PhD Candidate
Master of Arts

Contact

Office:
G34
Education:

M.A. Anthropology, Georgia State University, 2010

B.S. Biological Sciences, Minor in Chemistry, Georgia State University, 2005

Research Interests:

My research interests include bioarchaeology, osteology, human evolution, dental microwear analysis, stable isotope analysis, and dental histology. I am particularly interested in how humans have evolved and adapted as a consequence of their environment, and how one's life history influences infectious disease susceptibility. My dissertation project analyzes the interaction between early childhood stress and diet influences infectious disease mortality.  My project examines cholera victims from 19th century Italy from two sites: Benabbio, a small medieval Tuscan castle in which 46 cholera victims from the 1855 cholera epidemic, and Camposanto Vecchio, a cemetery in Alia, Sicily in which approximately 300 cholera victims were buried from the 1837 cholera epidemic. I compare these cholera collections to contemporaneous non-cholera skeletal collections using paleopathological assessments, stature estimation, dental histology, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis.

Grants:

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, “A developmental origin of infectious disease? Applying bioarchaeological methods and theory to investigate the influence of early childhood stressors on infectious disease mortality”. National Science Foundation. $23,307

Melissa Hague Field Study Award, “Stress and infection: life history approaches to cholera susceptibility”. Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia. $700

Pollitzer Student Travel Award, “Diversity and Communication”. American Association of Physical Anthropologists. $500

Janis Faith Steingruber Student Travel Award, “Dental microwear analysis of a 19th century mortuary population from Benabbio, Italy”. Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia. $1200

 

Selected Publications:

Smith AK, Reitsema LJ, and G Vercellotti. In Review. Sex- and Status- based differences in medieval food preparation and consumption: Dental microwear analysis at Trino Vercellese, Italy. Submitted to the Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports.

Walker W, Smith AK, Reitsema LJ, and A Fornaciari. In Review. Using Stable Nitrogen Isotope Analysis to Evaluate the Effects of Weaning on Infectious Disease Mortality in 19th Century Italy. Submitted to the 2018 Annual Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium at the University of Georgia

Smith AK, Reitsema LJ, and A Fornaciari. 2018. A developmental origin of infectious disease? Using incremental carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis to illuminate the role of age-at-weaning on infectious disease mortality. Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropologists 87th Annual Meeting. Location: Austin, Texas. Date: APR 11 – 15, 2018.

Speakman RJ, Hadden C, Colvin M, Cramb J, Jones KC, Jones T, Kling CL, Lulewicz I, Napora K, Reinberger KL, Ritchison B, Araya MJR, Smith AK, and VD Thompson. 2017 Choosing a Path to the Ancient World in a Modern Market: The Reality of Faculty Jobs in Archaeology. American Antiquity.

Holder S, Reitsema LJ, Garland C, Smith A, Lundsford J, Krajewska M, and T Kozłowski. 2017. Addressing the Inertness of Bone and Teeth in Isotopic Studies of Stress and Disease: A Review of Recent Advances and Future Prospects. Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropologists 86th Annual Meeting. Location: New Orleans, LA. Date: APR 19 – 22, 2017.

Tyler J, Kyle B, Smith A, Vassallo S, Fabbri PF, and LJ Reitsema. 2017. Examining the osteological paradox: frailty in mass graves versus the general population at the Greek colony of Himera. Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropologists 86th Annual Meeting. Location: New Orleans, LA. Date: APR 19 – 22, 2017.

Zahid A, Kyle B, Lonoce N, Smith A, Vassalo S, Fabbri PF, and LJ Reitsema. 2017. Analysis of growth disruptions in two burial populations in the Greek colony of Himera. Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropologists 86th Annual Meeting. Location: New Orleans, LA. Date: APR 19 – 22, 2017.

Smith, A, Li X, and LJ Reitsema. 2016. Vertebral wedging: a potential tool for the determination of parity in archaeological samples?. Conference: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting Conference. Location: Orlando, FL.

Smith, A, Reitsema LJ, Williams FL, Fornaciari A, and G Fornaciari. In Press. How diet influences mortality: dietary reconstruction of epidemic and non-epidemic populations in 19th century Italy. Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropology. 

Smith A. 2015. Lessons from the past: disease Stigmatization of Cholera during the 19th Century. Conference: Southern Anthropological Society 50th Anniversary Meeting. Location: Athens, GA. Date: APR 9, 2015.

Smith A and LJ Reitsema. 2015. Plasticity of Human Lumbar Vertebrae as a Tool for Interpreting Age, Sex, and Life History. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156 (S60), 290 – 291.

Smith A and FL Williams. 2010. Assessing the dental microwear of Oreopithecus using low magnification stereo‐microscopy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141 (S50), 218 – 219.