All posts by Kristy Bard

Ornella Bertrand Wins Robert Lynn Carroll Prize

photo of Ornella Bertrand
Ornella Bertrand

Congratulations to Ornella Bertrand! Not only has she recently defended her PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Mary Silcox, but she also won the Robert Lynn Carroll Prize for an outstanding scientific contribution in Vertebrate Palaeontology by a PhD student or recent graduate at the annual Canadian Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meetings held this past week at UTM. The prize is in recognition of her talk entitled “Brain evolution in Rodentia and a deeper understanding of the ancestral condition of the brain for Euarchontoglires.”

Job Posting: Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Sociocultural Anthropology

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream — Sociocultural Anthropology (Contractually Limited Term Appointment)
Job Posting ID: 1600620
Job Field: Limited Term (Teaching Stream)
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Arts & Science
Department: Anthropology
Campus: St. George (downtown Toronto)
Job Posting: May 12, 2016
Closing Date: June 16, 2016

Description: The Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, invites applications for a three-year contractually-limited term appointment. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and will begin July 1, 2016 and end June 30, 2019.

Applicants must have a PhD in Anthropology or a closely related discipline by the time of appointment or shortly thereafter, with a geographical focus that complements existing faculty expertise. The successful applicant must have a record of excellence in teaching, in both small and large class settings, and teaching-related activities such as curriculum development and student mentoring, and demonstrated evidence of expertise in the social side of medical anthropology. Excellence in teaching can be demonstrated by endorsements from referees, teaching accomplishments highlighted as part of the application, teaching evaluations, or syllabi.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach a suite of undergraduate courses that could include a large, second year course on Social Anthropology of the Contemporary World or Core Concepts in Social and Cultural Anthropology, third-year courses on an Introduction to Social Anthropological Theory, Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health, Social Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of Religion, or other thematic courses that complement faculty expertise, and fourth-year courses on Love, Sex and Marriage, or a topic related to her or his research focus. Experience at graduate teaching would also be an asset.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The University of Toronto is a large, three-campus institution in a vibrant, multiethnic region and has a very diverse student population. The Department of Anthropology is a multi-field unit with diverse research and teaching. It has 26 full-time faculty at the St. George campus and 49 graduate faculty across the three campuses. For more information about the Department of Anthropology, please see our home page at

Qualified candidates are invited to apply at Applications should include a cover letter, teaching dossier (including statement of teaching philosophy, sample course syllabi, and student evaluations) and curriculum vitae along with the names of three references. Application materials should be submitted online. Submission guidelines are available at

We recommend combining attached documents in one or two files in PDF or MS Word format as follows: (1) Cover letter and CV (2) Teaching dossier.

Applicants should arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly by the referees to Prof. E. B. Banning, Chair, Department of Anthropology, by email to by the closing date of June 16, 2016. If you have questions about the position, please contact

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others who may contribute to further diversification of ideas.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Six Undergrads Head to Hawaii with Bonnie McElhinny to Study Multiculturalism

Photo of: students making leis
Making leis out of tea leaves at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Photo: Mirae Lee.

The below article by Elaine Smith was posted on the Arts & Sciences News website May 3, 2016 at

Not just beaches, surfing and volcanoes

When University of Toronto Professor Bonnie McElhinny and six of her anthropology students think about Hawaii, it’s not the lovely beaches, the surfers or the volcanoes that first come to mind. Instead, they picture the indigenous Hawaiian culture and activities such as taro farming, mulberry harvesting and clearing mangrove swamps.

During Reading Week, McElhinny was one of a number of Arts & Science professors who led an International Course Module (ICM) – intensive hands-on learning experiences for undergraduate students in international settings. The goal of the trip was to study a multicultural society – other than Canada – up close and in person as part of their course Critical Perspectives on Multiculturalism and Settler Colonialism.

Hawaii and Canada say they address multiculturalism better than the mainland US — do they?

“The ICM offered students a comparative perspective,” McElhinny said. “In Hawaii, no one group is a numerical majority, and there is significant migration from the same Asian countries as there is in Canada, as well as a significant indigenous presence.

“Both Hawaii and Canada say they address multiculturalism better than the mainland United States, and this was an opportunity to compare ourselves.”

The group was based in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii Manoa (UHM). Their ICM involved them in three types of activities:

  • A three-way undergraduate conference with students from UHM and from Sweden focusing on indigenous and multicultural issues;
  • Visits to a number of sites that offered the public history of multiculturalism, such as museums; and
  • Participation in a series of civic engagement activities with UHM that addressed various social problems in Hawaii.

Enriching experiences exploring indigenous issues  and multiculturalism

The community activities, which included the aforementioned taro farming and mulberry harvesting, helped “build community in ways that were attentive to indigenous issues and to the multicultural nature of Hawaii,” McElhinny said.

The students found the experience both memorable and enriching.

Photo of: Taro fields in Hanalei Valley, Kauai, Hawaii - © | wingmar
Taro fields in Hanalei Valley, Kauai, Hawaii. © | wingmar.

