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Current Graduate Students

Margaret Aiken (MA Student)


Josephine Baker (MA Student): Josephine is a master's student, studying under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Hill. Her MA thesis focuses on Cuban linguistic practices, looking at the ways in which humoristic discourse influences relationships between citizens and the state, and within communities.

Anna Bettini (PhD Candidate): Four field trained anthropology PhD candidate, interested in human-environment relations, whose current project focuses on exploring the impacts of unconventional extractive practices within local rural communities in New Zealand as well as the future of energy in its region and country.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-bettini-70b37b14a/


Nataliya Bezborodova (PhD Student)


Katherine Bishop (PhD Candidate): Katherine is a PhD Candidate in biological anthropology and archaeology. She did her BSc in Medical Sciences (Western U), her MA in biological anthropology (McMaster U), and has worked with cultural resource management projects throughout Ontario. As part of her dissertation work she investigates animal management practices at the Classical and Hellenistic Greek site of Kastro Kallithea. Her research integrates stable isotope analysis, zooarchaeology, and a modern ethnographic comparative to understand sheep and goat herding practices now and in the past. With teaching interests that include human osteology, forensic anthropology, and human-animal-landscape relationships, Katherine is active in Sci-Comm and public outreach.
Sci-Comm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovilVeHT7mU
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Katherine_Bishop
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katherine-bishop-228a07b8/

Dietlind Bork (PhD Candidate): Dietlind Bork is a PhD candidate in Medical Anthropology. Under the supervision of Marko Zivkovic and Helen Vallianatos, her work focuses on the experiences of mental health patients as they encounter and move through the health care system. In particular, she is interested in cases where the underlying physical cause of symptoms of mental illness are missed by clinicians, meaning that patients with curable conditions (such as vitamin deficiencies) are classified and medicated as if they suffer from chronic mental illness conditions. Research interests: Institutional Ethnography, Critical Auto-Ethnography, Power Relations, Discourse Analysis, Social Studies of Science, Psychoneuroendoimmunology


Michelle Borowitz (PhD Candidate)


Kyla Cangiano (MA Student)


Nicole Companiytsev (MA Student): I am working under the supervision of Dr. Marko Zivkovic. My research is in conducting a cross-cultural analysis of North American and Russian science fiction film, with a particular focus on how portrayals of other, fictional societies inform and reflect our understanding of real-world societies.


Craig Farkash (MA Student)


Dale Fisher (MA Student)


Lacey Fleming (PhD Candidate): Lacey Fleming's Ph.D. research focuses on the roles dogs performed in prehistoric and Medieval societies across Siberia--including their use as traction animals, pets, subjects of ceremonial sacrifice, and even as a source of food--through the dietary stable isotope analysis of human and animal bone collagen. She is particularly interested to learn how humans provisioned their dogs, and whether dog dietary values can be used as a proxy for human values.


Ella Forgie (MA Student)


Katherine Gadd (MA Student): As an MA student under Dr. Kisha Supernant, my research examines the use of various remote sensing techniques in learning about the identification of anthropological features and the use of space at archaeological sites on the Alberta Plains.


Vivian Giang (PhD Student): Vivian Giang is pursuing interdisciplinary doctoral studies (Anthropology & Engineering) through the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems research initiative as a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-D Scholar. Vivian is passionate about communication and engaging with people. Her doctoral research aims to inform and develop equitable community engagement processes and communication frameworks for approaching renewable energy development responsibly and sustainably, while respecting Indigenous rights. Vivian previously studied at MacEwan University (Alberta), Royal Roads University (British Columbia), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Germany) and Kyushu Women’s University (Japan).
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivian-giang/

Elizabeth Goldberg (MA Student): Libby is a first-year MA student under the supervision of Dr. John (Jack) Ives. Her primary research interests include perishable technologies, migration archaeology, and patterns of learning. Libby's MA thesis examines possible connections between northern Dene perishable traditions, especially spruce root basketry, Navajo and Apache perishables, and 13th century perishable artifacts found at Promontory Caves.


Rebecca Gray (PhD Student)


Jacqueline Green (PhD Student): Jacqueline Green is a PhD student in Medical Anthropology working under the supervision of Helen Vallianatos. Her work focuses on how diabetes impacts perceptions of food and body with individuals and their household members. She is particularly interested in how identities of individuals and their household members shift following a diabetes diagnosis and how alterations to food and body practices intersect with existing practices entrenched in people’s cultural, and socio-economic positions. Her fieldwork involves illness narrative methodology and research on social media applications such as Facebook and YouTube. Research interests: identity, power relations, food, body, health, disease, cyborg anthropology


Brenda Guernsey (PhD Candidate)


Emily Haines (MA Student): Emily is interested in using a community-centered approach to further develop the practice of Indigenous archaeology with Métis communities in northern Alberta. In her work on the project "Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology", she will be working with communities to document and protect places of significance using non-invasive methods such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technologies. As a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, she has a strong connection to this work that drives her research focus and process.


