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Current Graduate Students

Current as of Fall 2017.


Margaret Aiken

Amira Arshad

Karl Berendt   
I am an MA student, studying human osteoarchaeology under Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok. I'm interested in the social aspects of the human experience in the past as revealed through biology, particularly the life experiences of children and the disabled. My current research focuses on the Bronze Age Near East, but I am also interested in the archaeology of the Harappan and Minoan civilisations.
My fieldwork takes place in Israel, where I am conducting stable isotope analysis on the remains of four Egyptian children trapped in a collapsed house during a siege over 3000 years ago. By carefully studying their remains, I hope to learn where they came from, how they fit into the local society, how they lived their lives, and how this reflects on the wider experience of children in this long-gone time and place.

Anna Bettini

My PhD research looks at the social, cultural, and environmental effects that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has brought  to communities in New Zealand’s Taranaki region, an area that stands  as the centre of New Zealand's oil and gas production, but also as a place charged with history and Maori cultural values. I will explore in particular the changes that have been occurring in local traditional knowledge, the possible health problematics that may have been arisen and affected community members, and how local land and natural resources management strategies have adapted to this extractive practice, considering elements of possible environmental degradation. 

Nataliya Bezborodova

Katherine Bishop

I am entering my second year of the PhD program in the Department of Anthropology under the supervision of Sandra Garvie-Lok with the co-supervision of Margriet Haagsma in the Classics department. My research examines stable isotopes (C, O, Sr) recorded in sheep and goat tooth enamel to measure aspects of animal management and transhumance in ancient Greece. My research is the preliminary study that serves as the foundation for a larger cross-institution project for the region of Thessaly, Greece. I am conducting the first field season of research in the summer of 2016 with the Kastro Kallithea field project wherein I will record the faunal assemblages currently excavated, create osteobiographies for human burials located in the region, and teach undergraduate and graduate students about paleodiet and applications of my research. I am one of the teaching assistants for anthropology 390 (Human Osteology) at the University of Alberta, and have additional research interests in zooarchaeology, forensic anthropology and paleodiet.

Dietlind Bork

Michelle Borowitz

Tiffany Campbell
Tiffany is a Masters student in linguistic anthropology. Under the supervision of Dr. Andie Palmer, her research focuses on the politics of representation as it relates to Indigenous/non-Indigenous conceptions of history and transition in Canada. Her current project investigates ‘reconciliation’ as an emerging area of contestation of national memory in Canada, and on various ways the discourse of reconciliation is taken up by different communities of practice. She has particular experience in critical discourse analysis, and is interested in the multi-referential nature of arguments and interpretive resources. Her other main research interest is Indigenous systems of law, and treaties.
Tiffany is a seventh-generation settler from the province of New Brunswick, and grew up in the Saint John River (Wolastoq) valley area. Her family is from the areas of the St. Croix and Magaguadavic rivers, Bay of Fundy coast, and tributaries of the Wolastoq. She received her BA from St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. Her honours research involved a critical discourse analysis of opinion journalism on the Idle No More movement.

Talisha Chaput
Talisha Chaput's MA thesis will look into dietary changes and distributions of Holocene hunter-gatherer populations in the Cis-Baikal region utilizing FRUITS software. More broadly her research interests include anthropological archaeology, zooarchaeology, diet, and seasonality.

Nicole Companiytsev
I am an MA student 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.

Leslie Dawson

Craig Farkash

Lacey Fleming
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.

Hanna Friedlander
My research interest revolves around the identification of differentiating heat fractures from other trauma markers to aid in cause of death, with the addition of advanced technologies and radiographic images to help discern micro-discrepancies between the two types of fractures. 

Katherine Gadd
As an MA student under Dr. Kisha Supernant, my research examines the use of various remote sensing techniques in learning about the identification of features and the use of space at archaeological sites on the Mattheis Ranch of the Rangelands Research Institute. 

Elizabeth Goldberg
egoldber@ualberta.ca                                                                                                                                                                                                       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.

Brenda Guernsey

Scott Habkirk
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
Emily Hull is a PhD student studying domestication and human-animal relationships, with a focus on domesticates in the Arctic and sub-Arctic.

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

Courtney Lakevold
My MA research, under the direction of Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives, will focus on the use of space and social structure in Promontory Cave, Utah. I will use three dimensional mapping data and excavation data to analyze space in the cave, identify activity areas, and calculate cave size to determine the number of people it could have accommodated. I will integrate my findings with previous work to examine social structure of the Promontory Culture and correlate the results with J. Steward's theory of Athapascan migration.

