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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Devin Flaherty, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: devin.flaherty@utsa.edu

Office: MH 4.03.28

Research in Progress

As a medical and psychological anthropologist, I study aging and end of life on the Caribbean island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A founding claim of my research is that the U.S. Virgin Islands’ geopolitical status as an unincorporated territory directly shapes possibilities for care and experience among older adults nearing the end of their life on St. Croix. Within this context, I study and theorize care at macro, meso and micro levels. Some of the main topics my research has brought me to write about are: end-of-life-experience and caregiving experience, family caregiving, kinship across the lifecourse, bureaucratic processes and infrastructures, and hospice care. In addition to its clear connections with the anthropologies of aging and care, my work contributes to conversations within the anthropology of death and dying, phenomenological anthropology, the anthropology of moralities, and medical anthropology within the Caribbean, among others.

Since September 2017, when Hurricane Maria devastated St. Croix, my research has shifted to studying aging, end of life, and care in the context of disaster recovery. My current project seeks to understand the co-constitution of three forms of vulnerabilities or precarities: the ecological vulnerability of living on a small tropical island in the era of climate change, the existential vulnerability of illness and old age, and the political precarity of living as a contingent citizen on the periphery of the American empire. This project aims at studying disaster ‘recovery’ with a critical, long-term lens that looks beyond the immediate post-disaster response to the long years that follow.

Throughout my research, my main theoretical commitments are to person-centered ethnography, narrative and critical phenomenology. Methodologically, I borrow heavily from linguistic anthropology, primarily through the use of video recording of naturalistic interaction and narrative analysis.


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2018


At the undergraduate level, I aim at bringing students in my classes as fully into the practice of anthropology as a way of honing skills that will be crucial for whatever future path they follow. This means engaging students with the critical reading of ethnographic texts and supporting them in writing articulately about the ideas encountered in those texts and about their ideas about those ideas. It also means including an ethnographic research component in every class, so that students can have the embodied experience of collecting data, analyzing it, and writing about it. Because everything we do (every job we might have, every relationship we might start, every new skill we might learn) takes place in the context of our social world, becoming a more reflexive participant in that world is a universally useful skill. That is the automatic gift of conducting ethnographic research.

At the graduate level, I tailor my mentorship to my students’ unique trajectories. I encourage conducting fieldwork as soon and as often as possible in graduate school. There are innumerable benefits to this, not the least of which is that it helps us (as student and mentor) stay connected with the people and worlds that are at the heart of our endeavor, rather than get too caught up in abstract theoretical debates (although, those can be fun too sometimes).

Prospective Students: I am currently accepting MA and Doctoral students. I invite prospective students with shared research interests to contact me prior to submitting their applications.

Representative Publications

Forthcoming - Flaherty, Devin. “The ‘Last Child’: Lone Family Caregivers in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.” Medical Anthropology 39(1).

2019 - Flaherty, Devin. “‘Takin’ it One Day at a Time’: (Not) Anticipating as Moral Project.” Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 37(1): 61-76.

2018 - Flaherty, Devin. “Between Living Well and Dying Well: Existential Ambivalence and Keeping Promises Alive.” Death Studies 42(5): 314-321.

2018 - Flaherty, Devin and C. Jason Throop. “Facing Death: On Mourning, Empathy and Finitude.” In A Companion to the Anthropology of Death. Antonius C.G.M. Robben, ed. Pp. 161-173. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Marcus Hamilton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology / Biological Anthropology

Email: marcus.hamilton@utsa.edu

Phone: 210-458-4075

Research in Progress

In some ways the human species is an entirely predictable mammal, and in others, clearly unique. On the one hand much of our basic biology is unsurprising for a primate of our body size, but most of us now live in cities, and lead lifestyles that are unique in many ways from any other species in Earth history. Moreover, there are many ways of being a viable human; from foraging and farming, to working in factories or trading stocks on Wall Street. How did this diversity evolve? What were the energetic and computational pathways that led to our unique ecological and evolutionary trajectory? If we understood these pathways, what might they predict about our future?

My research focuses on quantitative, interdisciplinary approaches to the evolution of human ecology and social organization. I am particularly interested in the ecology and archaeology of hunter-gatherer societies and the evolution of human biological and cultural diversity. At all scales, from egalitarian hunter-gatherers to industrialized nation states, humans form complex, modular, hierarchical social networks that facilitate flows of energy and information among individuals and groups. Moreover, these networks mediate all interactions with our environment. The goal of my research is to develop quantitative theory that provides a mechanistic understanding of the evolution of the complex human ecological niche over time and space.

In my complex systems research, I use theory and techniques from theoretical ecology, statistical physics, and evolutionary anthropology, in combination with interdisciplinary data sets. My archaeological research focuses on hunter-gatherer archaeology and the Paleoindian period of North America.

For further information see my website: http://marcusjhamilton.weebly.com/.


Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2008


My teaching covers a broad range of approaches in anthropology, especially interdisciplinary approaches to anthropological archaeology and evolutionary anthropology.

Prospective students: I am currently interested in taking MA and PhD students focused on one or more of three areas: 1) Human evolutionary ecology, biogeography, and macroecology; 2) Hunter-gatherer archaeology, Paleoindians, and the colonization of the Americas; and 3) Data analysis, modeling, and complex systems in anthropology.

Representative Publications

Hamilton, M.J., B. Buchanan, and R.S. Walker (In press). Scaling the size, structure, and dynamics of residentially mobile hunter-gatherer camps. American Antiquity.​

Hamilton, M.J., and R.S. Walker (2018). A stochastic density-dependent model of the long-term dynamics of hunter-gatherer populations. Evolutionary Ecology Research 19(1): 85-102.

Hamilton, M.J., J. Lobo, E. Rupley, H. Youn, and G.B. West (2016). The ecological and evolutionary energetics of hunter-gatherer residential mobility. Evolutionary Anthropology 25:124-132.

Hamilton, M.J., B. Buchanan, B. Huckell, V.T. Holliday, M. Steven Shackley, and M.E. Hill (2013). Clovis paleoecology and lithic technology in the central Rio Grande Rift Valley of New Mexico. American Antiquity 78(2): 248-265.

Hamilton, M.J., O. Burger, and R.S. Walker (2012). Human Ecology. In: Sibly, R.M., A. Kodric-Brown, and J.H. Brown (eds.) Metabolic Ecology: A Scaling Approach. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp 248-257.

Hamilton, M.J., B.T. Milne, R.S. Walker, O. Burger, and J.H. Brown (2007). The complex structure of hunter-gatherer social networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274(1622): 2195-2202.

Hamilton, M.J., B.T. Milne, R.S. Walker and J.H. Brown (2007). Nonlinear scaling of space use in human hunter-gatherers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 104(11): 4765-4769.

