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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: September 22, 2003
Volume 39, Number 5

Buikstra selected for UNM’s highest faculty honor

BuikstraUNM Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Jane E. Buikstra has been selected as the University’s 48th Annual Research Lecturer, the highest honor UNM bestows upon faculty.

The title of the public lecture she will deliver on Monday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the UNM Continuing Education Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd. NE, is “Dialogues with the Dead: Mummies, Monuments, and Mallquis.”

“‘Mallqui,’” Buikstra says, “is a Quechua (the language spoken by the Indian peoples of Peru and other South American countries) word that means ‘ancestor.’”

Buikstra’s selection was made by the UNM Research Policy Committee and recommended to then-UNM President F. Chris Garcia by Dr. Terry Yates, UNM vice provost for Research.

Buikstra, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1987, joined the UNM Department of Anthropology in 1995. One of her areas of specialization is bioarchaeology. “What I do,” she says, “is study cemeteries and, particularly, the human remains found in cemeteries. I’ve had the privilege of doing this in several world areas.”

During her career, Buikstra has developed new and more rigorous methods for determining, from osteological remains, the health and demographic characteristics of prehistoric peoples, particularly those who lived in the Americas. Her research is multidisciplinary and includes work in archaeology and the medical sciences. Much of her recent efforts have focused on researching the history and evolution of tuberculosis and its impact on past societies.

Buikstra, the recipient of numerous grant awards, has held previous faculty and research positions at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida, among others. Awarded many honors, she is a recent recipient of the Bruch Fellowship in Theoretic Medicine and Allied Sciences (Smithsonian Institution).

She received her bachelor of arts degree, 1967, from DePauw University; her master of arts degree, 1969, and her Ph.D., 1972, both from the University of Chicago; all in anthropology.