Research Activities Archive


Dr. David Samson and colleagues teamed up to study canine sleep-wake patterns. The study of companion (pet) dogs is an area of great translational potential, as they share a risk for many conditions that afflict humans. Their paper, entitled "A functional linear modeling approach to sleep–wake cycles in dogs", has been published in Scientific Reports. (Posted December 17, 2020)

Professor Liye Xie has been awarded the UTM Annual Research Prize in the Social Sciences for her outstanding contributions to the study of the impact of technology on society with an emphasis on  preindustrial technologies  such as bone, stone, and earthen construction. (Posted December 17, 2020)

Prof. Stephen B. Scharper particpated in "Our Climate Emergency and COVID-19: Crises of the Spirit". This online dialogue presented an opportunity to examine our climate change emergency amidst the current global pandemic. A recording of the event is available on YouTube(Posted December 11, 2020)

Tracey Galloway and colleagues from the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute published a commentary in the International Review of Education: "Education in uncertainty: Academic life as Indigenous health scholars during COVID-19". The article explores the impact of the pandemic on the training and work experiences of graduate students, emerging and established scholars, along with the communities with which their research engages. (Posted December 11, 2020)

Dr. David Samson recently published "Taking the sleep lab to the field: Biometric techniques for quantifying sleep and circadian rhythms in humans" in the American Journal of Human Biology. The article outlines the procedures and methods for generating sleep data in a broader ecological context with the goal of facilitating the integration of sleep and circadian analyses into human biology research. (Posted December 10, 2020)

Dr. Trevor Orchard and colleagues have just published an article in the journal American Antiquity, exploring “Isotopic evidence for garden hunting and resource depression in the Late Woodland of Northeastern North America”. (Posted November 17, 2020)

Dr. Michael Brand, Dr. Trevor Orchard, and PhD candidate Sarah Ranlett recently published a short reflection piece in the Fall 2020 issue of the Society for American Archaeology’s Heritage Values Interest Group Newsletter (page nine), considering the challenges we faced running the UTM archaeological field school and the accompanying collections-based work study program under the restrictions imposed by the ongoing Covid pandemic. (Posted November 13, 2020)

Anthropology at UTM, and UofT more broadly, was very well represented at the Ontario Archaeological Society Virtual Symposium (Nov. 6-8, 2020). At the annual awards ceremony, held on the evening of Friday, Nov. 6, Dr. David Smith, Associate Professor in UTM Anthropology, was awarded the Helen Devereaux Award for excellence in archaeological mentoring. On Saturday morning, Dr. Trevor Orchard organized and chaired a session entitled New Insights from Old Collections: The Research Potential of Legacy Collections in Ontario Archaeology. This session, containing eleven presentations on diverse aspects of working with legacy archaeological collections throughout the province, included papers by: Yasmine Vella and David Smith (Using Legacy Collections at University of Toronto Mississauga for Undergraduate Research); Trevor Orchard and colleagues (Collaborative Research with Legacy Collections: Ongoing Zooarchaeological Research at the University of Toronto Mississauga); Steven Dorland, Trevor Orchard, and their collaborators (Looking for Children in the Zooarchaeological Record: A Holistic Investigation of Childhood Subsistence in Northern Iroquoian Communities); and Kaitlyn Malleau (Whose Collection, Whose Legacy? Why Community-Based Research Just Makes Good Science). A virtual poster session on Saturday afternoon, chaired by Sarah Ranlett, included a series of four posters by UTM students, faculty, and staff exploring ongoing research on collections generated by the Shreiber Wood Project, which encompasses both the annual UTM Anthropology archaeological field school and the ongoing departmental work study program. This session included posters and presentations by: Sarah Ranlett, Michael Brand, and Trevor Orchard (Facilitating Student Research on Field School Collections); Natasa Zdjellar, Cinda Johnson, S. Ranlett, M. Brand, and T. Orchard (Ceramic Assemblage and Decorative Typology); Mahalia Johnna Baguio, C. Johnson, S. Ranlett, M. Brand, and T. Orchard (Life at a Glance as Seen through Ceramics); and Andrew Dasilva Furtado, S. Ranlett, M. Brand, and T. Orchard (Playing through History). Finally, Sunday morning saw a session organized and chaired by Dr. Gregory Braun that explored the topic of Technology and Its Relations, and included a paper by Tiziana Gallo (Relations of Stone: Expanding Huron-Wendat Ground Stone Celts' Biographies). (Posted November 9, 2020)

November 17, 2020 update: Yasmine Vella has received the award for the best overall student paper given at the symposium, for her paper co-authored with Dr. David Smith. And, Mahalia Baguio has received the award for the best overall student poster presented at the symposium.