Katherine Latham

Kevin Chavez Laxamana
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

Junhong Ma

I am Junhong Ma (or Summer), a PhD student of Cultural Anthropology. So far, I have been working with Dr. DeBernardi on tea culture study for almost 3 years. My preliminary field work in tea planting and consumption areas in Taiwan, Mainland China has proved to me the richness of this topic. For my dissertation, I examine the commoditization of tea culture in globalization background; for instance, Kung Fu tea and tea art. Also, in this study, I hope to contribute to study on China and Taiwan relationship from anthropological, historical and economical perspectives.

Amy Mack

Frank Masele


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

Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller, a PhD student, is studying the significance of personal ornaments on early modern human development and dispersal.

Morgan Moffitt
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


Jennifer Nelson
jsnelson@ualberta.ca                                                                                                                                                                                                         I am in the first year of my PhD program, 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.

Benjamin Osipov
Benjamin Osipov is a PhD student affiliated with the Baikal Hokkaido Archaeology Project. His research uses biomechanical analysis of juvenile skeletons to reconstruct the behavior of hunter gatherer children that lived between 8800-4400 years ago in the Cis-Baikal region of Siberia

Megan Paranich

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.

Bhumycka Patel

Nora Pederson

Christina Poletto

I am a Masters student focusing on palaeoenvironmental analyses and past human landscape management practices in northeastern Alberta under the supervision of Dr. John (Jack) Ives. I completed my B.A. in Archaeology at the University of Calgary in 2014, and have worked in cultural resource management in Alberta at sites across the province. My research will focus on reconstructing palaeoenvironmental and forest fire history of the Birch Mountains by analysing a sediment core from a lake in the uplands. With detailed analyses of the records, I hope to note evidence of cultural landscape management practices in this part of the province, and to provide information about the environment that early human inhabitant of Alberta’s boreal forest would have experienced.

Dafna Rachok
Dafna Rachok's MA project examines local vocabularies on commercial sex work in Ukraine. Analyzing the vocabularies used by current and former sex workers, politicians, police officers, and NGO workers, she attempts to understand cultural meanings, national insecurities, and Others, attached to the sale of commercial sex. 

Helena Ramsaroop

My research involves extracting microsamples of dentine from nine adult teeth from the Greek site of Kenchreai. Under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Garvie-Lok, I will use stable isotope analysis to examine the diet of these nine individuals. I will compare this data to previous isotope work on bone collagen from these remains, which will allow me to examine dietary differences between juveniles (represented by dentine collagen) and adults.

Amy Reedman


Alexandra Rocca
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.

Ivan Shmatko

Ivan Shmatko’s MA research is going to be on the Ukrainian police. He will try to discover how police officers contextualize or decontextualize crime and criminal in different social settings.
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.

Erika Sutherland

Eric Tebby
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

Paula Torres
Paula Torres, MA Student, has been working in sites from the Early and Late Formative Period in the northern Ecuadorean highlands. Her thesis project will focus on the reconstruction of past diet and mobility of the groups settled on those sites through the use of stable isotope analysis on human skeletal remains.

Mirjana Uzelac         

Victoria van der Haas

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.

Dawn Wambold
I am a first year MA student and will be 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.

Kayleigh Watson
My research aims to investigate the differential burning patterns of juvenile remains in forensic contexts. This will be acomplished using physiological, chemical, anatomical and osteological assessments.

Joseph Werner

Jeff Werner’s PhD research examines stone tools from a Middle Stone Age site in southern Tanzania. He is working to reconstruct the function of tools using GIS software and confocal laser scanning microscopy to gain a better understanding of economic activity between 100 to 50 thousand years ago in highland East Africa.

Evelyn (Eve) Xeflide
I am in an individual interdisciplinary PhD program in Anthropology and Religious Studies. I am working with Dr. Joseph Hill. My research, Integrating Science and Spirituality: Religion in Ghana’s Modern Health Care System looks at the direct involvement of biomedically trained health care professionals (doctors and nurses) in issues of spirituality/religion in the treatment of patients in hospitals in Ghana, West Africa. Some questions underpinning my research are: What is the history of this development and what is the religio-cultural context of its evolution? What new directions is this development leading modern health care delivery in Ghana? How are contradictions that arise in the merging of religion/spirituality and science in Ghana’s biomedical modern health care delivery practices reconciled?

Jie Yan
Research interests: Anthropology of Religion, Chinese Buddhism in Modernity, Material Culture and Intangible Culture, 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.

Gabriel Yanicki


Kaitlyn Young


Zhe Zhang


Xiao Zheng

Zheng Xiao, a MA student, will focus on museum studies, especially new-styled museums like community museums and eco-museums.  By paying attention to the operating manners, the ownership of the objects on display as well as exhibitions modes and so on, she is trying to find out the insiders' understanding of their own culture and some other issues related and involved.