In Memorium: George Armelagos, Anthropology

Armelagos

George Armelagos, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology, died on May 15 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer less than a week earlier. Information about a memorial service in September will be forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Armelagos requested that contributions be designated to his two endowments – the Armelagos – Brown Bio-Cultural Lecture and the Armelagos Graduate Teaching Award.  Contributions can be sent to the Department of Anthropology, 1557 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Emory News Center obituary

Atlanta Journal-Constitution obituary

Wikipedia entry on George Armelagos

Peggy Barlett (Anthropology) Recognized with University’s Highest Award

Peggy Barlett, the Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology and faculty liaison for the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, is receiving the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Award, the University’s premier honor for significant service to the institution through personal activities, influence and leadership.

In the early 2000s, she began serving as the sustainability point person for faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni, planting the seeds for Emory to become a nationally recognized green campus. The Piedmont Project, for example, infuses sustainability into the curriculum across disciplines, and has become a model for the country, inspiring hundreds of others.

Barlett also helped develop the Sustainability Vision for Emory, adopted by the President’s Cabinet in 2005 as a core principle of the University’s strategic plan. The vision called for an Office of Sustainability Initiatives, and laid out clear and ambitious goals to achieve by 2015. Among them: Reduce average campus energy use by 25 percent, reduce the total waste stream by 65 percent, and procure 75 percent of the food for campus dining facilities from local or sustainably grown sources.

See Emory Report article

A Journey of 5,000 Miles

In a Chronicle of Higher Education article about Commencement 2011 (CHE, June 5, 2011), two Emory graduates are profiled: Anna Snyder 11C (anthropology major), who is crossing the U.S. on a tandem bicycle with Kevin Kelly 09C-09G (sociology). The two are seeing the country and raising money for pediatric cancer research.

For more details (and to check out their progress), see their website, The Touring Tandem.

Also see a May 5th Emory commencement-related profile.

Anthropologist Rilling sheds light on primate behavior

Chimpanzees and bonobos are closely related to each other, and are humans’ closest living primate relatives, yet no one has been able to show why the former are usually more aggressive than the latter.

Thanks to research by Emory anthropologist James Rilling, we now have a better understanding of the underlying differences. A comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos.

“What’s remarkable is that the data appears to match what we know about the human brain and behavior,” says Rilling, who led the analysis that is being published in the Journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. “The neural circuitry that mediates anxiety, empathy and the inhibition of aggression in humans is better developed in bonobos than in chimpanzees.”

It’s the most comprehensive comparative analysis to date of the neural systems of chimpanzees and bonobos.

“By contributing to our basic understanding of how brain anatomy relates to social behavior, this study may provide clues to the brain dysfunction underlying human social behavioral disorders like psychopathy and autism,” Rilling says.

Read full article in eScienceCommons