People – Ventresca Miller Collaboratory

People

Alicia Ventresca Miller

Alicia Ventresca Miller

Contact: avenmil@umich.edu

Dr. Alicia Ventresca Miller is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and Assistant Curator of Asian Archaeology at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. She is also the director of the Ancient Protein and Isotope Laboratory.

In addition, she is a Co-director and the Head Bioarchaeologist for NOMAD Science, an Affiliated Researcher with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and a National Geographic Explorer.

Dr. Ventresca Miller is also a founding member of Steppe Sisters, an international networking group for women, and those who identify as women, conducting research in Central Asia, Mongolia, and China.

Dr. Ventresca Miller applies biomolecular techniques to investigate how shifts in food production intersect with the emergence of complex societies. As part of a multi-species anthropological approach, she examines the mechanisms fueling urbanization including residential mobility, settlement provisioning, and the adoption of domesticates such as millet and livestock. Although focused on Central and Inner Asia, her work has global implications as it integrates science and anthropology to intercede in narratives that consider pastoralists inherently nomadic and lacking urbanization. Through novel isotopic and proteomic methods, her work provides nuanced interpretations of key transitions in human societies, including the adoption of cultigens, disease transmission, and the spread of dairying.

Research Interests

Ancient diet and mobility, pastoral lifeways and social complexity, rise of urban economies, dairying and domestication; Central Asia, Inner Asia, Siberia.

Iride Tomazic

Contact: itomazic@umich.edu

Iride Tomazic is a Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Iride’s research is focused on assessing the impacts of metallurgy on communities, their animals, and the environment by tracking changes over time in both settlement and mortuary recordsā€“ from the Copper Age to the Bronze Age in the Southern Carpathian Basin and the Balkans. She has conducted extensive fieldwork (research and CRM) and laboratory work in continental Europe, the UK, Peru, and North America.

Research Interests

  • Copper Age
  • Bronze Age societies in the Balkans and Carpathian Basin
  • Metallurgy
  • Environmental contamination
  • Toxicology
  • Trace element and isotopes
  • Mortuary archaeology
  • Role theory

Kara Larson

Contact: larsonkm@umich.edu

Kara Larson is a Doctoral Student in Anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests

  • Stable isotope analyses
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Environmental archaeology
  • Migration and seasonal mobility
  • Early state formation and trade

Megan Savoy

Contact: msavoy@umich.edu

Megan Savoy is a Doctoral Student in Anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Human migration
  • Health
  • Shifts in diet/lifestyle during and after migration
  • Geomorphology
  • GIS
  • Isotopic analysis

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