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a piece entitled "Remember to forget: Pandemic research during a pandemic" about the about her COVID-19 student survey project in the online medical humanities journal Synapsis. (Posted November 6, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a piece entitled "Health histories on the rock" for the University of Toronto Press blog about her recent Canadian Bulletin of Medical History paper (Inpatients at the St. John’s General Hospital: Morbidity in Late 19th-Century Newfoundland and Labrador). Readers can access a free download of the paper at the end of the blog article. (Posted November 5, 2020)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen published an article in the Journal, Mind & Language, entitled, "Are psychopaths moral‐psychologically impaired? Reassessing emotion‐theoretical explanations". In this piece, Dr. Larsen reconsiders whether our current understanding of psychopathic personality is valid, arguing that many of the current theories are not necessarily meaningfully construed. He considers alternative and novel explanations of psychopathy, theorizing that psychopaths may exhibit a degree‐specific emotional deficiency, which causes degree‐specific differences in moral judgments. While this theoretical version may be sound, it raises new ethical concerns for how psychopaths are managed in the legal system.(Posted October 27, 2020)

Insulin 100 logo
Insulin 100 logo

As part of the Royal Society of Canada’s Annual Celebration of Excellence and Engagement, Dr. Tracey Galloway will take part in a University of Toronto virtual symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. The panel event (Thursday, November 26, 2020) exploring the public health experiences of Indigenous people with Type 2 Diabetes will be moderated by historian Dr. Ian Mosby, Ryerson University and include presentations by Dr. Jon McGavock, University of Manitoba, and Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Register here for this informative event. (Posted October 19, 2020)

Dr. Vivek Goel (Dalla Lana), Dr. Jia Xue (Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Information), and Dr. Madeleine Mant (Anthropology) are panelists at the Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs on October 21, 2020. The topic is COVID-19 and its effect on public life. The Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs is named in honour of former senator Keith Davey in recognition of his contribution to public life. The first lecture was held in 1997 and the inaugural speaker was John Kenneth Galbraith. Since this inaugural lecture, the forum has provided students, alumni, and the broader community with opportunities outside of the classroom to learn and engage in discussion about issues of great importance to all of us as global citizens. (Posted October 19, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant has published a paper entitled Inpatients at the St. John's General Hospital: Morbidity in Late 19th-century Newfoundland and Labrador in the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. Dr. Mant’s research analyzes the role of the St. John’s General Hospital in late nineteenth-century Newfoundland and Labrador using extant admission and discharge records from 17 May 1886 to 30 December 1899. (Posted October 8, 2020)

Dr. Kalyan Sekhar Chakraborty (postdoctoral fellow and recent PhD graduate) led research by a team including Prof. Greg Slater from McMaster University, Heather M.-L. Miller from the department of Anthropology, University of Toronto Mississauga, and senior archaeologists from India, which has been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports research journal. Their article “Compound specific Isotope analysis of lipid residues provides the earliest direct evidence of dairy product processing in South Asia” analyzed food residues absorbed in archaeological vessels from the Indus Civilization at a small site in Gujarat with strong connections to animal herding, the focus of Dr. Chakraborty’s PhD work and recent publications. This work is shedding new light on the animal products processed and consumed during the Indus period. (Posted October 5, 2020)

Steven Dorland recently published a paper on childhood learning practices in the Lower Great Lakes from CE. 900-1650. The paper, entitled Learning from Each Other: A Communities of Practice Approach to Decorative Traditions of Northern Iroquoian Communities in the Late Woodland, appears in the Journal of Archaeological Method. Traditionally, children prior to European contact are often assumed to have learned primarily through adult teaching in the Lower Great Lakes.  This paper applies a ceramic analysis to shed new light on social learning and the role of child groups in maintaining longstanding traditions.  (Posted October 5, 2020)

