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Serena Thariath

MA Student


Serena received her B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology and a minor in Crime and Justice from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2018. She is a MA student in the anthropology department and her advisor is Dr. Dawnie Steadman. For the past two years, she has worked as a research assistant in two anthropological genomics labs at Michigan under Dr. Beverly Strassmann and Dr. Abigail Bigham studying genetic imprinting and completing gene annotations to aid in research about dengue fever, respectively. In addition, this past year, she worked as a lab tech in the Iwase lab in the Michigan Medicine genetics department aiding in research pertaining to KMT2a and KDM5C and their role in cognitive disabilities. In 2018, she attended field school in the Philippines where she became interested in the colonial impact on bone health while learning about the native population of the Bicol region in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization. For her master’s, she hopes to work with skeletal collections in South Africa to analyze and further quantify the traumatic impacts of Apartheid on Black African and “Coloured” remains.


Research interests: impact of western colonization methods on bone trauma, nutritional stress, and markers of communicable diseases.