Eva Wikberg, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Research in Progress

I investigate links between conservation and evolutionary theory, with a focus on dispersal, reproductive patterns, social bonds, and genetic structure. The broader goal of my research is to understand how these links translate into conservation outlooks for primate populations that experience different types of anthropogenic interactions. I am a co-director of the Boabeng-Fiema colobus project in Ghana. Research at this site is key for the long-term survival of the critically endangered black-and-white colobus (Colobus vellerosus) that are the focus of the study. I also maintain a long-term research collaboration in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in Costa Rica, which is inhabited by three primate species (Alouatta palliata, Ateles geoffroyi, and Cebus capucinus imitator) with different dispersal patterns, social organizations, diets, and habitat requirements. In this study system, my research aims to determine whether their behavioral flexibility and genetic variation are sufficient for coping with the rapid environmental changes that these, and most other primate populations, are currently experiencing.

Find out more about my research here: http://evawikberg.com/.


Ph.D., University of Calgary, 2012


I strive to provide an engaging learning experience that allows my students to gain knowledge and skills that are applicable outside the classroom regardless of what their backgrounds and future career paths might be. My students strengthen their analytical and critical thinking skills while learning to understand the world around them during theory-based courses in Biological Anthropology, Evolution, and Primate Behavior and Conservation. Students get more hands-on experience during the practical courses that I teach in Animal Behavior and Primate Field Studies in Ghana.

Prospective students: I am looking for MA and PhD students who would like to do their research at my field sites and/or in my genetics lab. I am particularly interested in advising students with interests in gut microbiome acquisition and transmission, genetic or genomic structure of populations, behavioral flexibility, and human-primate interactions.

Current co-advised Ph.D. students: Diana Christie (University of Oregon)

Representative Publications

2017. Wikberg EC, Jack KM, Fedigan LM, Campos FA, Sato A, Bergstrom ML, Hiwatashi T, and Kawamura S. Inbreeding avoidance and female mate choice shape paternity patterns in a primate species with exceptionally long male tenures (Cebus capucinus imitator). Molecular Ecology 26: 653-667.

2017. Sicotte P, Teichroeb JA, Vayro JV, Fox S, and Wikberg EC. Female dispersal post-takeover is related to male quality in Colobus vellerosus. American Journal of Primatology 79: e22436.

2015. Bădescu I, Sicotte P, Ting N, and Wikberg EC. Female parity, maternal kinship, infant age and sex influence natal attraction and infant handling in a wild colobine (Colobus vellerosus). American Journal of Primatology 77:376–387.

2015. Wikberg EC, Ting N, and Sicotte P. Demographic factors are associated with between-group variation in the grooming networks of female colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus). International Journal of Primatology 36:124–142.

2014. Wikberg EC, Jack KM, Campos FA, Fedigan LM, Sato A, Bergstrom ML, Hiwatashi T, and Kawamura S. The effect of male parallel dispersal on kin composition of groups in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Animal Behaviour 96: 9-17.

2014. Wikberg EC, Ting N, and Sicotte P. Kinship and similarity in residency status structure female social networks in black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153: 365-376.

2012. Wikberg EC, Sicotte P, Campos FA, and Ting N. Between-group variation in female dispersal, kin composition of groups, and proximity patterns in black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus). PLOS ONE: e48740.

Fernando Campos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Research in Progress

My research on nonhuman primates addresses evolutionary questions about how organisms respond to changing environments, and how differences between individuals in these responses are linked to important life outcomes, including health, survival, and reproduction. This work aims not only to uncover important biological processes but ultimately to inform conservation planning. Primates are in the midst of a global extinction crisis that is driven by anthropogenic pressures. Increasingly, conservation biologists, land managers, and governing bodies must integrate complex environmental-change contingencies in their decision-making. To be successful, this task must be informed by integrative research on how individuals, groups, and populations are affected by different forms of environmental variability and change. My work employs a biodemographic perspective that investigates factors that determine mortality and fertility, draws links among these factors to health outcomes and life trajectories, and makes comparisons among these processes in humans to those in other organisms.

Most of my research has been carried out with natural primate populations, mainly white-faced capuchins in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica, where I maintain an active, field-based research program. Some of my current and ongoing research projects involve savannah baboons in the Amboseli ecosystem of East Africa, and I also do comparative, cross-species research by leveraging a database of primate life history data from several long-term field research sites.

Find out more about my research here: https://campos-lab.net.


Ph.D., University of Calgary, 2014


I am strongly committed to student education and mentorship. I have experience teaching not only in Biological Anthropology but also in Environmental Studies, which, like Anthropology, is field that embraces an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to understanding humanity’s place in the natural world. I view teaching, mentorship, and research as synergistic activities that draw strength from each other, and consequently my teaching style emphasizes the integration of teaching with research through discussions, engagement with recent scientific literature, and problem-solving exercises. My foremost goals as an educator are to challenge and inspire students, and to prepare them for rewarding careers.

Prospective students: I plan to accept MA and PhD students to start in Fall 2019. I especially encourage applicants who are interested in carrying out research on wild nonhuman primates at the nexus of behavioral ecology, health, and the environment. Current topics of interest include: effects of climate variability on survival and reproduction; variation in early-life experience and its consequences; aging and biomarkers of health in the wild; climate change contingencies in primate conservation; responses to seasonal and inter-annual environmental stressors; and health and fitness consequences of the quality and quantity of social bonds.

Representative Publications

Full list of publications: https://www.campos-lab.net/publication/

2020 – Campos FA, Kalbitzer U, Melin AD, Hogan JD, Cheves SE, Murillo-Chacon E, Guadamuz A, Myers MS, Schaffner CM, Jack KM, Aureli F, Fedigan LM. Differential impact of severe drought on infant mortaliy in two sympatric Neotropical primates. Royal Society Open Science.

2017 – Campos, FA, Morris, WF, Alberts, SC, Altmann, J, Brockman, DK, Cords, M, Pusey, A, Stoinski, TS, Strier, KB, Fedigan, LM. Does climate variability influence the demography of wild primates? Evidence from long-term life-history data in seven species. Global Change Biology, 23 (11).

2017 – Kalbitzer U, Bergstrom ML, Carnegie SD, Wikberg EC, Kawamura S, Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Female sociality and sexual conflict shape offspring survival in a Neotropical primate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8), 1892–1897.

2015 – Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Climate oscillations and conservation measures regulate white-faced population growth and demography in a regenerating tropical dry forest in Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 186: 204–213.

2014 – Campos FA, Bergstrom ML, Childers A, Hogan JD, Jack KM, Melin AD, Mosdossy KN, Myers MS, Parr NA, Sargeant E, Schoof VAM, and Fedigan LM (2014). Drivers of home range characteristics across spatiotemporal scales in a neotropical primate, Cebus capucinus. Animal Behaviour 91: 93–109.