Leela McKinnonErica Kilius and Noor Abbas are graduate students in the lab of UTM anthropologist David Samson. Their new research delves into our unconscious minds, seeking to better understand the relationship between dreams and waking life. The results reveal intriguing insights about what might be happening in our nocturnal minds. Learn more and view the team's preliminary findings: COVID-19 and Sleep: How do dreams help us make sense of our new global reality? (Posted October 2, 2020)

Prof. David Samson has been awarded the prestigious John R. Evans Leaders Fund – Funding for research infrastructure from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for the project “Sleep and Human Evolution Lab (SHEL): testing evolutionary hypotheses in a clinical, controlled space”. The award provides funding towards the building of a new sleep research laboratory, which will be the first of its kind in Canada and will incorporate unique technology such as a virtual reality rig to create different stimulus environments in order to see the effects on sleep. (Posted September 30, 2020)

Together with Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi, an ethnomusicologist from the Faculty of Music (UTSG), Dr.  Andrew Gilbert is part of a research team that was recently awarded a Connaught Community Partnership Research Award for a project entitled “Keeping Kensington “Kensington”: Value and Affordability in Toronto’s Kensington Market.”  This two-year collaborative project between Ethnomusicology and the Ethnography Lab (St. George campus) aims to meet the resident-led activist organization Friends of Kensington Market (FOKM) and the Kensington Market Business Improvement Area’s (KMBIA) need for research on the complex interplay of value, (un)affordability, and culture that challenges this distinctive Toronto neighborhood. Faculty and graduate students in ethnomusicology and anthropology will conduct team ethnographic research and work collaboratively with FOKM and KMBIA to:

  1. document what community members consider to make their neighborhood unique, valuable and worth defending;
  2. identify and contextualize the forces that support or threaten that uniqueness;
  3. create innovative forms of knowledge that represent the complex stakes of the changes facing Kensington Market; and
  4. persuasively communicate those stakes and values to city representatives and other local decision makers in ways that lend themselves to actions, events, processes and relationships that advance the organizations’ goals.

This community-university partnership develops and galvanizes already-existing relationships initiated through the ongoing Kensington Market Research Project at the Ethnography Lab, where Dr. Gilbert is Senior Researcher. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Current Master's student Celine Moyen recently received a Mitacs Training Award (MTA), which facilitates experiential learning to develop research skill(s) over a 12- to 16-week period. Her proposed MTA project is to devise a standard protocol for correctly evaluating the specific elemental composition of human bone, by testing known samples and calibrating a correction factor for the Scanning Electron Microscope coupled with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry (SEM-EDX). She will be comparing human bone to related compounds such as animal bone and shell, in order to refine the standards. This project will contribute to the completion of Celine's Master's Research Project which she is working under the direction of Dr. Tracy Rogers, as she aims to develop a protocol for evaluating the biological sex of unknown human skeletal remains found in forensic cases. Ultimately, SEM-EDX will be used to analyze the cortical microstructure and elemental composition of adult human femora to define sex differences. This technique has the capacity to assist in challenging cases involving fragmentary remains and contested cremains. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Professor Firat Bozcali recently published an article entitled "Probabilistic borderwork: Oil smuggling, nonillegality, and techno-legal politics in the Kurdish borderlands of Turkey" in the Journal of the American Ethnological Society. This article examines probabilistic borderwork, a deliberate counterstate political strategy in which Kurdish oil traders and their lawyers use scientific uncertainty to challenge smuggling charges, achieve nonillegality, and disrupt the state's border enforcement. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Graph showing without protective measures, COVID-19 cases surge beyond healthcare system capacity, and with protective measures the number of cases does not surpass healthcare system capacity. Text displayed is Go home & stay there - flatten the curve.

Professor Todd Sanders and Professor Elizabeth Sanders (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto) contributed “The Curve” to a Special Forum on COVID-19 in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale. In it, they consider what the curve is, how varied populations are working to “flatten” it, and some implications for anthropological thinking and theorising. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Book cover for International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy. Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina by Andrew C. Gilbert, showing rusted truck in front of a damaged building.

