Melissa Torquato ‘15, a first year graduate student in anthropology at Purdue University, has been selected to receive a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
Melissa is continuing to hone her skills in 3D geometric morphometrics at Purdue, which she started learning for her undergraduate thesis work at Bryn Mawr, and further developed at the American Museum of Natural History the year after her graduation.
In addition, she is focusing on the transition between foraging and farming. Using quantitative and computational methods, she looks to answer the question: Why do we farm?
A magna cum laude recipient, Melissa was a double honors major in anthropology and classical and near eastern archaeology with a minor in psychology. She was also the winner of the Frederica de Laguna prize for her service to the anthropology department, and her thesis research was awarded an undergraduate symposium award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Maja Seselj is currently working on combining Melissa’s thesis research and a re-analysis of her own unpublished master's research for a joint publication on the variation of orbital shape, a commonly used indicator of geographic ancestry in modern human populations.