Scott Habkirk (PhD Candidate): Under the supervision of Jean DeBernardi my research explores the connections between traditional Chinese religion, martial arts, and medicine. I did my MA thesis on the modernization of traditional Chinese religion in Taiwan, have been practicing White Crane kung fu since 1999, and worked for the Natural Health Practitioner of Canada. I am examining the role that culture plays in creating different conceptualization of health. Particularly, I am looking at how cultural and religious concepts in Daoism and Buddhism shape perceptions and experiences of the body. For comparative purposes I am doing fieldwork at Frank Lee's Muai Thai Kick Boxing and MMA in Edmonton, at White Crane kung fu schools in Hong Kong, and at Wudang Mountain in Hubei province, China. Wudang mountain is world renowned as a center for Chinese martial arts and is the divine birthplace of Xuan Wu, a martial god in traditional Chinese religion.


Emily Hull (PhD Candidate): Emily works with the zooarchaeology of reindeer and caribou in Canada and Fennoscandia. Her primary focus is on animal injury and the anatomy of Rangifer tarandus hooves. Her research interests include animal osteology, paleopathology, anatomy, and domestication studies. She also works with human-animal studies and animal life histories.


Philbert Katto (PhD Student)

Todd Kristensen (PhD Candidate): Todd Kristensen's PhD explores the archaeological and historical record of Dene adaptations to alpine environments in the Mackenzie Mountains of Northwest Territories.


Katherine Latham (PhD Student): Katherine Latham is a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Rob Losey. She specializes in archaeology and her research interests include zooarchaeology, animal domestication, and human-animal working relationships. Her dissertation investigates the emergence and evolution of dogsledding in coastal northern Alaska and the western Canadian Arctic.


Jennifer Laughton (PhD Student): Jennifer is a Ph.D. student with the Baikal Archaeology Project (BAP) under the supervision of Dr. Weber. Having spent a year living in Siberia, Russia on a Rotary Youth Exchange she is excited to join her love of Russian language and culture to her interests in human skeletal biology. Her research will focus on the osteological material exhumed from Verkholensk and other middle Holocene hunter-gatherer cemeteries on the Upper Lena River in the Cis-Baikal region of Siberia. Research interests include population health and demography, paleopathology, and population variation through non-metric trait analyses.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-laughton-0ba33b6a/?originalSubdomain=ca

Kevin Chavez Laxamana (MA Student): Kevin Chavez Laxamana's MA research will explore and analyze the diverse experiences and histories of transgender women (transwomen) in relation to sexual reassignment surgeries by comparing gender variance in Bali (Indonesia) and Singapore.


Andrew Lints (PhD Candidate)


Junhong Ma (PhD Candidate): Junhong Ma’s research focuses on contemporary Chinese tea culture and tea industry, examining various agents, including the government, the growing middle class groups, tea merchants, tea masters and artists. Education background in business and classical literature engage her to better understand how the national drink is repackaged in post-socialist China today, representing a spirit of Chinese-ness. Her research interests include: tea art education, tea package, the middle class’s lifestyle and consumption in Taiwan and Mainland China, the relationship between tea culture entities in East Asia, bubble tea as well as the new generation teahouses; Canadian tea culture.

Amy Mack (PhD Candidate)


Kira McLachlin (MA Student): Kira McLachlin’s MA thesis project examines known-age dog and wolf dentition, refining current zooarchaeological age estimation practices for canids.


Solene Mallet Gauthier (PhD Student)


Morgan Moffitt (PhD Candidate): I am a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Dr. Mark Nuttall. My research examines Tulita Dene and Métis relationships with hydrocarbons and land in the context of oil and gas exploration, development, and extraction in the Sahtu.


Alphonse Ndem Ahola (PhD Candidate)


Jennifer Nelson (PhD Candidate): I am working under the supervision of Dr. Lesley Harrington. I’m interested in the growth and development of children, particularly how “stress” adversely affects dental health. I plan to use both clinical and archaeological research to increase our understanding of how various sources of stress alter the development of dental tissue.


Deanna Joyce Neri (MA Student): Deanna is a second year Master’s student in socio-cultural anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Lowrey. Her current research explores how disability support workers facilitate friendship formation and inclusion of adults with intellectual disabilities. She is particularly interested in working with immigrant disability support workers who also experience social isolation and exclusion. Her study entails in-depth interviews with disability support workers in Edmonton. Research results will inform interventions to address the barriers to inclusion of both immigrants and people with intellectual disabilities. Research interests: intellectual disability, friendship, inclusion, immigration

Megan Paranich (MA Student): My research interests involve the epistemology and discursive power of science in visualizations of the environment, and how these visualizations affect the application and social power of traditional knowledge of indigenous people. I am also interested in how scientific epistemology is used to validate national narratives of climate change and the Arctic. I am working under the supervision of Mark Nuttall.


