Research Profiles

In Anthropology It's ALL About Research

Here are some of the topics being studied at FAU:

(Scroll to the sections for Archaeology, Biological (Physical) Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology)


S. England

Steven England

My research interests include prehistoric archaeology with a focus on the archaic period and zooarchaeology. My current research is a study of the Tomoka Mound and Midden Complex in Volusia County, Fl., where I am studying the exploitation of fresh water molluscs and their relationships to cultural traditions.

John Duggan

John S. Duggan

My research interests are in Paleoindian archaeology, Pleistocene landscapes, lithic technology, and the formation of early cultural systems in prehistoric Florida. I am currently the Field Director of the Old Vero Archaeological Site, an Archaic and Paleoindian site in Indian River County, Florida.

 Ryan and Smokey 2

Ryan Steeves

My research interests include historic and industrial archaeology. My current research focuses on zooarchaeology, specifically analyzing the remains from the West Kendall Site in Miami, an Everglades tree island. I am interested in human interaction with the environment, both past and present.


Dr. Arlene Fradkin

My major area of expertise is zooarchaeology, the study of animal bone and shell remains recovered from archaeological sites. As a branch of environmental archaeology, this discipline is directed toward understanding the dynamic relationship between past human populations and the natural and social environment in which they lived.


Dr. Clifford Brown

Most of my research and experience in archaeology focuses geographically on the culture area called Mesoamerica, which encompasses central and eastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and western Honduras. Recently, I began survey and excavations in northwest Nicaragua. My research interests include the origins of civilization, particularly the emergence of inequality and social complexity; ceramic analysis; lithic analysis; and the application of quantitative methods in archaeology, especially fractal analysis.



Benni Litman

My research interests in primatology focuses on biological stress markers in chimpanzees My previous fieldwork involved studying unhabituated chimpanzees in Sierra Leone as they transition from extremely negative human interaction (being hunted) to neutral human presence (field observers) through hormone analysis. My current focus involves further exploring various methodologies for assessing chimpanzee endocrine responses.

Jen Dewey

Jennifer Dewey

My current research focuses on assessing the activity patterns of the Republic Groves population from the Late Archaic period from the West Central region of the Gulf Coast of Florida. My goal is to further develop current methodologies in hopes that we can reconstruct the daily behavior of prehistoric individuals to gain insight to into not only an individual’s role in a broader sociocultural context, but to also ask broader questions in regards to their social organization, socioeconomic activities, and finally the life conditions of ancient populations.


Alexandra Thomas

My research interests involve human evolution and migration. I am research dentition and diet to see if these markers explain the morphology of the cranium. My particular areas of research interest are Europe and Asia.

Alyson Fishbein

Alyson Fishbein

My research interest is the evolution of the brain, specifically the roles of white matter tissues and the mechanisms responsible for brain growth and human language. I will focus on the corpus callosum of individuals afflicted with a medical condition called microcephaly.


Stephen Amorino

Stephen Amorino

My research focuses on environment and ecological anthropology. With my background studying community forestry and indigenous land rights, I plan to research the impact of environmental degradation on the Everglades as well as the threats to Native American tribal lands in Southern Florida.


Marissa Tirro

My current research examines the effect that spirituality has on the concept of sustainability and its intentional application by a Florida ecovillage in implementing a permacultural model of sustainable living.
Dr. Max Kirsch

Most of my work as an anthropologist has been economic and political anthropology, globalism, the anthropology of work and the anthropology of gender, as well as human rights and issues of peace and justice. In doing this, my focus contains questions of the meaning and generation of theory and their consequences on the analysis of local populations in global settings, as well as the analysis of the individual in society.

Dr. Michael Harris

My work in anthropology is motivated by my interest in making anthropology relevant to contemporary social problems. In general, I am most interested in how anthropology can be used to address such disparate issues as health and disease patterns, inequality, and environmental degradation. Most of my work has focused on the human-environment interaction, particularly examining how people use land in subsistence practices, how access to land changes over the course of a household’s life cycle, and through inheritance practices. From this basic focus on land use, my research extends out to economic and political processes as well as issues of health and illness (especially childhood disease and mortality).