Announcing the Notre Dame Hub: Taking Students’ Academic Lives Online

The Hub @ Notre Dame is now live! The Hub takes students’ academic lives online, providing a platform for exploring ideas, presenting their work, and social networking within an academic community.

I initiated this project in the spring of 2009 at Notre Dame, so it is wonderful to see it come to fruition. Here is the opening to my original Hub Proposal:

Students today can share their personal lives on online sites like Facebook and MySpace. They do not have a comparable site for their academic lives. Through the creation of the Notre Dame Hub, students will be able to share their research and artistic creations, reflect on what they are learning, and discuss new ideas and opportunities.

The Hub will offer that through a centralized online architecture, a core group of students in charge of managing the site and handling editorial responsibility, a faculty advisory group, and content created by students from across the Notre Dame campus.

To get a full description of the Hub Project, including downloading the Hub proposal and examples of the Hub in action, head over to the full PLoS description of the Notre Dame Hub.

Your Great x 2360 Grandpa was a Neanderthal!

Is your Dad the descendent of a Neanderthal? Visit our PLoS website to find out more. 

Recent evidence has shown that a small percentage of human DNA is Neanderthal. This Neanderthal DNA entered the human gene pool between 80,000 and 50,000 years ago.

While human DNA may contain traces of Neanderthal ancestors, mitochondrial DNA from Neanderthals has not been found in humans. Mitochondrial DNA comes uniquely from your mother. Is it plausible that male Neanderthals were able to mate with female humans, but that the reciprocal cross was unable to occur?

Analyses of the Y chromosome suggest that we share a common male ancestor 59,000 years ago. Could this male ancestor have possibly been Neanderthal?

If our common male ancestor is neanderthal, and considering that the Y chromosome is transmitted uniquely through the paternal line, could it mean that men are more closely related to Neanderthals than women? Have men and women truly come from two different species?

Visit the full post on our PLoS website for the full explanation of this intriguing hypothesis.

Daniel Lende: Looking for Graduate Students

Since I am now at the University of South Florida, I can finally mentor some graduate students! I encourage people to apply to the graduate program in anthropology here. USF accepts students at both the masters and the Ph.D. level. If you’re going to start at the Ph.D. level, your masters does not have to be in anthropology.

My research interests fall into three broad areas: neuroanthropology, medical anthropology, and applied social science. Most of my long-term research has focused on substance use and abuse, including the neuroanthropology of addiction, risk and preventive factors for drug use, and the cultural moderation of substance use.

In recent years I’ve broadened that focus to include research on alcohol use, video games, stress, and PTSD. I might also develop a project on frontotemporal dementia. I have also done work on breast cancer and embodiment, new media & technology, and public anthropology. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods, and advocate combining theory-driven work with community-based research.

You can read more about my projects on the Neuroanthropology PLoS site. And here is my departmental website, where you can access my CV. If you want to contact me, please send me an email at dlende at usf dot edu.

The USF anthropology department emphasizes both theory and applied work within anthropology, and uses an interdisciplinary approach in training and mentoring students. Here is a condensed excerpt from the Department’s Mission:

Anthropology is the comparative and global study of humanity which addresses all aspects of human experience. We are committed to understanding global diversity through community-based applied research that is holistic and interdisciplinary.

Here is one of the main things to emphasize about our graduate program:

The Graduate Program at USF aims to develop creative scholars and scientists who will apply their knowledge and skills to contemporary human problems.

The graduate program has both biological and cultural tracks, and includes a concentration in biocultural medical anthropology. You can see my syllabus for my course on Biocultural Medical Anthropology here. You can also get a dual degree, with an MA in anthropology and an MPH in public health.

Click here for information on how to apply to the USF anthropology program. And here is information on financial assistance and scholarships. Applications are due December 15th, 2010.

I advocate that graduate students find both good mentors and a department that broadly fits their interests. The USF anthropology faculty has a range of expertise and interests that are a great complement to what I do.

Faculty specializations include medical anthropology, human biology, urban policy and community development, educational anthropology, media studies, ethnic policies and heritage, economic development, immigration, archaeology, cultural resource management, gender, environment, applied linguistics, and archaeological science. Geographic specializations emphasize the Caribbean, Latin America, United States, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

You can find out more about the major research themes of the department here, including biocultural dimensions of health and illness, material culture, community identity and heritage, communications and education, sustainability and development, and the social and cultural construction of race, ethnicity and gender.