2014 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Spatial ecology of perceived predation risk and vigilance behavior in white-faced capuchins. Behavioral Ecology 25(3): 477– 486.

2013 – Campos FA and Jack KM. A potential distribution model and conservation plan for the critically endangered Ecuadorian capuchin, Cebus albifrons aequatorialis. International Journal of Primatology 34(5): 899-916.

2009 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Behavioral adaptations to heat stress and water scarcity in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138 (1): 101-111.

Deborah E. Moon, M.A.

Senior Lecturer

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Research in Progress

I am interested in the construction and ritual use of public spaces as memorialization sites of death.  My particular area of focus explores the roadside descansos of South Texas, where personal material culture is placed and ritually engaged to commemorate a person at the roadway site of her or his death.  More recently, my interest considers the tensions and intersections between traditionally crafted materials and the emergence of commercially appropriated memorial objects manufactured for descanso sites.  The tensions between the individual and the commercial expose the potential de-personalization of descanso memorialization and influence how constructors engage, process, and view the site of death.

Honors and Awards: Member of the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award (2015), UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching (2014).


M.A., University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008


I teach upper- and lower-level undergraduate courses.  My courses include four-field, linguistic, and cultural anthropology as well as topical courses in ritual and symbol; folklore and folklife; sex, gender, and sexuality; Indians of the Great Plains; and ceremonial practices of Native North Americans.  I also advise undergraduate students as the Undergraduate Advisor of Record.

Luca Pozzi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: luca.pozzi@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7558

Office: MH 4.03.32

Research in Progress

My research centers on primate biodiversity and conservation. The rapid environmental and climatic changes induced by human activity are the primary factors responsible for the decline of biodiversity in recent decades. As most forest-dwelling animals, primates are particularly susceptible to this change, and the number of species under threat or critically endangered is constantly increasing. A better understanding of the drivers that shaped biodiversity in the past can provide critical information to interpret and predict how wild populations may respond to present and future changes.

The main goals of my work are to 1) document primate biodiversity, 2) explore the dynamics of diversification, such as the ecological and evolutionary driving factors that shape diversification in time and space, and 3) understand how primates respond to human-induced environmental and climatic change. To address these questions I use a multidisciplinary approach that draws from phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics, comparative methods, biogeography, and behavioral ecology.


Ph.D., New York University, 2013


My commitment as a teacher is to bring the interdisciplinary approach I use in my own research to the class. I develop curricula and pedagogical practices that draw from multiple fields within and outside science. This approach allows me to stimulate students’ curiosity and make science more approachable. In all my classes, I promote the development of scientific thinking through active problem-solving.

As an evolutionary anthropologist and as a teacher I have three main learning goals for these students: 1) to cultivate a genuine interest in science and to develop an understanding of the scientific method; 2) to understand fundamentals of biology and to confront common misconceptions in anthropology and evolutionary biology; and 3) to reduce “science anxiety” and to relate biology concepts to their lives and fields of study. Whether in small classes or large, all of my pedagogical strategies are dedicated to engage the students in discussions about the debates and controversies animating the field of anthropology and evolutionary biology, and to stimulate a life-time curiosity about science.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and PhD students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: primate conservation and population genetics; phylogenetics and comparative methods; species boundaries in cryptic species; habitat fragmentation and 
primates responses to human-induced environmental change. Current areas of focus are sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. 

Current Ph.D. students: Averee Luhrs, Anna Penna

Representative Publications

2017 - Masters JC, Génin F, Couette S, Groves CP, Nash SD, DelPero M, Pozzi L (2017). A new genus for the eastern dwarf galagos (Primates: Galagidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 181: 229–241.

2016 – Pozzi L. The role of forest expansion and contraction in species diversification among galagos (Primates: Galagidae). Journal of Biogeography, 43: 1930–1941

2015 – Pozzi L, Nekaris KAI, Perkin A, Bearder SK, Pimley ER, Schulze H, Streicher U, Nadler T, Kitchener A, Zischler H, Zinner D, Roos C. Remarkable ancient divergences amongst neglected Lorisiform primates. Zoological Journal of Linnean Society, 175: 661-674

2014 – Pozzi L, Disotell TR, Masters JC. A multilocus phylogeny reveals deep lineages within African galagids (Primates: Galagidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14:72.

2014 – Pozzi L, Hodgson JA, Burrell AS, Sterner KN, Raaum RL, Disotell TR. Primate phylogenetic relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 75: 165-183.

2014 – Pozzi L, Bergey CM, Burrell AS. The use (and misuse) of phylogenetic trees in comparative behavioral analyses. International Journal of Primatology, 35: 32-54.

2013 - Bergey, C.M, Pozzi, L., Disotell, T.R., Burrell, A.S. A new method for genome-wide marker development and typing holds great promise for molecular primatology. International Journal of Primatology, 34(2): 303–314

Additional Information

Learn more at http://www.lucapozzi.me/

Patrick Gallagher, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: patrick.gallagher@utsa.edu

Office: MH 4.03.26

Research in Progress

My research examines the cultural politics of nature and environmental conservation. It is a research agenda animated by classically anthropological concerns with the relationship between nature and culture, and how these categories come to be made and enforced in social life. I further the anthropological practice of reading across perceived cultural domains to consider how the production of nature is inextricably linked to other cultural modes of difference and categorization such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. More specifically, I am interested in how nature comes to be produced through the symbolic and material practices of the sciences of ecology and economics and how these practices come to naturalize economic and social geographies that are the outcomes of deeply uneven social and political histories. My recent work has addressed these questions through ethnographic research in coastal Belize concerned with how scientists and citizens developed tools for articulating and representing the value of the Belize Barrier Reef.


PhD, Stanford University, 2015


Successful work in anthropology requires learning to hear the voices of others—to seek out and interpret narratives that offer diverse alternatives for making meaning in the world. As a teacher, I provide students with the methods to engage in this anthropological tradition, and we begin to use and understand these methods through our most basic classroom practices. My pedagogy then is intimately linked to my approach to research in anthropology. It emphasizes careful, empathic listening; the development of a theoretical toolkit for meaningful interpretation; and a commitment to the craft and practice of writing for the broad sharing of ideas. In my classroom we work to develop the capacity to listen to others and to communicate in a way so that others will then listen—not just as a mere social nicety, but also as a fundamental anthropological method and as a tangible commitment to supporting diverse ideas.

I teach courses and mentor students in cultural anthropology, environmental anthropology, science and technology studies, political anthropology and the anthropology of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.

Current Ph.D. students: Allison Koch, Sarah Kate Shore

Representative Publications

2014 – Gallagher, Patrick and Danielle DiNovelli-Lang. “Nature and Knowledge—Contemporary Ecologies of Value.” Environment and Society. Vol. 5.

