Archaeology

Archaeologists study past human societies, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind. The archaeology department at CU-Boulder provides continuous geographic coverage of ancient societies from the Plains of North America through the Southwest and Mesoamerica to the Intermediate Area. Numerous faculty areas of expertise include:

  • human ecology
  • agency and social theory
  • disasters in ancient and modern times
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Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropology is dedicated to the study of human evolution and human biological variation. At CU-Boulder, this department offers training in primate and human anatomy and evolution, primate behavior and ecology, human variation and ecology, and nutritional anthropology. Faculty research interests are varied and include:

  • primate health and disease ecology
  • early hominin paleoecology
  • human reproductive and nutritional ecology
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Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is the subfield of anthropology concerned with cultural variation and universals among past and present human societies. At CU-Boulder, regional expertise extends from the Arctic to East Africa, from the Caribbean to Tibet. Faculty interests are wide-ranging and include:

  • culture and power
  • post-colonialism
  • racial constructs
  • religion and ritual
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Archaeology
Biological Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology

Faculty Profiles

Kaifa Roland
Cultural Anthropology
Roland’s research is in the area of cultural anthropology and her interests include: tourism, national identity, racial and gender constructions, and critiques of capitalism.
Douglas B. Bamforth
Archaeology
Professor Bamforth's research focuses on the archaeology of the Great Plains, with a technical emphasis on lithic and microwear analysis.
Steven Leigh
Biological Anthropology
Leigh's research focuses on human and primate evolution and integrates many different kinds of data across the discipline of anthropology, including information from genetics, anatomy, archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology.
Terry McCabe
Cultural Anthropology
McCabe researches human adaptations to arid land and savanna ecosystems, with a special emphasis on nomadic pastoralism.
Payson Sheets
Archaeology
Professor Sheets' main areas of research are the Arenal region of Costa Rica and the Ceren site in El Salvador.
Donna Goldstein
Cultural Anthropology
Ethnography, political economy, gender and sexuality, poststructuralism, human rights, ethno-nationalism and globalization.
Darna Dufour
Biological Anthropology
Biological and behavioral responses of human populations to nutritional problems with special emphasis on responses to food shortages and the presence of toxins in foods.
Bert Covert
Biological Anthropology
Professor Covert focuses on the behavioral ecology and conservation of endangered Vietnamese primates of Southeast Asia.
Robin Bernstein
Biological Anthropology
Robin Bernstein’s research combines field and laboratory methods to investigate human growth and development, and how nutrition, disease, and environmental factors shape growth patterns in infants and children.
Gerardo Gutiérrez
Archaeology
Gerardo Gutiérrez’s research focuses on the archaeology, ethnohistory, communication systems, biological admixture and human ecology of Prehispanic and Early Colonial peoples of the former domains of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.
Michelle Sauther
Biological Anthropology
Professor Sauther’s major focus of research is to better understand how both immediate and long term environmental factors interact with inter-individual variation to affect primate behavior and biology.
Catherine Cameron
Archaeology
Professor Cameron works in the American Southwest and has focused especially on the Chaco Phenomenon.
Carla Jones
Cultural Anthropology
Professor Jones’ primary research situates theoretical questions about gender, class and subjectivity in the context of contemporary urban Indonesia.
Scott Ortman
Archaeology
Scott Ortman’s research focuses on the integrative approaches to the long-term histories of American Indian peoples and expanding the role of archaeology in the social sciences as well as the social sciences in archaeology.
Arthur Joyce
Archaeology
Arthur Joyce’s research focuses on two interrelated issues: the origins, development, and collapse of complex societies and the archaeology of landscape and space.
Matt Sponheimer
Biological Anthropology
Matt Sponheimer does research on the ecology of early hominins and living and fossil mammals, both large and small, from the African continent.
Carole McGranahan
Cultural Anthropology
Professor McGranahan is a cultural anthropologist and historian specializing in contemporary Tibet.
Jen Shannon
Cultural Anthropology
Shannon studies the history, theory, and contemporary practice of museums and the representation of indigenous peoples.

