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K-State Today

November 11, 2020

Anthropology professor awarded NSF grant

Submitted by Marta Alfonso

Marta Alfonso-Durruty, associate professor of anthropology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the peopling of Fuego-Patagonia in Chile and Argentina. 

"While we have a deep understanding of human migration and history in some regions of the planet, the peopling of the Americas, and in particular of its southern-most region, Fuego-Patagonia (46⁰-52⁰S), is still understudied," Alfonso-Durruty said. "Fuego-Patagonia is of special importance because of its remote location and complex archaeological evidence. This project will evaluate the origin of the Native groups from Fuego-Patagonia, and the relation between its pre-contact terrestrial and marine hunter-gatherer populations."

To achieve this goal, the project will examine and combine information about the traits — appearance — present in bones and teeth, as well as genetic, dietary and archaeological data. By using multiple sources of information, this study will effectively expand our knowledge and understanding of the Indigenous peoples of this remote region of the Americas.

The project will also provide training, mentoring and learning opportunities to undergraduate students at Kansas State University in subjects such as the production of 3D analogs and 3D digital data, database design and management, scientific communication and dissemination, molecular anthropology, and chemical analyses of bone — stable isotope — for dietary reconstructions. 

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