Fall 2016 Newsletter – Dr. Alfonso-Durruty

In the last year, Dr. Alfonso-Durruty has published two articles. The first paper was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and addressed the antiquity and distribution of cranial modification among the prehistoric groups of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia (Chile). The article drew popular attention and was featured in BBC Earth and the Smithsonian Institution webpage. Her second publication examines growth patterns among the Qom and Wichi natives of Northwestern Argentina. The article has been accepted and will appear in the American Journal of Human Biology. In the meantime, the article can be accessed through early view.

Dr. Alfonso-Durruty is currently directing her own research on the genetics of ancient and modern populations of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. This study is being funded through the Genographic program of the National Geographic foundation. Results of this project were presented in a talk and a poster at this year’s Annual meetings of the American Association of Physical Anthropology (Atlanta). Two other presentations, regarding genetic results, and 3D modeling of the material used to study ancient DNA were given at the Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology (Orlando).

In addition, Dr. Alfonso-Durruty is the international expert in two grants, one of them exam-ines the interactions of marine and terrestrial groups in Fuego-Patagonia during the prehistoric times, and the other one explores dietary changes during the Late Intermediate Period in Northern Chile. Both grants are funded by FONDECYT (National Funds for the Advancement of Science and Technology Chile). Thus, during the summer months, Dr. Alfonso-Durruty conducted three weeks of laboratory work at the National Museum of Natural History in Santiago, Chile, where she analyzed the Gusinde Collection from Isla Dawson, Patagonia. Additionally, she traveled to Northern Chile where, during another three weeks, she analyzed a large group of prehistoric individuals dated to the Late Intermediate period, housed at the Museo San Miguel de Azapa, Arica, Chile. While there, she was invited to give a Magisterial Class on the peopling of Patagonia at the Instituto de Alta Investigación (Institute for Advanced Research), Univer-sidad de Tarapacá, Chile.

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