Students & Alumni Profiles

Joanna Mishtal
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Mishtal is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida.
Erin Baxter
Student: Archaeology
Erin Baxter is a Ph.D. student who is interested in the role of Aztec Ruins complex (11th-13th century) with respect to Chaco Canyon and the political organization of the US Southwest.
Lance Holly
Alumni: Archaeology
Since graduating from CU with a Masters in Archaeology, Lance has focused his efforts on teaching kids about how cool history is.
Alicia Davis
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
Right after graduating in May 2010, Alicia started a position at the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska.
Michaela Howells
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
Michaela earned her PhD in 2013 focusing on reproduction and human biology.
Andie Ang
Student: Biological Anthropology
Andie is a PhD student whose research interests lie in the ecology and population genetics of Asian colobine primates, in particular that of threatened and untended species.
Jason Chiupka
Alumni: Archaeology
Since Graduating from the University of Colorado Department of Anthropology Jason has been working professionally on a variety of archaeological projects in the Southwest.
Lindsay Ofrias
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
Lindsay graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013 with a MA in Anthropology as well as a Graduate Certificate on Environment, Policy and Society. Lindsay will be pursuing her PhD at Princeton University.
Dawn Mulhern
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
After graduating with her Ph.D. In Anthropology from CU Boulder in 1996, Dawn taught briefly at The Colorado College and CU Denver.
Stacy Barber
Alumni: Archaeology
Stacy received an M.A. degree in 1999 and a Ph.D. in 2005 in archaeology, under the direction of Payson Sheets and co-direction for her Ph.D. from Arthur Joyce.
Willi Lempert
Student: Cultural Anthropology
Willi Lempert is a cultural anthropology Ph.D. student interested in the production and circulation of Indigenous media.
Shana Harris
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
Shana received her M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2004.
Marc Levine
Alumni: Archaeology
Dr. Marc Levine holds a dual appointment at the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.
Jonathan O'Brien
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
Jonathan earned his PhD in 2014 focusing on the feeding and sensory ecology of South East Asian colobines.
Jakob Sedig
Student: Archaeology
Jakob Sedig is a Ph.D. candidate and Southwest US archaeologist at CU Boulder. Jakob’s research focuses on the social, demographic, and environmental changes that occurred in the Mimbres region of southwestern New Mexico from AD 900-...
Jennifer Leichliter
Student: Biological Anthropology
Jennifer Leichliter is a Ph.D. student studying paleoecology and hominin evolution during the Plio-Pleistocene in South Africa.
David Hoffman
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
David’s research broadly focuses on the intersection of international biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods.
Katy Putsavage
Student: Archaeology
I am a Ph.D. student focusing on the demographic and social transformations in the Mimbres region between A.D. 1150 to 1450.
Guy Hepp
Student: Archaeology
Guy Hepp is a Ph.D. student focusing on the archaeology of the Mesoamerican Early Formative period (c.a. 1600-850 B.C.) in coastal Oaxaca, Mexico.
Marni LaFleur
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
Marni LaFleur is a doctoral student focusing on primate behavioral ecology. Her research examines the ecology and evolution of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).
Chris Dixon
Alumni: Archaeology
Chris Dixon is a Ph.D. student focusing on Classic Period Maya agricultural production and organization.
Ben Joffe
Student: Cultural Anthropology
Ben Joffe is a South African PhD student whose current work focuses on Tibetan life in exile.
Traci Bekelman
Student: Biological Anthropology
Traci is a PhD student who studies variation in nutritional status among urban Latin American women. For her dissertation, she will investigate how diet and body size vary between women of low- and high-socioeconomic status in San...
Alison Bredthauer
Alumni: Archaeology
Since graduating in 2010 with her MA, Alison has been employed by Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants, based in Cortez, Colorado.
Krista Fish
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
After graduating from CU-Boulder in 2010, Krista began teaching at Colorado College where she is currently an assistant professor.
Barbara Piperata
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
Upon graduation from CU-Boulder (Fall 2005) Professor Piperata joined the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University where she is currently an Assistant Professor.
Frank Cuozzo
Alumni: Biological Anthropology
Professor Cuozzo earned his doctorate in Biological Anthropology at CU-Boulder in 2000.
Tim Craig
Alumni: Cultural Anthropology
Tim's academic and professional career spans 15+ years and involves extensive qualitative research throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Career Services

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