, on election to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts; and to James Fowler of Political Science " on being named to the Politico 50 list of "thinkers, doers and dreamers who really matter in this age of gridlock and dysfunction."

NSF highlights research by John Haviland of Anthropology. Haviland is studying the creation of a complex sign language among an extended family of Mayan Indians in an isolated community in highland Chiapas, Mexico.


Linguist David Perlmutter and anthropologist Kathryn Woolard have been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Katerina Semendeferi of Anthropology was featured in the U-T as one of the San Diegans recently named fellows of AAAS, the nation's largest scientific organization.

First prize: Anthropology graduate student Jordan Haug has won the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest for his collection "Mormon Fundamentalism and Polygamy," which numbers nearly 100 volumes.

Tom Levy of Anthropology has published a free e-book: "Cyber-Archaeology in the Holy Land: The Future of the Past."

Katerina Semendeferi of Anthropology is one of 10 UC San Diego faculty named new AAAS fellows, reported UC San Diego News.


Geoffrey Braswell of Anthropology tells the Associated Press that the Maya did not predict an apocalyptic end of the world in 2012.

Shirley Strum of Anthropology was cited widely in stories about baboon management in South Africa, including Fox News,Cape Times and others. 

TEDx video: Thomas Levy of Anthropology explains how new visualization technologies have enabled archaeologists to collect, manage and analyze site data.

Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology was quoted in Science on the forest foraging diet of Australopithecus sediba, a possible early member of the human family.

Archive Renamed for Anthropologist The late Donald Tuzin of Anthropology helped build a world-class research collection at UC San Diego for the study of the peoples of Papua New Guinea and other island countries of the southwestern Pacific. Now, in honor of his leadership and legacy, the collection of materials from one of the most culturally, linguistically and geographically diverse places on earth has been renamed the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology. Celebrating the archive's 30 years, an exhibit is on view at Geisel Library through June 30. 

The ScientistNature and Science reported that the 9,000-year-old skeletons found at UC San Diego's University House would not be reburied until a federal lawsuit against the university by three UC professors, including Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology, is settled

Making of the Modern Human Humans dominate the planet thanks largely to our unique abilities to extract calories and protein from all kinds of animal and plant material. Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology reviews how food fueled our evolution.

La Jolla Patch carried obituary for Marc Swartz of Anthropology

Shirley Strum of Anthropology was quoted in a PolitiFact piece debunking the chain joke email that refers to baboons as a "congress"


Two Social Scientists Among 2011 AAAS Fellows

Carol Padden of Communication and Dena Plemmons of Anthropology have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation's largest scientific organization.

Uniquely Human

Katerina Semendeferi of Anthropology is one of the leading researchers discussing uniquely human features of the brain as part of UCSD-TV's series on the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, or CARTA.

Orange County Register ran Q&A with Anthropology alumna Stephanie Morgan, owner of Seabirds vegan food truck who participated in the Food Network's second season of "The Great Food Truck Race"

Chronicle of Higher Education article on "Academics Abroad, with Family in Tow" includes at length the experience of John Haviland of Anthropology

San Diego U-T story on local intrepid explorers included Thomas Levy of Anthropology and described his research in Jordan; Levy will be honored for his work by the international Explorers Club in October

USA Today story on Max Planck Institute findings that human ancestors were "mama's boys," with the females moving out of their birth communities and the males staying put, quoted Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology. Agence France Press story, appearing in Yahoo News, FOX and elsewhere, did too, as did Discovery News andScience News.

San quoted Margaret Schoeninger of Anthropology in story about the controversy over the ancient skeletons found in 1976 at University House

San previewed Japan tsunami discussion at Museum of Man that featured, among others, Joseph Hankins of Anthropology


Levy in the Levant  

A new television documentary called "Quest for Solomon's Mines," by National Geographic/NOVA, features research by Anthropology professor Tom Levy, showing that extensive copper production took place in Jordan during what is believed to be the Biblical era of David and Solomon. Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.


Chichen Itza in 3-D

Anthropology Department faculty and a graduate student are using a free Google download to model the ancient Maya city.


Two of Seven

Two social scientists, Roger Gordon of Economics and Thomas Levy of Anthropology, are among seven faculty members from UCSD to be named fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Tops in Teaching

Professor Emeritus David Jordan, Anthropology, has been named a top recipient in the UCSD Alumni Association's 30th Annual Awards for Excellence, to be held June 7.