2012 – Broadbent, Eben N., Angélica M. Almeyda Zambrano, Rodolfo Dirzo, William H. Durham, Laura Driscoll, Patrick Gallagher, Rosalyn Salters, Jared Schultz, Angélica Colmenares, Shannon G. Randololph. “The effect of land use change and ecotourism on biodiversity: A case study of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, from 1985-2008. Landscape Ecology. 27(5): 731-744.

Jason Yaeger, Ph.D.

UTSA President's Endowed Professor and Chair

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: jason.yaeger@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7966

Office: MH 4.03.38B

Research in Progress

I am an anthropological archaeologist who studies Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations, particularly the Maya and Inka. My research interests include the organization of ancient households and communities, urbanism, landscapes and environments, the relationship between climate change and culture change, material culture and identity, ethnohistory, the politics of archaeological research, and Maya epigraphy and iconography.

Much of my research has sought to understand the organization of Classic Maya rural communities and the practices, institutions, and constructs that linked rural householders into extra-community socio-political entities. I have surveyed the countryside in Belize's Mopan River valley, mapped hundreds of houses and agricultural terraces, and excavated several rural houses in detail. My investigations also have taken me to the larger centers like Xunantunich, where I excavated monumental temples and palaces. My current research project focuses on documenting the changing relationships between Xunantunich and the rival center of Buenavista and understanding how competition between these two polities impacted the people who lived in the intervening countryside.

I have directed two other projects recenty that addressed broadly similar questions but in different contexts. The multi-disciplinary San Pedro Maya Project combined archival research, oral histories, and archaeological investigations to understand how Maya immigrants from Mexico were incorporated into colonial British Honduras in the 19th century. The Tiwanaku Inka Settlement Program examined how the Inka Empire reconfigured sacred space at the ancient city of Tiwanaku to fit their religion and world view and to legitimize their dominion over their provinces.

Honors and Awards: UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Advancing Globalization (2017), Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, UTSA (2014).


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2000


I enjoy teaching, and I use a variety of media and methods to teach students what we know about the past, how we know it, and how it can help us understand ourselves and the world around us. My research strengthens my teaching, as I bring to the classroom the most recent interpretations and data from my research, as well as first-hand accounts of fieldwork and the process of interpreting archaeological data. I teach a variety of courses, from large introductory lecture courses, to small graduate and undergraduate seminars, and a summer archaeological field school in Belize. These include introductory courses on archaeology and more advanced courses on Maya and Mesoamerican civilizations, ancient complex societieis, indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, and the ethnohistory and historical archaeology of New Spain.

Prospective students: I am accepting MA and Ph.D. students. My current research in Belize holds particular opportunities for students who are interested in LiDAR, remote sensing, and settlement survey; the organization of Maya hinterland households and communities; Maya warfare and conflict; and the relationships between the human-environment interface and socio-political change.   Students with other research foci are also welcome to apply, as are those who have other fieldwork sites for their thesis or dissertation research. 

Current Ph.D. students: Rebecca Friedel, Tiffany Lindley, Rebecca Morris, Michael Petrozza, Sebastian Salagdo-Flores, Jason Whitaker

Current MA students: Mark Eli

Representative Publications

2017 Designs on/of the Land: Competing Visions, Displacement, and Landscape Memory in British Colonial Honduras.  (C. Kray, M.C. Church & J. Yaeger)  In Legacies of Space and Intangible Heritage:  Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and the Politics of Cultural Continuity in the Americas, edited by F. Armstrong-Fumero & J. Hoil Gutierrez, pp. 53–78.  University Press of Colorado. 

2016   Locating and Dating Sites using LiDAR Survey in a Mosaic Landscape in Western Belize  (J. Yaeger, M.K. Brown & B. Cap)  Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(3):339–56.

2015 Two Early Classic Elite Burials from Buenavista del Cayo, Belize.  (J. Yaeger, M.K. Brown, C. Helmke, M. Zender, B. Cap, C. Kokel Rodriquez & S. Batty)  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 12:181–191.

2014 Assessing the Great Maya Droughts: Some Critical Issues. (G. Iannone, J. Yaeger & D. Hodell) In The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context: Case Studies in Resilience and Vulnerability, edited by G. Iannone, pp. 52–70. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. 

2013 A Radiocarbon Chronology of the Pumapunku Complex and a Reassessment of the Development of Tiwanaku, Bolivia. (J. Yaeger & A. Vranich) In Advances in Titicaca Archaeology II, ed. by A. Vranich, E. Klarich, & A. Levine, pp. 131–50.  UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles. 

2010 Classic Maya Provincial Politics: Xunantunich and its Hinterlands (edited by L.J. LeCount & J. Yaeger) University of Arizona Press, Tucson.  

2000 The Archaeology of Communities: A New World Perspective (edited by M.A. Canuto & J. Yaeger) Routledge Press, London.

Laura Jane Levi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: laura.levi@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5709

Office: MH 4.02.76

Research in Progress

My research explores place making among the ancient Maya. Place making involves a culling of the environment, a crafting of objects, and a bringing together of things and people in the world. It is fundamentally a material process, one that is on-going and generative. The focus of my research is the community. Ancient Maya communities spanned markedly different kinds of physical environments and they also possessed different kinds of leaders and different kinds of families. Yet, in my work, people’s ties to family, land, and leadership have proven to be the three fundamental constants in Maya place making.

For several field seasons, my students and I have been investigating these themes at the site of Wari Camp in northwestern Belize. Wari Camp is a large site at the eastern margins of the Programme for Belize conservation area. Early work developed an understanding of basic organizational units within the ancient community (households, neighborhoods, and wards) and their environmental associations. Recently, we have directed our attention to one ward, in particular – the Northern Satellite – where we have found a concentration of ritual features including intercardinally-aligned eastern shrine groups and pathway markers. The ward, itself, was connected to site center by a road engineered within a massive drainage system. 

Specific Research Problems: 1) Ritual Process. We have begun systematic exploration of the ritual features in Wari Camp’s Northern Satellite. We suspect that the eastern shrine groups there were home to prominent families of ritual practitioners and the intercardinal alignments probably marked out processional pathways. 2) Institutional Action. We continue to study sources of household variation and the basic functioning of Wari Camp’s neighborhoods and wards. We are especially interested in the roles played by households, neighborhoods, and wards in provisioning both local and exotic resources. 3) Economies of Movement. Wari Camp spanned a vast, ecologically diverse territory consisting of flat riverine floodplains, steep escarpment terraces, and heavily dissected escarpment uplands. We now have evidence for intensive agrarian regimes within the floodplains and down the escarpment terraces. We also are amassing evidence for other kinds of productive activities. The ability to bring labor to sites of production and products to sites of consumption would have been of critical importance to community leaders and community members, alike. We therefore have inaugurated a multi-scalar study of the material, experiential, and cognized dimensions of movement at Wari Camp.


