M.A. Anthropology, Georgia State University, 2010
B.S. Biological Sciences, Minor in Chemistry, Georgia State University, 2005
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 will elucidate how early childhood stress and diet influences infectious disease mortality. My dissertation project will analyze 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 plan to compare these cholera collections and contemporaneous non-cholera skeletal collections using paleopathological assessments, stature estimation, dental histology, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis.
Current and Past Research Projects
Dental histology and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis of Poland subadults, 2015 - 2016 Study that analyzes the early life history and weaning patterns of subadults from medieval Gruczno, Poland.
Dental histology of cholera victims from Benabbio, Italy, 2015 - 2016 Pilot study for my dissertation project that analyzes the dental histology and incremental dentine stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis of cholera victims from Benabbio, Italy and a contemporaneous population from Pieve dei Monti di Villa, Italy.
Dental microwear analysis of Trino Vercellese, Italy, 2015 Study that analyzes sex- and status- based differences in dental microwear from Trino Vercellese, Italy.
Dental microwear of cholera victims from Benabbio, Italy, 2014 - 2015 Study that analyzes dietary textural differences between cholera victims and a contemporaneous population.
Paleopathological analysis of remains from Lake Blackshear, 2015 Report for the Georgia Archaeology Site File that analyzes human remains from 5-7 burials from Lake Blackshear, Georgia.
Disease sigmatization of cholera during the 19th century, 2014 - 2015 Study that analyzes historical documents, particularly paintings, sketches, and cartoons, from 19th century England to elucidate how perceptions of cholera changed over time.
Parity and the Lumbar Spine, 2013 - 2015 Study analyzing how parity affects the lumbar spine in modern skeletal samples.
Aging of the lumbar vertebrae using known age and sex samples, 2010 Study analyzing how the lumbar spine morphologically changes as a result of aging and sexual dimorphism.
Publications and Presentations
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.