Dr. Andrew Gilbert recently published a book entitled International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy. Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina with Cornell University Press.  Based upon many years of field research, the book foregrounds and analyzes the open-ended, innovative, and unpredictable nature of international intervention that is usually omitted from the ordered representations of governments and aid agencies, as well as the confident assertions of many critiques.  In particular, the book identifies previously overlooked sites, processes, and effects of international intervention, and suggests new comparative opportunities for the study of transnational action that seeks to save and secure human lives and improve the human condition. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Dr. Andrew Gilbert was part of an international group of researchers that produced an experimental and multi-media panel entitled “How Do We Work Together? Distribution, Political Labor, and Worker Struggles in Bosnia and Herzegovina” for the pioneering virtual Distribute 2020 Conference of the Society for Cultural Anthropology and Society for Visual Anthropology.  It featured, in part, Dr. Gilbert’s collaborative research project Reclaiming Dita, which uses the medium of sequential art (comics, graphic novels) to tell the story of the successful struggle of a group of Bosnian workers to save their factory from the effects of predatory privatization. (Posted September 18, 2020)

A new seminar series from the School of Cities examines community food security and health service access from a “supply chain” perspective. The series entitled “Building Resilience in Food & Health Supply Chains” is led by faculty from Engineering, Anthropology, Geography & Planning, and the Dalla Lana School of Health. The first event Oct. 5, will showcase Dr. Tracey Galloway’s research on food security issues in remote, Northern Indigenous communities in Canada. Register here for this event. (Posted September 18, 2020)

Dr. Tracey Galloway and colleagues recently published a digest paper exploring the bridges between evolutionary theory and the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). The article is available in the journal Evolutionary Anthropology(Posted September 18, 2020)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen published a so-called Letter to the Editor in the journal, Philosophical Psychology, entitled: "More Than Provocative, Less Than Scientific: A Commentary on The Editorial Decision to Publish Cofnas (2020)". The article was co-authored with 8 colleagues, including Dr. Schroeder from UTM Department of Anthropology. In their Letter, the authors  respond to a controversial, overtly racist article that was published in Philosophical Psychology in January, 2020. The Letter to the Editor explains why it was wrong to accept the racist article, moreover, why it should never have passed review due to its clear unscientific elements and morally repulsive rhetoric. The letter created substantial pressure on the journal's editorial board, which eventually led to the resignation of the editor-in-chief. The journal eventually pledged to diversify the editorial board and enhance scrutiny during review processes. Dr. Rosenberg Larsen is quoted saying that "this story sends an important message to our students about how – when academics are persistent – we can actually change our environment for the better; towards a more inclusive and diverse place reflective of the real world. An important step forward for philosophy and science." (Posted September 17, 2020)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen published an article in the Journal, Philosophical Explorations, entitled, "Psychopathy as Moral Blindness: A Qualifying Exploration of the Blindness-Analogy in Psychopathy Theory and Research". This article explores one of the most wide-spread theoretical claims about so-called "psychopaths", namely, that they are morally incapacitated or "morally blind". Dr. Rosenberg Larsen demonstrates that while this blindness-analogy is theoretically sound, it also has clear and often-overlooked limitations regarding how to think about psychopathic psychologies. (Posted September 17, 2020)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen published an article in the journal, Phenomenology and Mind, entitled, "Mapping the Patient’s Experience: An Applied Ontological Framework for Phenomenological Psychopathology". The article is co-authored with Dr. Janna Hastings from University College London. In this work, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen and Dr. Hastings outlines a novel method for data annotation in mental health research, particularly, how to reliably capture the subjectively experienced psychiatric symptoms in a standardized format. (Posted September 17, 2020)

Dr. Zoë H Wool published an article in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, titled "Veteran Therapeutics: The Promise of Military Medicine and the Possibilities of Disability in the Post-9/11 United States." The article draws on a decade of Dr. Wool's ethnographic research to explore the collateral effects of the seemingly unassailable imperative to cure injured veterans, using the tools of disability theory to think beyond cure. (Posted August 6, 2020)

The Collective Anthropology Mini-Lectures Project, co-founded by Dr. Zoë H Wool and Dr. Paige West of Barnard College and Columbia University, was the featured project at the June 2020 ISKME OER Commons summit. The event showcased innovative uses of Open Education Resources in the midst of the new post-COVID-19 online learning landscape. (Posted August 6, 2020)

