AAAG Member Spotlight
Abigail Bigham is the incoming president of AAAG. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of Michigan, her research program is focused on understanding human genetic adaptation to environmental pressures and how these adaptations affect the range of modern human phenotypic diversity. In particular, Dr. Bigham wishes to understand the adaptive significance of specific phenotypes including those involved in adaptation to high altitude as well as infectious disease resistance and susceptibility. To do so, Dr. Bigham applies a selection mapping approach wherein it is hypothesized that past evolutionary responses to selective pressures impact the distribution of modern healthy phenotypes and disease susceptibility. Such knowledge is likely to profoundly impact our understanding of the genetic control of phenotypic traits as well as identify relevant pathways influencing infection and pathogenesis that will contribute to our understanding of gene function.
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About the AAAG
Founded in 1994, the American Association of Anthropological Genetics (AAAG) is an educational and scientific organization whose mission is to:
2) Facilitate communication between individuals engaged in the study of anthropological genetics; and
3) Foster cooperation among anthropological geneticists.
AAAG meetings are in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the Human Biology Association.
You may download a copy of the AAAG bylaws here.
The official publication of the AAAG is Human Biology.
News and Announcements
Read about new Human Biology reviews here.
If you have job opportunity, workshop, anthropological genetics resource, or another item of interest to AAAG members that you'd like to list on our site, please contact us!
The AAAG is not responsible for and does not endorse the following announcements, but merely provides them as information to its members.
CONGRATULATION TO OTPAG AWARD WINNERS
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - May 23, 2016
Congratulations to the winners of the AAAG's Outstanding Trainee Presentations in Anthropological Genetics (OTPAG) award, which gives a $200 cash prize and a one year subscription to the journal Human Biology for the best poster and podium presentation at the HBA or AAPA annual meeting. The AAAG once again thanks Human Biology's publisher Wayne State University Press for donating journal subscriptions.
Outstanding Student Poster Presentation (tie): Elizabeth Mallot and Yen-Lung "Ota" Lin
Outstanding Student Podium Presentation: Tanvi Honap
Outstanding Postdoc Podium Presentation: Aaron Sams
Elizabeth Mallott is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary research interests lie in examining how resource use, including faunivory, shapes primate social behavior and foraging strategies. In particular, Elizabeth examines interactions between development and food availability in determining dietary choice, using DNA metabarcoding methods to identify animal prey present in white-faced capuchin monkey diets. She also investigates how the gut microbiome buffers dietary changes in white-faced capuchins and increases nutrient uptake from sub-optimal food resources. This research increases our understanding of the plasticity of primate behavioral responses to spatiotemporal variation in resource availability.
Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Evolutionary Biology program at the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. I am co-advised in my doctoral research by Dr. Anne Stone and Dr. Michael Rosenberg. My research interests include studying pathogen evolution using a phylogenomics approach as well as studying how susceptibility to pathogens is influenced by host genetics. Part of my Ph.D. research involves using ancient DNA to study the origins of tuberculosis (TB) in the pre-Columbian Americas. This project is being conducted by the Stone Laboratory in collaboration with Johannes Krause and Kirsten Bos, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany. For this project, I am screening ancient human skeletal remains, showing characteristic signs of TB, for the presence of TB bacterial DNA. I use sophisticated ancient DNA extraction methods, target enrichment, and next-generation sequencing technology to reconstruct the genomes of ancient TB strains. By understanding the evolutionary relationships among ancient and modern TB strains, we can answer questions about the origins of this important human disease. To learn more about my research, please visit my website: www.tanvihonap.com
Aaron is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University in the lab of Philipp Messer. In his research Aaron utilizes genomic data from living and ancient humans (including Neandertals and Denisovans) to better understand the evolution of complex genetic traits, including those related to human health, in conjunction with recent changes in human culture and demography. He also applies computational and simulation approaches to address broader concepts in paleoanthropology such as modern human origins, human dispersal, admixture, and demography.
AAPA TRIP TO GEORGIA AQUARIUM
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - March 22, 2016
The Outreach Committee has once again organized a AAAG social outing during the AAPAs. This year we have obtained special group pricing of $34.51 for the Georgia Aquarium located just 0.7 miles from the conference hotel. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend. We will meet there at 10am on Thursday, April 14th. If you would like to attend at the group rate, you must reserve your spot by prepaying using this link:
If you have any questions, please contact Outreach Committee chair Anne Justice. Last year’s trip to the City Museum in St. Louis was a hit and we hope to provide another opportunity this year for members to take a break from the meetings and enjoy time together.
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - March 22, 2016
Four American Association of Anthropological Genetics' (AAAG) Outstanding Trainee Presentation Awards will be given out this year. The Outstanding Trainee Presentations in Anthropological Genetics (OTPAG) prizes are given for the best poster and podium presentations at the HBA or AAPA annual meetings. Each awardee (one each for best student poster, student podium presentation, post-doc poster, and post-doc podium presentation) will receive a $200 cash prize and a one-year subscription to AAAG’s official journal Human Biology. Student or postdoc presenters who meet the following two requirements are eligible for consideration:
You are the lead author of a presentation on the topic of anthropological genetics and you are the one presenting (either podium or poster).
You are an AAAG member by the April 1st submission deadline (to become a member or renew your membership, go to http://www.anthgen.org/aaag_membership.html.
