Research Interests

The research interests of our full-time faculty members reflect the broad mandate of anthropology as a discipline. We cover the traditional four subfields of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and socio-cultural anthropology; this includes strengths in forensic anthropology and the anthropology of health.

    Our research around the world

    world map showing locations of faculty research around the world
    A map showing areas of UTM Anthropology faculty research around the world.

    North America

    • Health research and policy in Northern Canada
    • Forensic anthropology and crime scene technology in Canada
    • Vitamin D status in Canada
    • Pre-contact Indigenous history of Northeastern America
    • Application of next genome sequencing methods in Forensic Science in Canada and the United States
    • Genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes in Mexico
    • Genetic variation and demographic history in Cuba
    • Environmental archaeology of coastal British Columbia

    South America

    • Pharmacogenomic studies in Brazil


    • Welfare and citizenship in Italy
    • Energy and fracking in the United Kingdom


    • Language and Muslim youth in Kenya
    • Sleep-wake patterns in Tanzania foragers
    • Hominin evolution in South Africa
    • Politics of knowledge and gender in Tanzania
    • Malagasy small-scale agriculturalists

    Middle East

    • Political and legal anthropology in Iraq and Turkey
    • Smuggling networks across Turkey, Iraq, and Iran

    South Asia

    • Language and politics in India
    • Archaeology of urban societies in South Asia
    • Ancient technology in South Asia and beyond
    • Genetics and evolution of pigmentation in South Asia

    East Asia

    • Prehistoric technologies and origins of agriculture in China
    • Origins of agriculture in Japan
    • Sociolinguistics in Vietnam
    • Genetics in East Asia


    • Exploring the intersection of political and legal anthropology, political economy, transnational flows, and science and technology studies, with a focus on the modern Middle East (Bozcali)
    • Studying everyday linguistic, material, and bodily practices in relation to religious, cultural, and global identities in Eastern Africa (Hillewaert)
    • The pre-contact history of Indigenous societies in northeastern North America, and the origins of food production in temperate and tropical regions (Smith)
    • Exploring the intersection of ecological worldviews, social justice, and faith-based environmental practice (Scharper)
    • The relationship between sleep and cognition within the primate order with a focus on human evolution (Samson)
    • Exploring the evolutionary processes underlying morphological diversity in hominin evolution (Schroeder)
    • Exploring struggles for public water in contemporary Europe (Muehlebach)
    • Patterns of growth and health in northern Indigenous populations (Galloway)
    • The study of technological changes, urbanization, labour mobilization, and cultural transmission in ancient China (Xie)
    • The study of how Euro-American scientists produce knowledge about climate change and energy (Sanders)
    • The structures of social interaction and the coordination language, gesture and gaze in the Caribbean (Sidnell)
    • Signatures and citizenship in contemporary India (Cody)
    • The relationship between genetics and human evolution (Parra)
    • Research related to crime scene investigation (Rogers)
    • The exploration of ancient pyrotechnologies in South Asia (Miller)


    • Our common goal is to advance knowledge of who we are and how we came to be that way. 
    • We are all dedicated to disseminating anthropological knowledge though teaching, research, writing, and other forms of outreach.
    • Our goal as a department is to train our anthropology students in the fundamentals of all of the discipline’s subfields. We aim to produce students who are curious about the world in its complexity, and who are well versed in the skills, theories, and databases of one or more of our discipline’s subfields. 

    We [anthropologists] have been the first to insist on a number of things: that the world does not divide into the pious and the superstitious; that there are sculptures in jungles and paintings in deserts; that political order is possible without centralized power and principled justice without codified rules; that the norms of reason were not fixed in Greece, the evolution of morality not consummated in England. Most important, we were the first to insist that we see the lives of others through lenses of our own grinding and that they look back on ours through ones of their own. 

    --Clifford Geertz