Nora Pederson (PhD Candidate)


Eileen Pilling (MA Student)


Alexandra Rocca (MA Student): My research area is biological anthropology. I am studying post-cranial juvenile bones from various Later Stone Age hunter-gatherer groups under Dr. Lesley Harrington. My research will focus on the ontogeny that results in variation in the pelvis due to selective pressures.


Tonya Simpson (MA Student): I am entering my first year of the MA program in Anthropology at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Pamela Mayne Correia. My research will investigate Canadian societal perspectives about the bodies of Indigenous women using tribal-centered research epistemologies and an overview of forensic case data. I will compare fatal trauma patterns of murdered Indigenous women to victims belonging to other social groups to address (1) if and how acts of lethal violence directed towards Indigenous women differ from violent acts against members of other gender and racial groups; (2) how lethal trauma profiles of Indigenous women reflect social attitudes towards Indigenous women; and, (3) if and how societal understandings of Indigenous women render this group more susceptible to acts of violent trauma than other groups. Ultimately, my goal is to provide opportunities for community and political leaders to address violence towards Indigenous women from an informed perspective.


Sean Swaters (MA Student): Sean Swaters' MA research uses Geometric Morphometrics to study statistical shape and growth change in subadult clavicles between two juvenile populations at Sadlermiut and Indian Knoll. This is accomplished by landmarking 3D clavicle meshes to derive a set of cartesian coordinates. These coordinates are analyzed in the statistical computing language “R.”


Erika Sutherland (PhD Student)


Eric Tebby (MA Student): Eric Tebby’s MA research involves drone based aerial photography, excavation, and comparative western plains settlement sites to further explore the ongoing research regarding the 19th-century Metis Settlement at Buffalo Lake, Alberta.


Samira Torabi (PhD Candidate)


Mirjana Uzelac (PhD Candidate)


Stenette van den Berg (PhD Student): Stenette is a PhD student in Social and Cultural Anthropology focusing on Human-Animal-Environmental Relationships in the Circumpolar North. Specializing in human-sled dog relationships, she does fieldwork in Arctic Canada and Greenland. She holds a BA and BHCS(Hons) from the University of Pretoria, the Erasmus+ DYCLAM Master of Excellence from the University of Jean Monnet (France), Polytechnical Institute of Tomar (Portugal), National Museum of Natural History (France) and University of Federico II (Italy), as well as an M2 Arctic Studies from the University of Paris Saclay. Her research interests include multispecies ethnography, social effects of climate change, cultural landscapes, identity and 'Northernness'.


Victoria van der Haas (PhD Student): Victoria van der Haas is a PhD student with the Baikal Hokkaido Archaeology Project, supervised by Prof. Andrzej Weber. Victoria is analyzing sets of teeth from individuals representing the middle Holocene early Bronze Age cemetery of Khuzhir-Nuge XIV in the Baikal region of Siberia, Russia. She does this by micro-sampling tooth dentine and applying stable isotope analysis. Victoria aims to contribute to the ongoing study of individual life histories from this region and hopes to provide a better understanding of dietary variability among Holocene hunter-gatherers.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victoria_Van_Der_Haas 


William (Liam) Wadsworth (MA Student): Liam specializes in applying geophysics/remote sensing techniques to Canadian archaeology, primarily at the request of Indigenous communities. He has had the opportunity to work on diverse sites representing different time periods and cultures. His other research interests include: landscape archaeology, GIS, Traditional Knowledge, non-invasive and digital technologies, archaeological science, and unmarked graves. His supervisor is Dr. Kisha Supernant.


Dawn Wambold (MA Student): I am working under the supervision of Dr. Kisha Supernant. My planned research focus is on the representation of Metis women in the archaeological record. This research will focus on the artifact assemblages from Metis hivernant sites such as Buffalo Lake in Alberta and Chimney Coulee in Saskatchewan.


Jie Yan (PhD Candidate): My research interests include Anthropology of Religion, Chinese Buddhism in Modernity, Material Culture and Intangible Culture, and Folklore. My PhD program started in 2012. My research, under the guidance of my supervisor Dr. Jean DeBernardi, focuses on the Buddhist temples in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province of China. I particularly concern with the culture practices of temples, and the relationship of religious places and urban space, exploring the niche construction of folk traditions in the process of Chinese modernization. I also study the Jingshan tea culture as part of the program of “Material Identity: The Anthropology of Chinese Tea Culture” conducted by my supervisor.


Kaitlyn Young (PhD Candidate)


Keyna Young (MA Student)

Zhe Zhang (PhD Candidate): Zhe Zhang current focuses on the study of Neolithic aurochs bonebed from northeast China. Through the application of traditional zooarchaeology methods, stable isotope analysis and GIS, She will explore the formation process of bonebed and its possible role in identity and social complex.