Ph.D. The University of Arizona, 1993


My teaching stresses the importance of linking data and theory, and the central role played by material culture in social process. Trained as a four-field anthropologist, my undergraduate anthropology courses span three of the discipline’s subfields. At the graduate level, I teach two required courses (History, Method, and Theory of Archaeology and Ecological Anthropology) and several electives (including Landscape and Settlement and The Archaeology of Household and Residence).

Prospective students: I am accepting MA and PhD students. My investigations at Wari Camp offer many exciting avenues of research. In addition to a variety of different kinds of artifact analyses, students can find suitable thesis and dissertation topics in field studies of terrain modifications, agrarian technologies, household, neighborhood, and ward economies, ritual practices, and water management. Last but not least, Wari Camp affords important opportunities for students interested in spatial analysis, LiDAR and other forms of remote sensing.  

Current Ph.D. students: Sarah Boudreaux, Antonia Figueroa, Christian Sheumaker

Current MA students: Cady Rutherford

Representative Publications

Representative Publications:

2016 - Levi, Laura J., Sarah Boudreaux, and Antonia Figueroa. Fieldwork at Wari Camp (RB-56): The 2015 Report. In, Research Reports from the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, Volume 10, The University of Texas, Austin.

2014 - Modeling Family Life in the Lowland Maya Late Classic. Research Reports in Belezean Archaeology, Volume 11, edited by John Morris, Jaime Awe, Melissa Badillo, and George Thompson, pp. 135-142. Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan.

2012 - Procession. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology Volume 9, edited by John Morris, Jaime Awe, Melissa Badillo, and George Thompson, pp. 169-180. Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan.

2003 - "Space and the limits to community." In Perspectives on Ancient Maya Rural Complexity, edited by G. Iannone and S. Connell, pp. 82-93. The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles.

2002 - An institutional perspective on prehispanic Maya residential variation: settlement and community at San Estevan, Belize. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 21:120-141.

Robert J. Hard, Ph.D.


Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: robert.hard@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-7409

Office: MH 4.04.32

Research in Progress

I think some of the most important questions in anthropology revolve around the adoption and spread of farming, as the development of a plant producing economy is fundamental to many later cultural changes. I pursue related issues in Northern Mexico, the American Southwest, and Texas, which contain a diversity of ecological settings and archaeological records of past hunter-gatherer and early farming societies. Our work in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico documented rapid and early adoption of farming in the form of a hilltop defensive settlement known as Cerro Juanaqueña. In contrast, on the Texas Coastal Plain, our stable isotope studies have demonstrated a long record of hunter-gatherer adaptations involving the intensive use of aquatic resources. Currently, we are working in southern Chihuahua attempting to understand the adoption of farming in this little known region that lies near northern boundary of Mesoamerica.

Find more at Dr. Hard's website.

Honors and awards: UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Research (2016).


Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1986


My teaching at the freshman and sophomore levels gives students the opportunity to alter their view of the world through the use of an anthropological lens, particularly in Introduction to Anthropology (Ant 1013). In Introduction to Archaeology (Ant 2043) we examine the methods and insights gained from studying long-term changes in ancient societies. At the junior and senior level students are exposed to the details of the archaeological records of North America (Ant 3263) and the American Southwest and Northwest Mexico (Ant 4423). At the graduate level, I want students to meet the multitude of challenges to enable them to design and conduct their own archaeological research.

Current Ph.D. students: Lori Barkwill-Love, Michelle Carpenter, Kristin Corl, Clinton McKenzie, Kristina Solis, Mary Whisenhunt

Current MA students: Robert Gardner, Kathleen Jenkins, Sarah Wigley, Gabriella Zaragosa

Representative Publications

2017.  A Theory of Regime Change on the Prehistoric Texas Coastal Plain. Jacob Freeman, Robert J. Hard, and Raymond P. Mauldin. Quaternary International.

2015.  Rainfed Farming and Settlement Aggregation: Reflections from Chihuahua, Mexico. Robert J. Hard, William L. Merrill, A. C. MacWilliams, John R. Roney, Jacob C. Freeman, and Karen R. Adams. In Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture: Understanding the Past for the Future, edited by Scott E Ingram and Robert C. Hunt. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 237-272, 2015.

2011. Stable Isotope Study of Hunter-Gatherer-Fisher Diet, Mobility, and Intensification on the the Texas Gulf Coastal Plain.  Robert J. Hard and M. Anne Katzenberg. American Antiquity76:709-751.

2009. The Diffusion of Maize to the Southwestern United States and Its Impact. William L. Merrill, Robert J. Hard, Jonathan B. Mabry, Karen R. Adams, Gayle J. Fritz, John R. Roney, A. C. MacWilliams. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol 106:50:21019-21026.

2008. Exploring Texas Archaeology with a Model of Intensification. Amber L. Johnson and Robert J. Hard. Plains Anthropologist 53:205:137-153.

2007.  Cerros de Trincheras in Northwestern Chihuahua: The Arguments for Defense." Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. In Trincheras Sites in Time, Space and Society, edited by Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, and M. Elisa Villalpando, pp 11-52. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

1998.  A Massive Terraced Village Complex in Chihuahua, Mexico, 3000 Years Before Present. Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. Science 279:1661-1664.

Jamon A. Halvaksz, II, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: jamon.halvaksz@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5872

Office: MH 4.03.24

Research in Progress

As an environmental anthropologist, I am especially interested in locations of development and change where competing values of nature and resource management practices are at play. My long-term fieldwork among the Biangai of Papua New Guinea, for example, has focused on mining, conservation, and agricultural strategies. This context affords me the opportunity to both engage theoretical debates within anthropology and the social sciences as well as address issues of great importance for the lives of the people with whom I work. More recently, I have just completed a multi-year project examining agricultural changes as a gloss for the sorts of transformations that industrial mining has on land and labor relations, especially as it relates to indigenous ideas of space and place. My next project will examine shifting ideas of place in peri-urban household that have migrated as a result of Papua New Guinean mining economy.

Find more at Dr. Halvaksz's website.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2005


My teaching interests focus on various aspects of environmental anthropology including ecological anthropology, political ecology, human-animal relations, space and place, indigenous epistemologies, as well as more general course work on the history and practice of ethnographic research. Teaching is also about mentoring students through the complexity of degree requirements and fostering intellectual interests. I am certainly interested in advising students with similar interests at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Prospective graduate students should feel free to contact me with any questions prior to submitting their applications.

Current Ph.D. students: Rebecca DelliCarpini, Christina Fraiser, Katherine Hanson, Jennifer Torpie-Sweterlitsch

Current MA students: Jeffrey Fitzelll, Richard Stout

Representative Publications

In Press. Halvaksz, Jamon. Mining Nature, Mining Culture: Resource extraction, conservation and place along the Upper Bulolo River, Papua New Guinea. University of Washington Press. (Expected Spring 2020)

2015 - Halvaksz, Jamon. Forests of Gold: From Mining to Logging (and Back Again). Forests of Oceania: Environmental Histories, Present Concerns and Future Possibilities. Canberra: ANU Press.

