Research in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis is comprised of outstanding faculty and graduate students conducting meaningful work across Biological Anthropology, Sociocultural anthropology, and Archaeological fields. Click the images below to hear more about ongoing projects.

Associate Professor Xinyi Liu: Food globalisation in prehistory – how did existing culinary traditions influence crop distribution?

Professor Xinyi Liu is an archaeologist of food and environment exploring how past societies domesticated, produced and consumed plants and animals and how they adapted to new environments in prehistoric globalization.


Professor L. Lewis Wall: Women’s Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Professor Wall's research interests involve the intersection of biology and culture, with particular reference to women’s reproductive health. 


Professor Shanti Parikh: HIV Hotspots in Uganda

Professor Parikh’s research focuses on local responses to national and global development interventions, particularly issues surrounding sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, and gender relations.

Assistant Professor Natalie G. Mueller: Lost Crops

Assistant Professor Mueller painstakingly grew and calculated yield estimates for “lost crops:” plants that fed indigenous people in eastern North America for thousands of years — and then were abandoned.

Professor John Bowen: Comparative Studies of Islam

John Bowen, a sociocultural anthropologist, focuses his research on Islam across the world and follows the evolution of acceptable foods among Muslims.


Professor T.R. Kidder: Geoarchaeology

T.R. Kidder leads a team at Tashbulak to explore the site as a physical entity, as well as the way the environment influenced human beings and how human beings might have altered the environment.

Professor Crickette Sanz and Research Associate David Morgan: TedX Talk

Crickette Sanz, a biological anthropologist, and David Morgan, a research associate, study chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle.


Professor T.R. Kidder: Poverty Point

T.R. Kidder, an archaeologist, examines a collection of large mounds built by hunters and gatherers over three thousand years ago in Louisiana.


Professor Shanti Parikh: TedX Talk

Shanti Parikh, a sociocultural and medical anthropologist, presents her research as love letters, intervention and HIV in Uganda.

Professor Michael Frachetti: Lost City

Michael Frachetti, an archaeologist, leads a multidisciplinary team excavating Tashbulak, a lost city high in the mountains of Uzbekistan.



tr kidder and students

Professor T.R. Kidder: TedX Talk

T.R. Kidder, an archaeologist, takes us through history to help us understand our likely climate future. Kidder investigates how humans change their world, sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically.

Professor Bret Gustafson: Significance of Language Learning in Anthropology

Bret Gustafson, a sociocultural anthropologist, talks about studying abroad and the significance of language study for his students and in his own research.

Professor David Freidel: Tomb of Maya queen K'abel discovered in Guatemala

David Freidel, an archaeologist, was part of a team that discovered the tomb of Lady K'abel, a seventh-century Maya Holy Snake Lord considered one of great queens of Classic Maya civilization.


Professor Bret Gustafson: Remapping Bolivia

Bret Gustafson, a sociocultural anthropologist, examines resources, language, and land in Latin America with a focus on indigenous populations in Bolivia.