April 2010 Archives

Graduate student John Starbuck will use the 3dMD camera system to collect images of sibling pairs on Saturday, May 1st, from 10am-3pm. Image collection will take place at the Fun Fair event, which is being hosted by the State College Friends School http://www.statecollegefriendsschool.org/ There will be lots of family events taking place, so drop by if you have a chance!

On April 22, 2010 John Starbuck, Chris Percival, Logan Kistler, and Eric Young hosted approximately 50 people who were participating in the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Participants were introduced to fossils, fossil casts, and artifacts to see how biological anthropologists and archaeologists discover information about human prehistory.

David Puts was recently featured in a live radio interview on the BBC World Service program "Newshour."   His interview begins around minute 19.25 in the program and can be heard at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p0073rzq.
Erica Smithwick from the department of Geography, PSU will be presenting "Pyrogeographic Perspectives on Landscape Conservation" on Friday, April 30 at the Department of Anthropology colloquium.  The colloquium will begin at 3:30 p.m. in 107 Carpenter Building.

All are welcome.  Please plan to attend.
Rolando González-José from Centro Nacional Patagónico-CONICET, Argentina will be this week's speaker at the Anthropology colloquium.  The title of his talk is: "Levels and types of morphological variation and its implications on the New World settlement."

Colloquium will begin at 3:30 p.m. in room 107 Carpenter Building. All are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!

Nina Jablonski will lecture on the evolution of human skin pigmentation at the upcoming meeting of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. http://www.amphilsoc.org/meetings/program/Apr2010The American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of "promoting useful knowledge."

Nina Jablonski and George Chaplin will give presentations on solar radiation and the importance of vitamin D in human evolution at the upcoming "Vitamin D Summit" in Glasgow, Scotland, sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Scotland.  The summit will feature presentations geared toward understanding the possible role of vitamin D deficiency in causing MS.  http://www.mssocietyscotland.org.uk/get_involved/ms_week.html

Nina Jablonski elected Fellow of Wings WorldQuest

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Nina Jablonski has been named an Elected Fellow of Wings WorldQuest, the international organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting visionary women who are advancing scientific inquiry and environmental conservation.  She and six other elected fellows and five awardees will be honored at the 2010 Wings World of Discovery Awards Ceremony in New York City on April 15th.  http://www.wingsworldquest.org/women-of-discovery-awards/.

Roland Fletcher, Professor of Theoretical and World Archaeology, University of Sydney, to speak on April 26 at 3:30 p.m. in 502 Keller Building. 

The title of his lecture is: Angkor: The Life and Demise of a Great City

The Greater Angkor Project, an international collaboration between  Australia, Cambodian and France, has been working at Angkor for over a decade, studying the extent, spatial organization and functioning of its vast urban landscape. The famous temples of Angkor were in the center of a low-density, urban complex covering almost 1000 square kilometres - the most extensive urban area of the pre-industrial world . Remote sensing, surveying and excavation has revealed the great road and canal network of Angkor as well as its field systems and has identified that the population lived on house mound clusters, along embankments and within enclosures. The landscape of Angkor was comprehensively cleared of natural forest, and the urban complex was dependent on its massive and intractable infrastructure. Between the 14th and the 16th centuries Angkor was also subject to severe climatic instability. The problem of explaining the demise of Angkor has become rather topical in the 21st century.

