I am interested in evolutionary medicine and how understanding the ways in which humans have co-evolved with environments, diets, and pathogens allows us to better understand health and disease. My research draws on the methods and theoretical frameworks of several fields, including: molecular biology, archaeology, archaeogenetics (ancient DNA), stable isotope-based paleodietary and paleomigratory analysis, archaeobotany, and zooarchaeology. Links to open-access PDFs of my publications can be found on my Academia.edu and ResearchGate profiles.
I came to the University of Oklahoma in September of 2012 after finishing a two-year postdoc in the Molecular Research Group of the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich. I currently co-direct the Laboratory for Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR) with Dr. Cecil M. Lewis Jr. at the University of Oklahoma. I am currently working on several projects, including the investigation of human oral microbiome in preservation in ancient dental calculus. I am involved in a number of medically-oriented archaeogenetic projects in Asia, as well as a project aimed at evaluating genetic health risk factors in a German medieval population. I have a strong interest in ancient human diet and nutrition, and I recently developed a new paleoethnobotanical reference collection website called Paleobot.org with fellow collaborators Jade d’Alpoim Guedes and David Goode. I am a collaborator on several stable isotope and archaeogenetic botanical studies, and I am currently co-editing a book on archaeobotany with John Mac Marston and Jade d’Alpoim Guedes.
I am committed to quality undergraduate and graduate education. I teach a course on the Anthropology of Human Diet and Nutrition at the University of Oklahoma, and provide training opportunities for visiting students in my laboratory. Previously, I served as a Tutor (academic advisor) at Harvard College from 2005-2010. I also served as the laboratory manager for the Harvard Archaeology Multi-User Laboratory from 2008-2009, and continued to be involved with laboratory training of graduate students in archaeology through 2010. At the University of Zurich, I assisted with introductory histology classes for medical school students, and I gave several guest lectures on ancient DNA at the University of Zurich and the University of Basel in Switzerland.