If you are unsure of your current membership status, please email Ellen Quillen.
Email President Abigail Bigham by April 1, 2016 to be considered, and include your presentation title, abstract, and the time and date of your presentation in your email. Please forward this announcement to any trainees you know who may be interested.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR 2016-2017 VICE PRESIDENT OF AAAG
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - March 22, 2016
The AAAG elections committee is seeking nominees for the positions of Vice President. Nominees must be full members in good standing. If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague, please email Drew Kitchen no later than Sunday, March 27, 2016.
PRE-REGISTER FOR THE AAAG MEMBERS-ONLY NETWORKING EVENT AT AAPA
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - March 22, 2016
AAAG will be hosting the popular speed networking event at the AAPAs on Wednesday, April 13th from 3-5pm. This event will give you an opportunity to briefly chat with a series of other AAAG members in a casual atmosphere. If you are interested in finding a new position, recruiting graduate students or postdocs, starting collaborations, or just want to get to know your fellow genetic anthropologists better, this is the event for you! The event is free, but space is limited so advanced registration at http://www.planetreg.com/E224164941162172 is required.
POSTDOC POSITION IN PALEOGENOMICS- UCSC PALEOGENOMICS LABORATORY
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - March 10, 2016
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scholar position in the Human Paleogenomics section of the Paleogenomics Laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz. They seek a Postdoctoral Scholar to participate in an NSF funded collaboration project with the George Washington University and the Yale University whose general goal is to reveal the impact of the expansion of late pre-Columbian state societies (e.g. Inca) on the genetic structure of Central Andean populations. Beyond this general point they are interested in approaching a number of other factors relevant for the population history of South America using paleogenomic tools, including health/ disease and human adaptation to stress factor acting in high altitude. The Postdoctoral Scholar will be expected to use paleogenomic and population genetic/computational techniques to explore the population history of South America and beyond and preferably be interested in developing/adapting new statistical approaches to allow population differentiation in low diversity environments. Application deadline is July 31st, 2016. For more information please see the job posting at https://recruit.ucsc.edu/apply/JPF00312
AAAG ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - February 13, 2016
We post to Facebook approximately weekly with updates of events, workshops, and opportunities that we think you would be interested in. To ensure that you are receiving all of our updates, go to our page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Association-of-Anthropological-Genetics/68313557370) and select “Get Notifications” by hovering over the “liked” button.
You can also follow us on Twitter @AAAGenetics.
2016 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - FEBRUARY 13, 2016
AAAG memberships run on the calendar year. If you have not renewed for 2016, please renew your membership by March 1 to be eligible to vote in this year's election. Memberships can be renewed online at http://www.anthgen.org/aaag_membership.html or by mail. Prices start at $15 for students and $40 for full members. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email Ellen Quillen.
LAB SUPERVISOR, ANTHROPOLOGY & ARCHAEOLOGY, FACULTY OF ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - FEBRUARY 11, 2016
The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology in the Faculty of Arts (University of Calgary) invites applications for a Laboratory Supervisor. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension. This position will report to the Principal Investigator, and will plan, organize, direct, control, and evaluate the activities and operations of a genetics laboratory, including quality control.
For a summary of key responsibilities and qualifications/requirements, please visit the University of Calgary career opportunity page at http://careers.ucalgary.ca/jobs/4824958-lab-supervisor-anthropology-archaeology-faculty-of-arts?tm_job=9836-1A&tm_event=view&tm_company=1828&bid=0 .
Application Deadline: February 16, 2016
SMBE SATELLITE MEETING- GENETICS OF ADMIXED POPULATIONS
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - February 11, 2016
In lieu of an AGAR (Applying Genetics to Anthropological Research) meeting, this year AAAG applied for and received funds to host a Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) Satellite Meeting. This meeting, entitled “Genetics of Admixed Populations”, will be held from May 18-20 in San Antonio, Texas at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
The primary aim of this satellite meeting is to emphasize the common theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the study of admixed human populations and hybridization in other animals and plants, with the goal of sharing methods and study design from a specific organism with a wider audience. The workshop will consist of five sessions focusing on various aspects of the admixture process and methods used to characterize it. These sessions include: Admixture as a Dynamic Process, Novel Methods to Untangle Admixture History, Empirical Studies of Population History, Admixture as a Mechanism For and Against Speciation, and Admixture and Selection-Phenotypic and Medical Implications. The meeting will conclude with a panel discussion focusing on ethical considerations associated with research into admixed populations and the admixture process. Travel awards are also available (on a competitive basis), to help defray costs for meeting participants.
Full details on confirmed speakers, registration, abstract submission, and local arrangements can be found at http://www.anthgen.org/smbe2016/. The early-bird deadline for registration and abstract submission (for talks or posters) is February 15th, with final registration and abstract submission (posters only) due by March 15th.
PRIMATE CONSERVATION GENETICS COURSE IN SOUTH AFRICA
MEAGAN A. RUBEL - February 11, 2016
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is offering a course that provides students with an opportunity to explore conservation issues in primate populations, including observation of primates in their natural habitats, interacting with wildlife management professionals, and the collection and analysis of genetic material from wild populations of primates. For further information, see the program in detail at
For older announcements, please visit the news archive.