2013 - Halvaksz, Jamon. "Mining the Forest: Epical and Novelesque Boundaries along the Upper Bulolo" In Uncomfortable Bedfellows?: Exploring the Contradictory Natures of the Ecotourism/Extraction Nexus. N. Davidov and B. Buscher (eds). Routledge. 

2013 - Halvaksz, Jamon. The Taste of Public Places: Terroir in Papua New Guinea’s emerging nation. Anthropological Forum 23(2):142-157

2010 - Halvaksz, Jamon. The Photographic Assemblage: Duration, History and Photography in Papua New Guinea. Anthropology and History 21(4):411-429.

Daniel J. Gelo, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: daniel.gelo@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-4075

Office: MH 4.01.23

Research in Progress

My research concerns the way that humans express their thoughts, feelings, and values through various cultural activities, including ritual, myth, social organization, music, dance, dress, and language, especially the nomenclature and classification of animals, plants, and landscape. These interests unfold in a program of study addressing cultural documentation, cultural stasis and change, and identity maintenance among American Indians. My research program uses the theories, methods, and techniques of cognitive anthropology, structural and symbolic analysis, discourse analysis, linguistics, ethnomusicology, visual anthropology, and ethnohistory. Since 1982 I have been conducting ethnographic fieldwork and archival research with the Comanches, a Plains Indian society living in southwest Oklahoma. I have also done fieldwork in four Texas Indian communities: the Tiguas of Ysleta, the Alabama-Coushattas in Polk County, the Kickapoos of Eagle Pass and Nacimiento, Coahuila, and urban Indians of Dallas and San Antonio. Current research projects include an extended study of Comanche religious ideology, translation and annotation of nineteenth-century Comanche lexicons, and analysis of some newly-discovered photographs from Fort Sill, Indian Territory and Fort Griffin, Texas circa 1870.


Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1986


I enjoy teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in general and cultural anthropology. I have also taught in the UTSA Honors and American Studies programs, and supervised several honors and master’s theses. Courses include Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Topics in American Studies: Indians of Texas, Ritual and Symbol, Indians of the Great Plains, Anthropology of American Culture, Folklore and Folklife, The Fieldwork Experience, Ethnographic Film, and Paradigms of Americanist Anthropology.

Representative Publications

2017. Gelo, D. Two Episodes in Texas Indian History Reconsidered: Getting the Facts Right about the Lafuente Attack and the Fort Parker Raid. Southwestern Historical Quarterly 120(4): 440-460.

2017. Gelo, D. and C. J. Wickham. Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
2013. Gelo, D. A Metal Arrowhead from Coryell County, Texas. Plains Anthropologist 58:79-95.
2009. Gelo, D. and L. T. Jones III. Photographic Evidence for Southern Plains Armor. Visual Anthropology Review 25:49-65.

K. Jill Fleuriet, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Associate Dean of the Honors College

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: jill.fleuriet@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5721

Office: MH 4.03.22

Research in Progress

I am a medical and cultural anthropologist of and from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. My shorter-term applied projects also extend into San Antonio, Texas. My body of work engages central questions in medical anthropological research: how and why cultural practices, discourses, and structures shape health outcomes and health care experiences. I draw from theories of structural violence and social suffering as well as feminist and borderlands theories of intersectionality. I integrate the idea of borderlands as productive, creative spaces within a broad political economy framework to understand the ways in which geopolitical borders and definitions of citizenship shape well-being of these regions. I use intersectionality in several ways: as a means by which to understand how and why people foreground different identities during sickness, healing, and health care; how these identities interact, or ‘intersect,’ to produce differential mortality, morbidity, and wellness patterns; and how cultural practices reinforce, reproduce, or resist assumptions about certain identities. In sum, I am deeply interested in how people can and do move through their worlds to be well.

I place my work at the crossroads of theoretical and engaged anthropology. My primary research projects revolve around health inequalities in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, cultural discourses of these borderlands, care/giving in the United States, and the application of anthropology to improve programming and assessment in local efforts to improve well-being. In my current book project in the borderlands of South Texas, I employ a discursive, comparative analysis of place-making of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands by national political actors, the news media and local borderland leaders. My work in reproductive health and health care is interdisciplinary with sociology, and I collaborate with community organizations on programming to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Rebecca Galemba (U Denver), Nikky Greer (Temple U), and Sallie Han (SUNY - Oneonta), and I are conducting web-based research on carework/giving experiences among academic anthropologists as part of our larger Carework in the Academy initiative in the American Anthropological Association.

Find more at Dr. Fleuriet's website.

Honors and awards: Fellow of The University of Texas system Academy of Distinguished Teachers, Member of UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Community Engagement, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching, UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in University Service, Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.


Ph.D., Stanford University, 2003


At the undergraduate level, I teach across levels, including Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, The Field Experience, Medical Anthropology, Applied Anthropology, and Death & Dying. I have designed and led three distinct research and/or service learning study abroads in Mexico and Costa Rica. At the graduate level, I teach Medical Anthropology, Theory in Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of the Body, and Teaching Anthropology. I advise students conducting research in medical anthropology, immigration, belonging, social justice and community-based movements in South Texas.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and doctoral students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: U.S-Mexico borderlands, northern Mexico, and the South Texas region; gender, carework/giving, and reproduction; well-being; health inequalities; chronic illness; aging; and applied medical anthropology.

Current Ph.D. student: Jess Reid
Current MA students: Amanda Gagliano, Timothy Gutierrez, Jasmine Harmon

Representative Publications

Fleuriet, K. Jill, and Trevor Chauvin. 2018. “‘Living Other Lives’: The Impact of Senior Theatre on Older Adult Wellbeing.” Journal of Applied Arts and Health 9(1): 37-51.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and Thankam Sunil. 2018. “The Latina Birth Weight Paradox: The Role of Subjective Social Status.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 5(4):747-757.

Cantu, Adelita G. and K. Jill Fleuriet. 2018. “’Making the Ordinary More Extraordinary’: Exploring Creativity as a Health Promotion Practice Among Older Adults in a Community-Based Professionally-Taught Arts Program.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 36(2):123-133.

Fleuriet, K. Jill & Heide Castañeda. 2017. “A Risky Place? Media and the Health Landscape in the (In)secure U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.” North American Dialogue (Journal for the Society for North American Anthropology) 20(2):32-46.

Fleuriet, K. Jill and T. S. Sunil. 2016. “Stress, Pregnancy, and Motherhood: Implications for Birth Weights in the Borderlands of Texas.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(1):60-77.