Doctoral candidate Shelby Scott continues to lead an undergraduate research group, responsible for compiling epigenetic trait frequency data from disparate fields into an online repository that can be used in practical forensic scenarios and for future research. Ms. Scott initiated this research group in 2019 and continues to recruit research volunteers on an ongoing basis. (Posted August 5, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant was awarded a UTM Teaching Development and Innovation Grant for an interview series video project called "Let's Talk About Health". The series will debut in the Fall 2020 term as part of ANT220H5: Introduction to the Anthropology of Health. (Posted July 31, 2020)

Professor Sarah Hillewaert received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her new research project, entitled “Brokering development. Yoga, wellness, and East Africa’s newest humanitarians”. (Posted July 29, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a piece entitled "Health histories from watery places: Seafaring bodies in the labour archive" in the online medical humanities journal Synapsis. (Posted July 6, 2020)

Dr. Guilherme Debortoli and Cristina Abbatangelo, a postdoctoral fellow and Masters student, respectively, in Prof. Esteban Parra’s lab, are co-first authors of a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study, which was done as part of a collaboration led by Prof. Manjari Jonnalagadda, from Symbiosis International University in Pune (India), provided novel insights on demographic history of four tribal and two caste groups from West Maharashtra (India) using genome-wide data. (Posted July 2, 2020)

Prof. Esteban Parra and his collaborators from Brazil, led by Prof. Celso Teixeira Mendes-Junior, from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), published an article in the Journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, in which they provided insights on hair, skin and eye color of ancient and modern Native Americans based on DNA sequencing data. (Posted July 2, 2020)

Dr. Lauren Schroeder published a review article entitled “Revolutionary Fossils, Ancient Biomolecules, and Reflections in Ethics and Decolonization: Paleoanthropology in 2019.” in the journal American Anthropologist. This contribution marks the first time that American Anthropologist has invited a year-in-review piece focused solely on paleoanthropological research. (Posted June 26, 2020)

Dr. Lauren Schroeder is a co-author on a paper entitled “Can bony labyrinth dimensions predict biological sex in archaeological samples?” published in the Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports. The paper aimed to test the applicability of a published equation used to predict biological sex from measurements of the inner ear. Results show that the use of this equation was more unreliable than other methods of sex estimation. (Posted June 26, 2020)

Dr. Lauren Schroeder was awarded a 5 year NSERC Discovery Grant to support her research program “Reconstructing evolutionary process in hominin evolution”. (Posted June 26, 2020)

Dr. David Samson was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant to support his research program “Activity around the clock: The evolution of sleep in human and non-human primates”. (Posted June 26, 2020)

Dr. Trevor Orchard and his research collaborators have recently published an article exploring the nature of Atlantic salmon spawning and migratory behavior in New York state prior to the historic extirpation of Atlantic salmon from the area. Stable isotope analysis of a small sample of archaeological salmon bones from the area, identified through traditional zooarchaeological analysis and ancient DNA analysis, demonstrate that these individuals were all fresh water residents that did not migrate to the Atlantic ocean and then back to fresh water, but rather spent their entire life cycle in the Lake Ontario system. The article is published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. (Posted June 3, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published an article entitled "Medicine by correspondence in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1911" in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This piece explores how individuals in rural and remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador communicated with their doctors via letter at the beginning of the 20th century. (Posted June 1, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a piece entitled "Behind the Beak: Plague Doctor Iconography in 2020" in the online medical humanities journal Synapsis. The article traces the medical anthropological and historical foundations of the Plague Doctor image and how it persists today. (Posted June 1, 2020)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen recently published an article in the journal Psychology, Public Policy & Law, entitled: "Are Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) Psychopaths Dangerous, Untreatable, and Without Conscience? A Systematic Review of the Empirical Evidence". The article was co-authored with two colleagues from Okanagan College (B.C.), Dr. Jarkko Jalava and Dr. Stephanie Griffiths. In the article, the authors systematically review hundreds of studies on clinically diagnosed psychopaths, and concludes that the empirical evidence "disprove widespread beliefs" about psychopaths, such as them being extraordinarily dangerous social predators, unresponsive to rehabilitation programs, and without conscience. The results of this study "questions the current and future role" of the psychopathy construct in forensic settings. (Posted May 27, 2020)

