Research Activities

This page features recent publications, conference presentations, and research talks by UTM Anthropology faculty and graduate students. Learn more about our faculty research interests.


Dr. Madeleine Mant is the lead author of a paper concerning perimortem hip fractures in the Terry Anatomical Collection (Smithsonian Institution) which suggests that eburnation should be added to the list of perimortem fracture identification criteria. The paper appears in the International Journal of Paleopathology(Posted October 7, 2019)


book cover showing two figures wearing hijabs walking between buildingsProfessor Sarah Hillewaert’s book Morality at the Margins: Youth, Language, and Islam in Coastal Kenya is expected to be released in early November and is now available for pre-order. Her ethnography documents the everyday life of Muslim youth living along East Africa’s coast. Using a linguistic anthropological approach, Prof. Hillewaert documents how young Muslims negotiate changing understandings of morality through everyday practices, including ways of speaking, modes of dress, and bodily practices. (Posted October 7, 2019)

 


Frida Lona-Durazo, a Ph.D. student in Prof. Esteban Parra’s research group, has published a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies that provides new insights on the genetic architecture of skin pigmentation in recently admixed populations. The article has been published in the journal BMC Genetics(Posted August 16, 2019)


Prof. Esteban Parra and his colleagues from Mexico have collaborated with researchers throughout the world in a large study that identified genetic markers associated with childhood obesity. This research uncovered a previously undescribed variant. Additionally, the study narrowed down the causative variants at four known loci to less than ten polymorphisms. This article has been published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics(Posted August 16, 2019)


Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and colleague, Dr. David Sackris (Arapahoe Community College), recently published an article in The Journal of Value Inquiry critiquing a well-known philosophical theory that defines "aesthetic experience". David Sackris & Larsen, R. R. (2019). A Consideration of Carroll's Content Theory. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 1-13. (Posted August 16, 2019)


Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and colleague, Dr. Janna Hastings (University College London), recently presented a research project they have been working on for the past year at various conferences in Europe. In this work they propose a novel method to expand, standardize, and bring semantic coherence to the terminology used to describe symptoms in psychiatric diagnostics; a recurring problem in the attempt to facilitate accurate and reliable data annotation, as well as interdisciplinary research integration in mental health research. The project is titled: "Mapping the Patient's Experience: An Applied Ontological Framework for Phenomenological Psychopathology".

  • 25-27 April: Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP) 2019 annual meeting, University of Copenhagen.
  • 4-6 June: San Raffaele Spring School of Philosophy 2019 (SRSSP 2019), San Raffaele University.
  • 14-16 June: Swedish Congress of Philosophy (Filosofidagarna), University of Umeå.

(Posted August 16, 2019)


Lauren Schroeder is a co-author of a paper that reviews the morphological and genetic evidence of hybridization across several organisms, and how this evidence can inform studies of hybridization in human evolution. The paper was just published in Evolutionary Anthropology. (Posted June 21, 2019)


Gary Crawford and David Smith just returned from China where they are investigating the shift to rice agriculture in Zhejiang Province. Hosted by Fudan University in Shanghai they documented a collection of pottery Crawford and colleagues recovered from the Huxi site (9000-8500 years old) in 2017. Read more about their research trip(Posted June 20, 2019)

The team at Fudan University.
The team at Fudan University.


Prof. Sarah Hillewaert is spending the summer months in Kenya, conducting preliminary research for a new project that focuses on a new trend in Eastern Africa: wellness voluntourism.  In particular, she explores how American and European yoga practitioners promote yoga and broader ‘alternative lifestyles’ among remote communities in Coastal Kenya, as a new form of development that Kenyans need. In doing so, she hopes to examine how discourses of secular spirituality, proper bodily disposition, and mindful living are linked to notions morality, development, and progress. (Posted June 20, 2019)


Dr. Nicole Novroski and colleague, Dr. Frank Wendt (Yale University), recently published an article in Forensic Science International: Genetics discussing identity informative SNP associations with heritable trait phenotypes(Posted June 19, 2019)


Dr. Carolan Wood and coauthors, led by Dr. Laura Lockau (McMaster University), published an article in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, which takes the innovative step of considering individuals of all age groups and disease states via aspects of a life course perspective in order to shed light on biocultural factors contributing to vitamin D deficiency in the Roman period assemblage from Isola Sacra, Italy (1st–3rd century AD). (Posted June 19, 2019)


Dr. Carolan Wood and colleague Jubal Jamieson (Cayuga, Wolf clan, Haudenosaunee of the Grand River) recently presented at the University of Toronto Teaching and Learning Symposium: Learning Spaces + Places. Their talk 'Making Spaces for Indigenous Perspectives and Teaching Practice’ discussed a critical and authentic approach to decolonizing the curriculum by the participation of Indigenous educators to explicitly connect Indigenous perspectives and knowledge to bioanthropological theory and practice. View the full program(Posted June 19, 2019)


Dr. Samson with lemur
Primates that keep erratic schedules tolerate sleep loss better than night-time sleepers. 