Carolyn Ehardt, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: carolyn.ehardt@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5243

Office hours: MH 4.04.38

Research in Progress

In 1994, I began long-term conservation ecology research in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, which continues to the present in collaboration with my former doctoral students. The early work involved survey research to establish baseline distribution and abundance information for the various primates, larger mammals, and birds in the relict forests of these mountains – part of one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots.’ Subsequent research has focused on the Endangered Sanje mangabey Cercocebus sanjei, including the first ecological data for this endemic primate derived from study of an habituated group in Mwanihana Forest of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. In 2004, this research led to ‘discovery’ of the first new African diurnal monkey species to be made known to science in the last 20 years (the kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji). My most current funded research has been the collection of genetic and vocalization data for mangabey species in Africa to begin to decipher the debated taxonomic relationships among the various threatened taxa, and to examine population genetics and ecology of the disjunct Tanzanian subpopulations of the Sanje mangabey.


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1980


My teaching spans a range of topics in biological anthropology, with course offerings across the various levels of the curriculum. In addition to introductory courses, I offer specialized courses at the undergraduate level in Conservation of Primates in Global Perspective, Primate Ecology, Ecology and Evolution of Human Diseases, and Human Adaptability. At the graduate level, I have offered seminars such as Conservation of Primates and Other Threatened Species, as well as Human Population Ecology.

Prospective students: I currently am working with two doctoral students who are completing their dissertations.  At present, I am not seeking new graduate students for whom I would serve as major professor, although I will continue to serve as a member of committees for students in primate ecology or disease ecology.

Current students: 

PhD: Emily Lloyd, Guillaume Pages

Representative Publications

Ehardt, Carolyn L., Fernández, David., and Gráinne McCabe. 2016. Sanje Mangabey Cercocebus sanjei Mittermeier, 1986.  In: All the World’s Primates, Noel Rowe and Marc Myers, eds., Pogonias Press, NY., pp. 456-457.

McCabe, G.M., D. Fernández and C.L. Ehardt. 2013. Ecology of reproduction in Sanje mangabeys: Dietary strategies and energy balance during the high fruit period.  American  Journal of Primatology 75: 1196-1208.

Ehardt, C.L. and T.M. Butynski. 2013. The Sanje Mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei). In: The Mammals of Africa, Vol. 2, T. Butynski, J. Kingdon and J. Kalina, eds., Bloomsbury Publishing, London; pp. 177-180.

Jones, T., C.L. Ehardt, T.M. Butynski, T.R.B. Davenport, N.E. Mpunga, S.J. Machaga, and D.W. De Luca. 2005. The highland mangabey Lophocebus kipunji: A new species of African monkey. Science 308: 1161-1164.

Michael Cepek, Ph.D.


Department of Anthropology

Research area: Cultural Anthropology

Email: michael.cepek@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5700

Office: MH 4.03.34

Research in Progress

My research explores the relationship between environmental change, cultural difference, and political power at the margins of global orders. In my studies with indigenous Cofán people in the Amazonian forests, Andean foothills, and capital city of Ecuador, I investigate cultural politics, environmental conservation projects, and environmental justice movements from the perspective of longstanding concerns in social theory and emerging debates in the anthropology of Latin America. In my last project, I produced an ethnographic account of the oil-related transformation of Cofán lands, which lie at the epicenter of Ecuador’s petroleum industry. In my current project, I am studying the ways in which Cofán shamans negotiate relations between humans and nonhumans in the context of intercultural violence, invasion, and dispossession. In all my work, I employ an immersed ethnographic standpoint to develop new perspectives on the forces that trouble us, whether ecological disasters, specters of cultural loss, or enduring constraints on human agency. I use this viewpoint to contribute to broader discussions in environmental anthropology, political economy, science and technology studies, the anthropology of religion, conservation policy and practice, and collaborative filmmaking and activism with indigenous peoples and other subaltern groups.

In addition, I am President of the Board of the Cofán Survival Fund, a non-profit organization that supports Cofán-directed conservation and sustainable development initiatives in Amazonian Ecuador. I also serve on the editorial board of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Honors and Awards: UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching (2016).


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2006


My teaching interests grow out of my long-term anthropological experience as informed by both classical and contemporary theory. I firmly believe that cultural analysis and ethnographic methods are essential tools for understanding humanity in the 21st century. I teach courses organized by topic (indigenous peoples and politics; environment, culture, and conservation; the oil industry; shamanism and cosmology), approach (environmental, political, and economic anthropology; political economy; phenomenology; the history of social and cultural theory), and area (lowland South America; Andean South America; contemporary Latin America). I also enjoy teaching introductory anthropology, and I consider myself to be an enthusiastic spokesperson for the discipline.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting MA and doctoral students. I am especially interested in applicants whose proposed research focuses on one or more of the following areas: Latin America; oil and other extractive industries; indigenous peoples and politics; environmental conservation programs; contamination and pollution; shamanism and cosmology; and the theoretical and methodological approaches associated with phenomenology, political economy, and classical holistic ethnography. I value both academic and applied anthropology, and I am happy to advise students interested in either or both paths.

Current Ph.D. students: Allison Koch, Daniel Jimenez, Adam Johnson, Hugo Lucitante, Sadie Lucitante, Rey Villanueva

Current MA students: Delilah Quezada

Representative Publications

2019 - Cepek, Michael L. "Theory, Ethnography, and Ethics in an Indigenous Phenomenology of Oil." HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 9(3):673–679.

2019 - Cepek, Michael L. La Supervivencia del Pueblo Cofán en los Campos Petroleros de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana. Translated by Mary Ellen Fieweger. Quito: Facultad Lationamericana de Ciencias Sociales.

2019 - Cepek, Michael L. "Valueless Value: The Question of Production in Cofán Shamanism." HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 9(2):320–333.

2018 - Cepek, Michael L. Life in Oil: Cofán Survival in the Petroleum Fields of Amazonia. Austin: University of Texas Press.

2016 - Cepek, Michael L. "There Might Be Blood: Oil, Humility, and the Cosmopolitics of a Cofán Petro-Being." American Ethnologist 43(4):623–635.

2015 - Cepek, Michael L. "Ungrateful Predators: Capture and the Creation of Cofán Violence." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21(3):542–560.

2014 - Oil & Water. Documentary film by Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith. Seattle: Stir It Up Productions. (Credits: Academic Advisor, Additional Camera, Cofán Translator, Provider of Archival Materials).

2012 - Cepek, Michael L. A Future for Amazonia: Randy Borman and Cofán Environmental Politics. Austin: University of Texas Press.

2011 - Cepek, Michael L. "Foucault in the Forest: Questioning Environmentality in Amazonia." American Ethnologist 38(3):501-515.