USF includes a range of departments and affiliations that also complement what the anthro faculty and I do. USF Health includes programs in medicine, nursing, and public health. There is a strong department of psychology, a concentration in neuroscience research, and a broad array of other excellent programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Locally USF has affiliations with the Florida Mental Health Institute, the Moffitt Cancer Center, and the Veterans’ Hospital.

Please email me at dlende at usf dot edu if you have questions!

Deacon featured on PLoS Neuroanthropology

Neuroanthropology has moved to PLoS Neuroanthropology.

Our recent feature was Terrence Deacon’s article on the evolution of language in PNAS (May, 2010). You may like to read our in-depth post. Here’s a teaser:

Deacon (2010) puts forward an argument that language was not exclusively the product of the interorganismic processes of natural and sexual selection. Interorganismic processes include differential reproduction, divergence, drift, recombination and environment-correlated preservation (niche complementation). Deacon hypothesises that language evolved from the space for innovation afforded by the relaxation of selective pressures and the recruitment of intraorganismic evolution-like processes. Intraorganismic processes include redundancy, degeneracy, epigenetic accommodation, and synergy-correlated preservation (redistribution and complexification).

To read our more in-depth summary visit PLoS Neuroanthropology. And you can also check below the fold for a video of Deacon lecturing, as well as links to other coverage of Deacon’s work.

Continue reading

Find More over at PLoS!

Lots of great stuff happening at our new home: Neuroanthropology PLoS

For those of you who haven’t updated the rss feed yet, here is our new PLoS feed. Or the actual html: http://feeds.plos.org/plos/blogs/neuroanthropology Please update! We miss you!!

Recent Popular Posts

Daniel Hruschka and the Book of Friendship

Cordelia Fine and the Delusions of Gender

Fetal Origins: In the News, In the Womb

National Research Council Rankings: Anthropology

Terry Deacon, Relaxed Selection, and the Evolution of Language

Other Posts

Latest Wednesday Round-Up

Ellen Langer and the Psychology of Possibility

Anthropologist Shannon Lee Dawdy – 2010 MacArthur Fellow!

Linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird – 2010 MacArthur Fellow!

Context and Variation: Kathryn Clancy

The Machine That Teaches Itself… Kinda

Peter Kalivas on Learning, Memory and Addiction

Daniel Lende on Twitter

I’ve joined Twitter. You can find me @daniel_lende. Or just click on daniel_lende to see all my latest tweets.

Besides tweeting about the latest posts on Neuroanthropology/PLoS, I do the typical re-tweets, life commentary, exciting links, and the like. So I hope to see you over there!

And if you haven’t updated your feed yet for Neuroanthropology on PLoS, here’s the link to do that right now! Thanks.

The Latest on PLoS Neuroanthropology

We moved over to the Public Library of Science on September 1st, and so far it has gone well. However, I was just looking at Google Reader, and saw that not everyone had updated their subscription! So we are now at: http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/

Here are some highlights from the past two weeks:

Addiction & Learning: More Than Glutamate and Dopamine – Building a better understanding of how learning and memory play a role in addiction

From Good Study Habits to Better Teaching – Taking what we have learned about how students learn more effectively and applying it to my teaching in the classroom

The Narcotic Farm & Nancy Campbell – The United States’ most infamous drug prison/research laboratory, complete with a video interview with the author who helped unearth the archives and photos that tell the story of this foundational institution for drug research and policy

2 legs good, 4 legs better: Uner Tan Syndrome, part 2 – Get your crazy videos of bipedal dogs and goats, as well as Greg’s continued in-depth examination of human bipedality and the fascinating case of “the family that walks on all fours”

You can also find these posts (and more besides!):

Daniel Lende: Projects on PLoS Neuroanthropology – what I am up to over there

Wednesday Round Up #120 – the latest one

Schizophrenia and Cross-Cultural Mental Illness and Treatment – online video and posts from the Foundation for Psychocultural Research

Gonorrhea and the Clap: The Slap Down Treatment – “This might not sound like a good treatment since it involved smashing the penis.”

Aboriginal affairs & pre-human morphing: quick links – See Greg as a Homo heidelbergensis