Dr. Tracey Galloway and her co-investigators recently published the first of a series of papers on how Nunavummiut – people who live in Nunavut communities – experience care for complex diseases like cancer. The research was a collaboration with Iqaluit-based Qaujigiartiit Health Research CentreNunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Nunavut Department of Health. The paper, entitled “Perspectives of Nunavut patients and families on their cancer and end of life care experiences”, was published in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health. It describes the experiences of people living in remote, northern communities who must travel long distances by air to access complex medical care. (Posted May 27, 2020)

Professor Esteban Parra and his collaborator Dr. Michel Naslavsky from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil were awarded an Accelerator Grant in Genomic Medicine from the McLaughlin Centre. This award will make it possible to analyze genomic variation in a sample of more than 1,000 elderly individuals from Brazil. Additionally, the award will support a pilot project focused on the characterization of somatic mutation rates and telomere length variation associated with aging. (Posted May 4, 2020)

Professor Andrea Muelebach (together with colleagues from UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, and others) is co-organizing Distribute 2020: the biennial conference of the Society for Cultural Anthropology and Society for Visual Anthropology. Distribute 2020 is a low-cost, highly accessible, nearly-carbon-neutral conference. (Posted April 28, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant and collaborators has been awarded a University of Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative grant for their project "Going Viral: COVID-19 and Risk in Young Adult Health Behaviour Models." (Posted April 28, 2020)

Dr. Trevor Orchard and colleagues have published a paper entitled "Investigating the sex-selectivity of a middle Ontario Iroquoian Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) fishery through ancient DNA analysis" in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. The paper uses ancient DNA methods to determine the sex of a sample of salmon and lake trout bones from a mid- to late-13th century AD site in Mississauga to explore the possibility that the site occupants practiced sustainable, sex-selective fishing. (Posted April 13, 2020)

Professor Tracy Rogers and research collaborators including graduate student Jenna Schall have published a paper titled Breaking the Binary: The Identification of Trans-women in Forensic Anthropology in the journal Forensic Science International. The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of facial feminization surgery (FFS) on measurement-based methods of cranial sex assessment, such as discriminant function analysis, with a goal to develop guidelines for correctly recognizing and supporting the identification of trans-women. (Posted March 11, 2020)

Dr. Trevor Orchard and research collaborators have published an article titled “Deforestation caused abrupt shift in Great Lakes nitrogen cycle” in the journal Limnology and Oceanography. The paper uses stable isotope analysis and Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) analysis of a large sample of fish remains from archaeological sites, museum collections, and modern published studies in southern Ontario to provide a long-term (roughly the past 800 years) perspective on patterns in the nitrogen cycle of Lake Ontario. The study argues that an abrupt shift in the nitrogen isotope composition of Lake Ontario fishes in the early to mid-19th century, after a multi-century period of relative stability, best corresponds to the initiation of industrial-scale forest clearance in the region. (Posted March 11, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a paper titled For those in peril on and off the sea: Merchant marine bodies in 19th-century Newfoundland in the International Journal of Maritime History. This paper highlights the healthcare experiences of the 19th-century North Atlantic maritime workforce. This research is the first to shed light on to how long individual seafarers were docked in port before seeking healthcare, revealing previously hidden nuances of merchant seafarer morbidity. (Posted March 10, 2020)

Dr. Madeleine Mant published a book chapter titled Violence and the marked body: (in)visible trauma in London during the long eighteenth century. In Mounsey, C. & Booth, S. Bodies of Information: Reading the Variable Body from Roman Britain to Hip Hop (pp. 91-108). Routledge. 

Dr. Mant is one of the Series Editors for Routledge's new series: Routledge Advances in the History of Bioethics: Interdisciplinary Analyses for Modern Predicaments. She has a paper in the first volume, exploring violence-related injuries in the skeletal remains of individuals from 18th-century London, UK. (Posted March 10, 2020)

In February, Dr. Tracey Galloway and MSc student Pia Dimayuga from Civil and Mineral Engineering visited the community of Bearskin Lake, in Northern Ontario. The visit provided opportunity for the pair to meet with Chief Rodney McKay and members of Bearskin Lake First Nation to discuss barriers to food security in the far north community, which lacks year-round, all-weather road access and is reliant on commercial flights for the majority of its essential goods and services. (Posted March 10, 2020)

Professor Stephen Scharper and his colleague Tanhum Yoreh co-authored a book chapter titled Food Waste, Religion, and Sprituality: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim approaches in Routledge Handbook of Food Waste. (Posted March 10, 2020)