M. Kathryn Brown, Ph.D.

Lutcher Brown Endowed Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology

Email: kathryn.brown@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-6761

Office: MH 4.04.38

Research in Progress

My principal research focus is one of anthropology’s fundamental topics, the origins of complex societies. Because I am interested in the rise of complexity as a general phenomenon, I value cross-cultural comparisons. As my primary case study and focus of fieldwork, however, I examine the Maya Civilization of Central America. I have conducted research for over 25 years in the Maya Lowlands, especially in the Belize River Valley and Northern Belize. There, I have traced the development of social inequalities in early Maya communities. More recently, I have become interested in these processes at a regional scale, examining how early communities were placed across the ancient landscape and how they interacted through trade, competition, and warfare. Through these interactions, hierarchical structures came to bind these communities into more complex polities that formed the basis for the Maya states of the Classic period. These questions are the focus of my current fieldwork project, the Mopan Valley Preclassic Project, which examines the Preclassic components of sites in the Upper Belize River Valley including Nohoch Ek, Buenavista del Cayo, Xunantunich, and Las Ruinas de Arenal to understand both the roles of public architecture and ritual activities in sanctifying an emerging hierarchical social order, and how the interactions between competing communities shaped the development of complex polities.

Most of my research has focused on the Preclassic Maya, but I have a strong interest in Texas archaeology as well. I have directed eleven seasons of fieldwork in Texas, conducted as archaeological field schools. These projects investigated both historic and prehistoric sites, and the data collected have been relevant to several important topics in Texas prehistory and history, including prehistoric mobility patterns and the establishment of pioneer settlements in Texas.

Honors and awards: Member of the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award (2015), UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Teaching (2014).


Ph.D., Southern Methodist University, 2003


I believe that an effective teacher must be enthusiastic about the subject matter and enjoy teaching. In all of the courses I teach, I emphasize the relevance of learning about past cultures in order to understand better the cultural and physical diversity in the modern world. I stress a four-field approach to anthropology and encourage the students to think critically and analytically about the subject matter. I try to create a dynamic and interactive classroom that serves as a comfortable environment conducive to learning. I have taught a number of courses in anthropology, including Introduction of Archaeology, Ancient Civilizations of Mexico, Ancient Maya Civilization, North American Archaeology, Frauds, Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology, In the Footsteps of Early Maya Explorers (graduate level), History, Method and Theory (graduate level), Origins of Civilizations (graduate level), Archaeological Methods (graduate level), as well as Texas Archaeological Field School and Belize Archaeological Field School.

Current Ph.D. students: Victoria Ingalls, Whitney Lytle, Zoe Rawski, Alessandra Villarreal

Representative Publications

2018.  Brown, M. K., and G. J. Bey III (Editors) Pathways to Complexity:  A View from the Maya Lowlands. University Press of Florida.

2017.  Brown, M. K.  E-Groups and Ancestors: The Sunrise of Complexity at Xunantunich, Belize. In Early Maya E-Groups, Solar Calendars, and the Role of Astronomy in the Rise of Lowland Maya Urbanism, edited by D.A. Freidel, A.F. Chase, D.Z. Chase, and A. Dowd.  University Press of Florida.

2017.   Brown, M. K., W. Lytle, Z. Rawski, V. Ingalls, and A. Villarreal. Understanding the Preclassic Ritual Landscape in the Mopan Valley: A View from Early Xunantunich. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 14: 53-64.

2016.  Yaeger, J., M. K. Brown, and B. Cap.  Locating and Dating Sites Using LiDAR Survey in a Mosaic Vegetative Environment in Western Belize. Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(3):339-356. 

2013.  Brown, M. K.  Missing Persons:  The Role of Ancestors in the Rise of Complexity. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10:57-64.

2011.  Brown, M. K., Postclassic Veneration at Xunantunich, Belize.  Mexicon XXXIII: 126-131.

2003.  Brown, M. K., and T. W. Stanton (Editors) Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare. AltaMira Press.

Thad Bartlett, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Email: thad.bartlett@utsa.edu

Phone: (210) 458-5712

Office: MH 4.02.56

Research in Progress

My primary research interest is in the behavioral ecology of living primates. Behavioral ecology focuses on how individuals adapt to constraints imposed by physical and social environments. To be successful in an evolutionary sense, animals have to cope, minimally, with three problems: finding food, avoiding predators, and finding reproductive partners. Solutions to these problems will differ under differing ecological conditions and one goal of primatology is to document patterns of response across species in order to better understand the principles that guide primate adaptation and evolution. Under the umbrella of primate behavioral ecology I have focused in particular on the role of food availability in shaping primate behavior and social structure. My exploration of this topic has taken two very different tracks, first, through the study of foraging behavior and resource competition in wild primates and, second, through controlled studies of maternal undernutrition and progeny outcomes in captive baboons. Most recently, I have begun to focus on the applied dimensions of primate ecology. I am currently working with colleagues in Thailand and Malaysia to document gibbon density and distribution in human modified landscapes.


Ph.D., Washington University, 1999


I have taught broadly in Anthropology, including cultural anthropology and archaeology. I currently teach undergraduate and graduate courses in human origins, human nature, and primate behavior and ecology.

Prospective students: I am currently accepting applications from MA and Ph.D. students who share my research interests.

Current Ph.D. students: Amanda Ellwanger, Nicholas Ellwanger, Lou Griffin, Alex Holdbrook, Martha Lyke, Shelby Samartino 

Representative Publications

2016 - Bartlett TQ, Light LEO and Brockelman WY. Long-term home range use in white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Khao Yai National Park. American Journal of Primatology. 78(2):192-203. 

2015 - Fei H, Ma C, Bartlett TQ, Dai R, Xiao W and Fan P. Feeding postures of cao vit gibbon (Nomascus nasutus) living in a low canopy karst forest. International Journal of Primatology 36(5):1036-1054.

2015 - Fan PF, Bartlett TQ, Fei HL, Ma CY and Zhang W. Understanding stable bi-female grouping in gibbons: Feeding competition and reproductive success. Frontiers in Zoology 12:5. 

2011 - Bartlett TQ. The Hylobatidae: small apes of Asia. In: Primates in Perspective 2nd Edition, CJ Campbell, A Fuentes, KC MacKinnon, RM Stumpf and SK Bearder (eds). Oxford University Press, pp. 300-312.

2009 - Bartlett, Thad Q. The Gibbons of Khao Yai: Seasonal Variation in Behavior and Ecology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

2009 - Bartlett, Thad Q. Seasonal Home Range Use and Defendability in White-Handed Gibbons (Hylobates lar) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. In The Gibbons: New Perspectives on Small Ape Socioecology and Population Biology. Edited by Lappan, S. M., Whittaker, D. and Geissmann, T. Pp. 265-275. Berlin: Springer.

2003 - Bartlett, Thad Q. Intragroup and Intergroup Social Interactions in Hylobates lar. International Journal of Primatology 24(2): 239-259.


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