Professor David Samson's latest latest publication on sleep and cognitive function in lemurs is featured in Nature Research Highlights. Based on these findings, the links between sleep, learning, and memory consolidation appear to be evolutionarily conserved in primates. (Posted May 15, 2019) 


Dr. Rosenberg Larsen recently published an article in the European Journal of Analytic Philosophy on how to tackle the prevalence of false-positives in forensic population samples when studying so-called psychopathic personalities: Larsen, R. R. (2018). False-Positives in Psychopathy Assessment: Proposing Theory-Driven Exclusion Criteria in Research Sampling. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14(1), 33-52. (Posted April 15, 2019)


Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and colleague, Dr. Janna Hastings (University of Cambridge), recently published an article in Frontiers in Psychiatry proposing a novel method for integrating and synthesizing large, diverse data sets in mental health research. Larsen, R. R. and Janna Hastings (2018). From Affective Science to Psychiatric Disorder: Ontology as Semantic Bridge. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(487), 1-13. (Posted April 15, 2019)


Professor Esteban Parra and his collaborators from India, led by Professor Manjari Jonnalagadda, have published the results of a genome-wide association study of skin and iris pigmentation in individuals of South Asian Ancestry. The study, which has been published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, identified genetic variants that are associated with variation in skin pigmentation and eye color in South Asia. (Posted April 15, 2019)


Dr. Fukuzawa and Joel Cahn have recently published an article in the International Journal of Information and Learning Technology on the value of technology enhanced learning on the efficiency of problem-based learning. Sherry Fukuzawa, Joel Cahn, (2019) "Technology in problem-based learning: helpful or hindrance?", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 36 Issue: 1, pp.66-76. (Posted April 15, 2019)


Dr. Fukuzawa and Dr. deBraga have recently published an article on the implementation of the Graded Response Method (GRM) in the Journal of Curriculum & Teaching. Their study examined the GRM as an alternative to multiple choice testing in the first year undergraduate course in the Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Archaeology. Sherry Fukuzawa, & Michael deBraga (2019). Graded Response Method: Does Question Type Influence the Assessment of Critical Thinking? Journal of Curriculum & Teaching, 8, 1, 1-10. (Posted April 15, 2019)


Dr. Fukuzawa and Councillor King-Jamieson (Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation) recently presented at the Stage and Places in Education Conference at McMaster University the outcomes of the Symposium on the Importance of Indigenous Education in Ontario Classrooms. (Posted April 15, 2019)


The Collaborative Learning Cemetary Project. © C. Wood.Dr. Carolan Wood presented the following at the University of Toronto Faculty Association’s Challenges and Strengths II: Showcasing the Contributions of Part-timers event at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON:

Wood C & A Saly. (2019, March). The Collaborative Learning Cemetery Project. 

Wood C. (2019, March). Contributing to an Indigenous Curriculum: Incorporating Indigenous perspective and pedagogical practice in the classroom.  

(Posted April 12, 2019)


Professor Lauren Schroeder presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting last week and received a travel grant from eLife. The title of her presentation was “The path to Homo, revisited”. (Posted April 3, 2019)


Professor Lauren Schroeder has two book chapters in press:

Ackermann, R.R. & Schroeder, L. (2019) The emergence of complexity and novelty in the human fossil record. In “Theology and Evolutionary Anthropology: Dialogues in Wisdom, Humility and Grace.” Eds. A. Fuentes and C. Deane-Drummond. Routledge. In press.

Hlazo, N, Schroeder, L., Ritzman, T. & Ackermann, R.R. (2019) The role of selection in shaping the cranio-mandibular morphology of Paranthropus. In “The Forgotten Lineage(s): Paleobiology of Paranthropus.” Eds. P Constantino and B Wood.  Springer Press. In press. 

 (Posted April 3, 2019)


science policy street sign

Professor Todd Sanders spoke at Indiana University on 'Trustworthy knowledge? Social Sciences, Public Policy and Global Environmental Change.’ The talk was part of his collaborative research project with Professor Elizabeth Hall (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto). The event was jointly sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology and Geography. (Posted March 26, 2019)


Emma Yasui, along with Sarah Ranlett, Parth Champaneri, Ibrahim Majoub (under the supervision of Dr. Peterson and Dr. Fukuzawa) gave a presentation at the UTM Digital Humanities Conference on the Virtual Mystery custom web-tool as an example of a collaborative cross-disciplinary project to innovate student engagement in large classes. (Posted March 26, 2019)


Dr. Fukuzawa with Councillor King-Jamieson and Dr. Laliberte were recently awarded a Connaught Community Connections grant (worth $76,000) to facilitate the course “Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (in Canada) ANT241H” and run a three year mixed methods longitudinal study on Indigenous cultural competence in students. (Posted March 26, 2019)


Dr. Fukuzawa and Councillor King-Jamieson recently attended the SSHRC funded National Dialogue on Indigenous Research Methodology in Ottawa. Our team (including Dr. Laliberte, and Dr. Grey) submitted a policy paper on the outcomes of the Symposium on the Importance of Indigenous Education in Ontario classrooms. The policy paper included a series of Calls to Action regarding funding for Indigenous pedagogy. (Posted March 26, 2019)