For more information on Roland Fletcher and the Angkor project, please see  

On Sunday, April 11th, six graduate students from the Penn State Anthropology Department, in concert with the Graduate Women in Sciences (GWIS), helped to organize a full day of archaeology and geology themed activities for 50 Pennsylvania girl scouts. They learned some basic principles of archaeological interpretation, dating and chronology, soil characterization, human skeletal analysis and the factors involved in earthquakes and tectonic activity. During lunch, four anthropology graduate students sat on a career panel in which they described their research and fielded questions from the girl scouts. By participating in this workshop, the girl scouts will obtain a "Digging Through the Past" badge."
Pat Shipman recently spoke at the First Annual Empire State Book Festival in Albany, NY, on a panel about "Scandalous Women." She joined four other authors who had written biographies of scandalous women and spoke about her biography of Mata Hari, called Femme Fatale.
Graduate student Chris Percival will be presenting a paper entitled "Morphological changes associated with tooth loss and alveolar resorption in male baboons" at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) annual meeting at 4:45 on Friday April 16. 
Tim Ryan will present a paper in the biological anthropology mini-meeting at the American Association of Anatomists meeting at EB2010 (http://experimentalbiology.org/content/default.aspx).
Tim Ryan and Alan Walker have published a paper in a Special Issue of The Anatomical Record (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123323093/abstract) covering their work on bone structure in the femur and humerus of anthropoid primates.
Tim Ryan recently had a paper examining bone structure in the mandibles of New World monkeys published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The paper is entitled "Trabecular bone structure in the mandibular condyles of gouging and nongouging platyrrhine primates" and can be found at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122685390/abstract.
Tim Ryan, together with James Gosman (Ohio State University) and Brian Richmond (George Washington University) have organized a symposium entitled "Trabecular Bone Structure and Function in Primates: Recent Advances and Future Directions" to be held at the 2010 American Association of Physical Anthropologists Annual Meeting in Albuquerque in April.
Dr. Sue Rutherford Siegel is awarded the "3D Gene Competition Award for Microarray Analysis" from Toray Industries to further her multiple sclerosis work.

The link to this announcement from Toray Industries is located at:
Dr. Kenneth Hirth will be honored by papers presented by students and colleagues at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in St. Louis, MO
Each week, the BBC international radio service program Discovery takes an in-depth look at the most significant ideas, discoveries and trends in science, from the smallest microbe to the furthest corner of space. Nina Jablonski is featured as part of episode 1 of the program A Distinguished Race.  You can listen to the broadcast at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p006ygqp

Ken Hirth has been awarded a Senior Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection for summer of 2010.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, in Washington, DC, is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications. Located in Georgetown and bequeathed by Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks welcomes scholars to consult its books, images, and objects, and the public to visit its garden, museum, and music room for lectures and concerts.
Members of the Shriver Lab (Graduate students Denise Liberton, Laurel Pearson, and Ellen Quillen) will be presenting research at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April. 

Denise Liberton, "Fluctuating asymmetry in the face is negatively correlated with genetic ancestry." Podium Presentation. Session 28, 3:00pm, Friday, April 16, 2010

Laurel Pearson, "Correlations between genetic ancestry and superficial traits indicate substantial admixture stratification in Brazil.", Poster Presentation. Session 24, Poster #127, Friday, April 16, 2010.

Ellen Quillen, "The role of selection-nominated candidate genes in determining Indigenous American skin pigmentation." Podium Presentation. Session 28, 4:00pm, Friday, April 16, 2010.
Rob Burriss, research associate in the Department of Anthropology, will present "Jealousy, Scarring, and the President of the United States." at this week's colloquium.

Colloquium will begin at 3:30 p.m. in room 107 Carpenter Building. All are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!
Jennie Jin won an award at the 2010 Graduate Exhibition - Third Place in Social & Behavioral Sciences for her poster titled "Animal bones from a Chinese archaeological site: What can they tell us about human subsistence pattern?"



Graduate student Julia Jennings will present her paper "Household-level predictors of the presence of life-cycle servants in Orkney, Scotland, 1851-1901" at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America to be held April 15-17 in Dallas, TX.
Graduate student Julia Jennings will be joining the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill as a National Institute for Child Health and Development, National Research Service Award (NICHD-NRSA) supported postdoctoral trainee. Julia will tentatively begin her position in August and she will work under the supervision of Paul Leslie.
Catherine Julien from the Western Michigan University will be presenting "Complexity in lowland South America: The Province of Xarayes in the 16th Century" at this week's colloquium.

Abstract: Deep in the interior of South America, in the region known as the Pantanal (modern Mato Grosso, Brazil), a Spanish exploring party encountered the Xarayes.  Sporadic visits were made over half a century and at the end of this period a census and act of possession were recorded. These records document large permanent settlements, a dense population and complex social hierarchy. History makes an unexpected contribution to recent archaeological research on complex site networks in the center of the continent.

The colloquium will begin at 3:30 p.m. in 107 Carpenter Building.

All are welcome.  Please plan to attend.