Graduate student profiles

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Jeffrey Coffin

MA Student

Jeff started the program in September 2018. He is interested in archaeology, bioarchaeology, and paleoanthropology. His research is aimed at studying the mobility of prehistoric people from a site in Southern France through isotopic analysis of their dental enamel. 

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Kate Elliott

MA Student

Kate entered the program in September 2018 after completing her BA (Hons) in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. Her research is looking into the health of women experiencing homelessness in the local area, with a particular interest in combatting period poverty and reducing the stigma surrounding menstruation.

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Elizabeth Rayner

MA Student

Elizabeth completed her BA (Honours) in Anthropology with a minor in East Asian Studies at University of Waterloo. She began the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2018. She is interested in all fields of anthropology, but is focusing on relations between the public and the government regarding corrections. Other interests include constructed reality, ritual behaviour, food, displacement of agency, and restorative justice.

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Benjamin Scher

MA Student

Ben Scher completed his BA in Combined Social Sciences at Durham University in the UK and is currently pursuing an MA in Public Issues Anthropology here at the University of Waterloo. His MA research uses a qualitative focus to analyze the relationship between law enforcement and drug users who frequent supervised consumption sites in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver. In light of the current fentanyl epidemic in Canada, Ben is passionate about furthering public knowledge surrounding harm reduction strategies and producing research that can inform on progressive public policy initiatives such as supervised consumption sites.  

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Martha Tildesley

MA Student

Martha entered the program in September 2018. She has been working as an archaeologist in the private archaeology sector. She is interested in a wide range of topics within anthropology and its sub-fields of archaeology and bioarchaeology in all parts of the world. Currently, she is interested in heritage legislation, post-colonial and decolonial theory, and the protection of Indigenous rights and materials.

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Panchala Weerasinghe

MA Student

Panchala completed her BA (Honours) in Anthropology at University of Waterloo and entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in 2018. I am interested in bioarchaeology, osteology and archaeology of burial. My research aims to identify possible relations between burial treatment and pathology of individuals from Late Roman Greece.

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Chiara Williamson

MA Student

Chiara entered the program in September 2018. She is an archaeologist interested in Ontario archaeology, particularly in the Great Lakes region. Her interests are in pottery production from the Late Woodland period as well as issues concerning decolonization and reconciliation with Indigenous communities. 

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Serena Dibiase

MA Student

Serena entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2019 after completing her undergraduate degree in Archaeology & Heritage Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her main interests include bioarchaeology and osteology and what we can learn from the skeletal remains of past peoples.

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Tamara Graham

MA Student

Tamara completed her BA (Honours) with a double major in Archaeology and Anthropology at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2017.  She entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2019.  She is interested in bioarchaeology and osteology with a focus on the study of chronic and infectious diseases. 

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Emily Hilts

MA Student

Emily completed her BA (Hons) in Anthropology at the University of Waterloo in 2018 with minors in French and History. She entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in 2019. She is interested in archaeology; particularly Arctic archaeology and Inuit cultures.

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Jane Kang

MA Student

Jane completed her BA in Honours Anthropology at the University of Waterloo. She joined the Public Issues Anthropology MA program in September 2019. Prior to becoming an Anthropology Major, Jane was in the Faculty of Science (Biomedical Science and Biology). Her background in science has continued her interest in human health. For Jane’s thesis, her research will be on youth homelessness.

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Elizabeth Lukashal

MA Student

A student of the program since Fall 2019, Elizabeth has a BA in archaeology and is interested in paleopathology and bioarchaeology. Her main research focus is on rare diseases and syndromes in the past, particularly the detection of subtle indicators of these conditions in skeletal remains and how conditions considered non-pathological could have impacted individual lived experiences.

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Marissa Panton

MA Student

Marissa graduated this past spring from UW with a BA in Anthropology. She is interested in many aspects of anthropology, but particularly environmental anthropology and anthropology of science. Her research will focus on climate scientists and investigating the culture of their laboratory. 

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Kennerley McKellar-Harries

MA Student

Kennerley received her undergrad from UW in anthropology, with a minor in psychology. She started in the MA program in fall 2019. Kennerley is interested in sociocultural anthropology; particularly linguistics, climate change, and indigenous issues. 

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Clara Mitchell

MA Student

Clara received her BA from University of Waterloo for Anthropology with a minor in Classical Studies. She is currently pursuing her MA for Public Issues Anthropology at the University of Waterloo. She has an interest in Great Lakes archaeology and hopes to study contact period sites within Ontario. She is interested in decolonialism, feminist archaeology, and indigenous knowledge production.

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Sharmita Paul

MA Student

Sharmita entered in Public issues in Anthropology program as a graduate student in September 2019, after completing her B.S.S (Hons) and M.S.S in Anthropology at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. Her research interest in sustainable water management, public health-related issues.

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Emily Richards

MA Student

Emily completed her BSc in Honours Science at the University of Waterloo, with minors in Anthropology, Biology, and Medical Physiology. She began the Public Issues Anthropology program in Fall 2019. Her current interests are in medical anthropology, more specifically the concept of biological normalcy and how it relates to the health of Canadians. 

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Julia Tucciarone

MA Student

Julia started the program in September 2019 after finishing her BA at Western University. She is interested in bioarchaeology, biological anthropology, and anthropological theory. Her research will focus upon what we can learn about past peoples from chemical analysis of their teeth.

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Caitlin Brast

MA Student

Caitlin entered the program in September 2020 after receiving an Honours BA from UWaterloo with majors in Anthropology and Classical Studies, as well as a history minor. She is interested in the archaeology of the American Southwest, historical archaeology, and museums. Her research aims at looking at the research potential of pre-existing collections.

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Grace Chan

MA Student

Grace entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2020 after completing her HBSc in forensic anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is interested in biological profiling techniques, and her research will focus on sex determination using bones of the foot.

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Jennifer Cullison

MA Student

Jennifer completed her BA in Anthropology at Michigan State University with a minor in Religious Studies. She started in the MA program in fall 2020. Jennifer’s main interest in Great Lakes archaeology and hopes to study trade networks through lithic analysis.

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Laurel McInnis

MA Student

Laurel started the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2020.  She has a BA in biological anthropology from Western.  She is interested in the human skeleton and her research will concern pathological conditions of skeletons from Greece.

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Sarah de Poray

MA Student

Sarah de Poray completed her BA in Anthropology at the University of Alberta, with a minor in Linguistics. After completing education and work experience in Prenatal/Postpartum/Pelvic Health Yoga, and Labour/Postpartum/Loss Doula support, she is now pursuing the MA in Public Issues Anthropology at the University of Waterloo.

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Ivelina Petrova

MA Student

Ivelina started the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2020 after completing her undergraduate degree at Western University for an Honors Specialization in Anthropology. Her research will focus on gender in post-socialist Bulgaria. Her interests include gender, identity and nationalism.

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Kagan Pittman

MA Student

Kagan entered the Public Issues Anthropology program in September 2020 after completing his BA (Hons) in Anthropology and History of Religions at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

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