Dr. Trevor Orchard and colleagues have published an article entitled “Dietary plasticity and the extinction of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)” in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. The article uses a combination of isotopic analysis, ancient DNA analysis, and traditional zooarchaeological approaches to explore dietary patterns among the now-extinct passenger pigeon throughout the past 1000 years in southern Ontario. (Posted February 27, 2020)

Professor Firat Bozcali published an article titled What Can Acronyms Tell Us? Media Coverage and the Limits of Proxy War Analysis in Northeast Syria on Political and Legal Anthropological Review's (PoLAR) website in their Ethnographic Explainers series. (Posted February 6, 2020)

Professor Firat Bozcali's book chapter, entitled "Money for Life: Border Killings, Compensation Claims and Life-Money Conversions in Turkey’s Kurdish Borderlands", in Banu Bargu's Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory: Democracy, Violence, Resistance is published by Edinburgh University Press. (Posted February 6, 2020)


red phone booths on streetProfessor Todd Sanders (with Elizabeth Hall) presented a paper titled ‘Intimacy and Awkwardness: Producing Anthropological Knowledge on Shale Gas in England.’ Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association/Canadian Anthropology Society, Vancouver, BC 20–24 November 2019. (Posted December 13, 2019)

Prof. Stephen Scharper published a chapter entitled “A Compassionate Science: Pope Francis, Climate Change, and the Fate of the Earth“ in Integral Ecology for a More Sustainable World: Dialogues with Laudato Si. Ed. Dennis O’Hara et al. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2019, 29-38. (Posted December 12, 2019)

Dr. David Samson and colleagues recently published an article titled "Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) Group Sleep and Pathogen-Vector Avoidance: Experimental Support for the Encounter-Dilution Effect" in the International Journal of Primatology. (Posted December 12, 2019)

Dr. Novroski wearing surgical mask

Dr. Nicole Novroski appeared on a CBC podcast to discuss forensic geneaology. She explained how cold case murders, sexual assaults, and unidentified person cases once thought unsolvable are being cracked thanks to the proliferation of retail DNA kits and public genetic databases and what this could mean for the future of cold case investigations. (Posted December 9, 2019)

Professor Sarah Hillewaert gave a lecture at the University of Michigan about her new book entitled “Morality at the Margins: Youth, Language, and Islam in Coastal Kenya”. The talk was cosponsored by the University of Michigan's Muslim Studies Program, Department of Anthropology, African Studies Center, and James Madison College. (Posted November 15, 2019)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen recently published an article in The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal entitled: "Psychopathy Treatment and The Stigma of Yesterday's Research". The editor Sandra L. Borden describes this contribution as challenging "the conventional wisdom of the medical establishment". In his article, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen documents how psychopathy assessments are used to discriminate people from treatment and rehabilitation efforts, a medically erroneous practice allegedly rooted in a history of misleading research. Instead, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen points to research that suggests that so-called psychopaths can gain from treatment/rehabilitation programs with similar success rates compared to non-psychopathic offenders. Larsen, R. R. (2019). Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday’s Research. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29(3), 243-272.

This article also figured as a chapter in a recent book publication by Routledge, "Ethics and Errors in Medicine": Larsen, R. R. (2019). “Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday’s Research”. In Allhoff, F. and Borden, S. (eds.), Ethics and Error in Medicine. New York: Routledge. (Posted November 15, 2019)

Dr. Rosenberg Larsen figured in various outreach publications. In an article in The Etobicoke Guardian, Dr. Rosenberg Larsen was interviewed about the phenomenon of so-called con-artists. A similar interview was conducted by UTM student magazine The Medium. Finally, a portrait of Dr. Rosenberg Larsen's research interests was published on the UTM News website(Posted November 15, 2019)

Professor Sarah Hillewaert was awarded the UTM Annual Research Prize in the Social Sciences for her outstanding contributions to her field in the areas of how young people negotiate social relations and positions in contexts of social change and globalization. (Posted October 21, 2019)

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)


Professor David Samson was awarded the CSS Roger Broughton Young Investigator Award 2019 at the World Sleep Society Conference in Vancouver. (Posted September 30, 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)

Professor 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)

Prof. Gary Crawford and Prof. 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)