“Through participant observation, we learned the viewpoints of the indigenous Hawaiians,” said Christopher Tsuji, a fourth-year specialist in socio-cultural anthropology. “We were actually getting to understand how they see themselves and their community’s relationship with the land.”

Mirae Lee, a third-year double major in socio-cultural anthropology and art history, said it was fascinating to find that whenever Hawaiians saw the multi-ethnic group from Toronto, they just assumed the students were locals, since Hawaii has such multicultural diversity.

“I’m a settler, not just an immigrant”

“For me, this experience gave me awareness that although I’m an Asian immigrant to Canada, I’m still a settler on indigenous land,” she said. “I’m a settler, not just an immigrant.”

Crystal Gao, a third-year student in socio-cultural anthropology and urban studies, said the experience “made course material come to life.”

“We were able to see issues particular to Canada in a new way and make a sober assessment of multicultural issues. Before we left we did some readings by the scholars we would meet at UHM. Then we got to engage and see them in action which allowed us to draw on new possibilities and find new ways of thinking.”

Upon their return to Canada, the students made a poster presentation at the Arts & Science Undergraduate Research Fair and will also be making a presentation to their classmates. The students who did not take part in the ICM, had opportunities to visit community organizations and sites in Toronto to complement their classroom experiences.

“My goal was to ensure an enriched experience for both groups of students,” McElhinny said.

She is eager to offer the ICM experience to her class again next year.

“I could see how engaged the ICM students were,” McElhinny said. “I saw them thinking deeply about Canada. They always had an interest, but I could see them engaging intensely with these questions.”

“Home always means something different when you return from an experience of this type,” McElhinny said.

Amber Walker-Bolton Wins Juan Comas Prize

Photo of Amber Walker-Bolton
Amber Walker-Bolton

Congratulations to PhD candidate Amber Walker-Bolton for receiving the Juan Comas Prize! This award for Exemplary Student Research was given to Amber in recognition of her fabulous podium presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta, Georgia. Her presentation was titled: Operational sex ratio (OSR), dominance rank, and mating success of group and non-group male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Amber is supervised by Prof. Mary Silcox.

Holly Wardlow Appointed Associate Chair of Health Studies, UTSC

Photo of Prof. Holly Wardlow
Prof. Holly Wardlow, Associate Chair of Health Studies, UTSC (2016-19)

Congratulations to Prof. Holly Wardlow for her appointment as Associate Chair of Health Studies at UTSC, effective July 1, 2016. Prof. Wardlow will serve a three year term in the position, until June 30, 2019. Further information regarding the Health Studies program at UTSC can be found at

Julia Earle Wins 2015-16 Anthropology TA Award

Earle, Julia, photo by Daniel Kwan
2015-16 Anthropology TA Award Recipient Julia Earle. Photo by Daniel Kwan.

Congratulations to Julia Earle, recipient of our fourth annual Anthropology Teaching Assistant Award! Julia’s nominators noted how her approachability, consideration and encouragement resulted in creating an inclusive learning atmosphere that students clearly appreciated. Not only were her tutorials well-structured and organized, but she consistently went the extra mile to demonstrate she really cares for the well-being of her students. We are confident that Julia is fully deserving of this award and that the qualities she has exhibited as a TA this past year will serve her well!

Julia’s photo will soon hang in the Administrative Offices of the St. George Anthropology Department along with past award recipients. Special thanks to Daniel Kwan for taking the photo, check out some of Daniel’s photography at

Three of Shawn Lehman’s Grad Students Receive Environment Awards

Keren Klass

Congratulations to Keren Klass, Malcolm Ramsay and Matthew de Vries, three of Prof. Shawn Lehman’s graduate students who have received competitive awards from the School of the Environment Award Adjudication Committee on restricted awards and fellowships for this academic year.

Keren Klass (Ph.D.) received one of three Beatrice and Arthur Minden Awards, which are awarded to PhD students enrolled in the School of the Environment’s graduate programs to provide them with support during the research stage of their dissertations, including enabling their involvement in conferences, summer schools, field work and collaborative visits to research groups across Canada and around the world.

Matthew de Vries
Matthew de Vries

Malcolm Ramsay (M.Sc.) and Matthew de Vries (M.Sc.) each received an Arthur and Sonia Labatt Award, which are awarded to students who are exploring practical based solutions to environmental issues and/or examining market place for solutions to environmental issues.

In the words of Prof. Lehman, his “students ROCK!” Learn more about them at

ATLAS Funding Awarded for Embracing Virtual Anthropology

photo of Bence Viola
Prof. Bence Viola

Our department has been awarded funding as part of the Advancing Teaching and Learning in Arts & Science (ATLAS) program. The successful proposal, spearheaded by Prof. Bence Viola, was recommended for partial funding out of 17 other received proposals. The Committee appreciated the relevancy and importance of developing a virtual anthropology lab to give students access to cutting-edge technology that is reshaping research in anthropology. The Committee also recognized the potential benefits that this lab can have in terms of helping students to develop advance practical skills in digitizing, analyzing, and reconstructing artefacts, which have become increasingly important skills.