Dr. Tracey Galloway is part of a team recently awarded $74,000 from the Centre for Global Engineering’s Reconciliation Through Engineering Initiative to support research on optimizing transportation networks serving remote, northern Indigenous communities. The group includes Dr. Michael J. Widener, Department of Geography and Planning; Dr. Shoshanna Saxe, Dr. Chi-Guhn Lee and Dr. Chris Beck from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering; and Dr. GWK Moore, Chemical and Physical Sciences, UTM. The project builds on a successful collaboration between Anthropology, Geography and Engineering previously funded through the University’s XSeed Program and co-led by Drs. Galloway and Saxe. (Posted March 22, 2019)


dna puzzle pieces

Professor Esteban Parra is a co-author of an article that explored the association of genes with cardiometabolic traits, including blood lipids, body mass index, blood pressure and fasting glucose and insulin, using a large dataset with information for more than 15,000 individuals of diverse ancestry. The authors identified several novel gene-trait associations. The article was published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics. (Posted March 20, 2019)


codeProfessor Esteban Parra is a co-author of an article evaluating the usefulness of a panel of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) for forensic applications. Forensic analyses are typically carried out using genetic markers called Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), but these markers often cannot be used when DNA is degraded. In these cases, SNPs have advantages over STRs, and in this article the authors show that the panel SNPforID 52-plex is highly informative for forensic applications. The article has been published in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. (Posted March 20, 2019)


 March for Science. Photo by T.Sanders. All rights reserved.Professor Todd Sanders gave the Keynote Lecture – “Uncomfortable Grounds: Some Thoughts on Trump, Marching for Science and Climate Change” – at the McMaster Anthropology Society Annual Symposium  (March 11, 2019). The talk drew from his collaborative research with Professor Elizabeth Hall (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto) on global change science and policy. (Posted March 20, 2019)

 

 


Dr. Trevor Orchard, in collaboration with researchers from several other Ontario institutions, have published a preliminary examination of trends in fishing across southern Ontario over much of the last 1000 years. This research highlights variations in fishing focus and intensity across both time and space. The article has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. (Posted March 18, 2019)


CUFFS logo

Graduate students Melissa Bernard and Elisabeth Cuerrier-Richer created a student-led academic group called Canadian Universities for Forensic Science (CUFFS), which is dedicated to connecting scholars in forensic sciences across Canada. The first edition of their conference, entitled Promoting Collaboration, will take place at the University of Toronto Mississauga on April 5th, 2019. (Posted March 4, 2019)


Professor Stephen Scharper is co-author of an article examining the work of a variety of faith-based organizations (FBOs) doing environmental work in Canada. The article is published in in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. (Posted February 28, 2019)


Professor Jack Sidnell is organizing an international workshop on the The Anthropology of Language in Mainland Southeast Asia with N.J.  Enfield (U. Sydney) and Charles Zuckerman (U. Sydney). The workshop will take place at the University of Sydney in August 2019. (Posted February 19, 2019)


Professor Jack Sidnell will be presenting a paper as a keynote speaker at the workshop on Language and social hierarchy: Address and self-reference practices in Southeast Asia. The workshop will take place at the University of Sydney in June 2019. View the workshop poster (PDF). (Posted February 19, 2019)


Professor Jack Sidnell will be presenting a paper as a keynote speaker at the Diversity and Inclusion conference at the University of Bologna, Italy in February 2019. The title of his presentation is “Linguistic diversity and interlocutor reference". (Posted February 19, 2019)


Dr. Trevor Orchard and his research collaborators examine the pre-contact history of the eulachon fishery on the northern Northwest Coast of North America through multiple lines of evidence: zooarchaeological, ethnographic, and oral historical. Their results show that, though eulachon and other smelt taxa are often under-represented archaeologically, there is a deep history to the eulachon fishery in the region. The article has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. (Posted January 2019)


hands over picture of planet earth

Professor Esteban Parra and his graduate student Frida Lona-Durazo are two of the co-authors of a comprehensive review of the evolution and genetic basis of human skin pigmentation, which has been published in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology(Posted January 2019)


Chronic Kidney Disease textProfessor Esteban Parra and his research collaborators from Mexico participated in a large study evaluating genetic factors that may be involved in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a biomarker of Chronic Kidney Disease. The study, which included more than 300,000 individuals of diverse ancestry, identified many genetic variants involved in eGFR, and defined novel molecular mechanisms and putative causal genes for this trait. The article has been published in Nature Communications(Posted January 2019)


Professor David Samson and his research collaborators discovered that, relative to cathemeral lemurs, diurnal lemurs were characterized by the deepest sleep and exhibited the most disruptions to normal sleep‐wake regulation when sleep deprived. The article has been published in the Symposium Set: Primate Sleep: American Journal of Physical Anthropology(Posted January 2019)


Professor David Samson and Charles L. Nunn discovered that humans pack an unexpectedly higher proportion of REM sleep within a shorter overall sleep duration, and do so by reducing NREM sleep. The article has been published in the Symposium Set: Primate Sleep: American Journal of Physical Anthropology(Posted January 2019)