Department News

Anthropology announcements

University of Nevada, Reno anthropology students and faculty are busy presenting and publishing their work, organizing and hosting public lectures by distinguished visitors, and bringing positive attention to the department. Here are just a few accomplishments and events.

January 2021

The Department of Anthropology is hosting a Hilliard lecture featuring Bertin Louis, Ph.D. who will give a virtual talk titled, "Black Rural Lives Matter: Anti-Racist Organizing in the U.S. South" on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12 p.m.

The non-indictment of Michael Brown’s killer in fall 2014, the castigation of Blacks during the Baltimore uprising following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody and the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail further solidified the notion of the expendability of Black life vis-à-vis the American state. But while larger urban areas like Cleveland, Ferguson and Staten Island mobilized around anti-Black police brutality, African Americans in smaller rural towns struggled to manifest their opposition to anti-Black violence in ways that were meaningful to their communities. Many turned to the Black church, which emerged once again as a site of struggle and resistance.

This presentation with featured guest speaker Bertin M. Louis, Jr., Ph.D., charters the rise of an anti-racist, interfaith organization created to combat anti-Black racism in the South: Blount County United (BCU). The research focus on BCU renders problems that Blacks face in non-urban contexts visible and demonstrates the systemic nature of racism in the 21st century as it is articulated in rural contexts thereby highlighting the hidden transcripts of anti-Black violence. 

July 2020

Mark Giambastiani

We are sorry to report that Mark Giambastiani passed away July 15, 2020. Mark was an adjunct faculty member in our department, served on several of our students’ graduate committees and helped set up our parts of our Human Paleoecology and Archaeometry Laboratory. In addition to being a stellar archaeologist who made many significant contributions to our understanding of California and Great Basin pre-history and history (especially in Owens Valley), Mark was an integral member of the region’s cultural resource management industry, a passionate heritage preservationist and a dedicated scholar and educator. He served most recently as the president of the Nevada Archaeological Association.

We are extremely saddened by this loss and send our sincerest condolences to his family, loved ones, friends and colleagues. He is already sorely missed.

February 2020

  • Is the Central African Rainforest Pristine? What the Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological Records Tell Us About Human-Environmental Interaction in the Congo Basin: Far Western Anthropological Research lecture by Karen Lupo and Dave Schmitt from Southern Methodist University. Lupo and Schmitt are revising the notion of pristine landscapes and highlights the roles that ethnoarchaeology and archaeology can play in mitigating current global crises.

May 2019

  • Postdoctoral researcher Louise Corron, Ph.D., received the Young Forensic Scientist Scholarship from the Brazilian Academy of Forensic Sciences for her work on subadult growth and development and age estimation. The award included being hosted at the 2019 interFORENSICS conference in Saõ Paulo, Brazil in May 2019.
  • Geoff Smith, associate professor, won the highly prestigious F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award. The award recognizes and celebrates outstanding teaching by University of Nevada, Reno faculty.
  • Marin Pilloud, assistant professor, received the 2019 Dean's Award for Outstanding Research and Artistry.

January 2019

  • Elaine Chu, anthropology student, participated in the 2019 Regional 3MT Competition. Her three minutes discussed how body mass estimation can assist to identity Hispanic individuals along the US-Mexico border.
  • The forensic anthropologists in the department, assistant professors Marin Pilloud and Kya Stull, were in the local news regarding their ability to identify skeletal remains.

September 2018

  • Ph.D. student Victoria Swenson received the Kosciuzsko Foundation's Graduate Studies and Research scholarship for work conducted in Poland.

Anthropology news stories

Assistant professor Kyra Stull with her dog Ozymandias sitting on rocks overlooking Washoe Valley Lake

University assistant professor shares her experience contracting COVID-19

Kyra Stull says the choices we make are not our own

Datura rock art drawing next to Datura flower

Researchers Explore the Role of Datura in Rock Art at Pinwheel Caves

University of Nevada, Reno anthropologist performs radiocarbon analysis on Datura wrightii quids

graduate student works on laptop

Anthropology Professor Kyra Stull creates Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database

Database made possible by four federally funded projects from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice Awards