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Contact

Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 315
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 333

e-mail: cissewski@eva.mpg.de


Curriculum Vitae

Education

2009Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Davis, CA
Dissertation: Ecology and Genetics of Color Vision in Callicebus brunneus, a Neotropical Monkey (Advisor: Dr. Lynne Isbell)
2004 M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Davis, CA
2002B.S., Biology, Bates College, Lewiston, ME

Research Interests

  • Cultural dynamics
  • Cultural change in Amazonian indigenous groups
  • Behavior, ecology, and evolution of humans and non-human primates
  • Ecology, genetics, and evolution of color vision in primates and other mammals

Academic Appointments

2018-Senior Researcher, Dept. of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Inst. for Evolutionary Anthropology
2016-18Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Inst. for Evolutionary Anthropology
2015-16Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington
2012-15Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept. of Anthropology, University of California, Davis (Advisor: Dr. Richard McElreath)
2012-13Investigador Afiliado, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
2012Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
2010Visiting Prof, Dept. of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University
2010-13Research Associate, Dept. of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
2009-Research Associate, Dept. of Anthropology, UC Davis
2008Associate-In (Lecturer), Dept. of Anthropology, UC Davis

Grants and Awards

2012-15National Science Foundation: Ethnic Boundaries and Cultural Change in an Amazonian Population. BCS 1227152. PI John Bunce ($143,448)
2008-09University of California Dissertation-Year Fellowship ($31,400)
2008UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies Graduate Student Travel Award to XXII Congress of the International Primatological Society, Edinburgh, UK ($1,000)
2007 UC Davis Institute for Governmental Affairs Small Research Grant: Behavioral Genetics of Color Vision in a Wild Neotropical Monkey ($250)
2004-05 UC Davis Department of Anthropology Tuition Fellowship ($6,296)
2004Leakey Foundation General Grant: Behavioral Genetics of Color Vision in a Wild Neotropical Monkey ($8,000 + $500 supplemental funding in 2007)
2004Wenner-Gren Foundation Individual Research Grant: Behavioral Genetics of Color Vision for a Neotropical Monkey in the Wild ($25,000)
2004Sigma Xi Society Grant-in-Aid of Research: Ecological Consequences of Trichromatic Color Vision for Callicebus brunneus, a New World Monkey ($2,000)
2004UC Davis Dept. of Anthropology Summer Research Fellowship: Ecological Consequences of Trichromatic Color Vision for Callicebus brunneus, a New World Monkey ($3,000)
2004UC Davis UCD and Humanities Graduate Research Award ($1,500)
2004University of California Marjorie and Charles Elliott Fellowship ($6,766)
2004National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention
2003Organization for Tropical Studies Francis Bossuyt Memorial Fellowship: Genotypic frequencies of trichromatic color vision in a wild population of Callicebus moloch ($1,500)
2003Sigma Xi Society Grant-in-Aid of Research: The frequency of trichromatic color vision in a wild population of Callicebus moloch, a New World monkey ($2,212)
2003UC Davis Department of Anthropology Summer Research Award: The frequency of trichromatic color vision in a wild population of Callicebus moloch, a New World monkey ($2,000)
2002-03UC Davis Department of Anthropology Nonresident Tuition Fellowship ($11,132)
2001Howard Hughes Student Travel Grant to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, USA, January 2002.
2001Howard Hughes Independent Student Summer Research Grant: Locomotor and behavioral predictors of escape performance in prey fish
2000Bates College Student Research Grant: The effects of soil type on litterfall quantity and composition for mid-elevation spruce-fir forests of the Northeastern United States
1999Dana Scholar, Bates College, Lewiston, ME

Membership in Professional and Honor Societies

  • American Anthropological Association
  • Evolutionary Anthropology Society
  • Cultural Evolution Society
  • Golden Key International Honour Society (academic honor society)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (academic honor society)
  • Phi Sigma - The Biological Sciences Society
  • Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society

Research Experience

2009-Research on Cultural Change among Amazonian Indigenous Peoples. Long-term study of cultural change in a population of Mestizos and indigenous Matsigenka people living in lowland forests of the Madre de Dios region of Peru. Conducted 34 months of fieldwork examining the effects of inter-ethnic interactions on distributions of cultural norms and beliefs about ethnic identity, as well as nutrition and growth in Matsigenka and Mestizo communities in 2010-2019. Developed mathematical models of cultural evolution at minority-majority ethnic boundaries.
2011Research on Disease/Treatment Perceptions among Mexican Immigrants, in collaboration with Dr. Norbert Ross (Vanderbilt University). Designed, conducted, and analyzed ethnographic interviews with immigrants from Mexico living in Nashville, TN, examining the effects of gender, parenthood, and residence time in the U.S. on perceptions of folk remedies and illness.
2007-08Ph.D. Dissertation Laboratory Research in Primate Genetics in the Molecular Anthropology Laboratory of Dr. David Glenn Smith (UC Davis). Developed DNA extraction, amplification, and sequencing techniques for blood, saliva, and fecal samples collected from wild titi monkeys (Callicebus brunneus) in southeastern Peru. Produced first reported sequence characterization of Callicebus opsin alleles at the X-linked polymorphic gene locus contributing to variable trichromatic color vision in these monkeys. Developed a socio-ecologically-informed matrix population model of color vision gene evolution in primates.
2003-06Ph.D. Dissertation Field Research in Primate Ecology entailing 23 months of fieldwork at the Estación Biológica de Cocha Cashu, Madre de Dios, Peru. Captured (via darting) and radio-collared wild titi monkeys (Callicebus brunneus) to facilitate an intensive nine-month behavioral study of the foraging ecology of five socially monogamous groups of these monkeys. Trained six Peruvian student co-workers and wrote a custom behavioral data collection program for hand-held computers in the field. Collected blood, saliva, and fecal samples for genetic analysis (above).

Teaching Experience

2019External Instructor: II Curso Ciencias Sociales para la Conservación (Cocha Cashu Biological Station, San Diego Zoo Global - Perú, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)
La Conservación, Optimización, y Gente Indígena (seminar on conservation from the perspective of optimal foraging theory applied to indigenous Amazonians, for advanced undergraduate and Masters students in Peru)
2015-16Visiting Assistant Professor: Department of Anthropology, Indiana University.
HUBI B400 Complex Problems of Humanity: Controversies in Human Adaptation (senior-year core course in IU Human Biology Program)
ANTH B200 Introduction to Bioanthropology (introductory-level undergraduate)
ANTH B260 Biocultural Medical Anthropology (mid-level undergraduate)
2012Lecturer: Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University.
ANTH 103 Introduction to Biological Anthropology (introductory-level undergraduate, spring semester and summer session)
2010Visiting Professor: Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University.
ANTH 366 Primate Ecology and Behavior (advanced undergraduate) 
2008Course Instructor: Associate-In, Dept. of Anthropology, UC Davis.
ANT 1 Human Evolutionary Biology (introductory-level undergraduate)
2002-08Graduate Teaching Assistant: Dept. of Anthropology, UC Davis. Undergraduate anthropology courses:
ANT 1 Human Evolutionary Biology (4 quarters)
ANT 15 Evolutionary Biology of the Human Life Cycle (1 quarter)
ANT 151 Primate Evolution (2 quarters)
ANT 152 Human Evolution (1 quarter)
ANT 158 Biological and Evolutionary Bases of Sex Differences (1 quarter)

Professional Service

  • Manuscript Reviewer for American Journal of Primatology, American Naturalist, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Behaviour, Folia Primatologica, Games, Human Nature, International Journal of Primatology, Molecular Ecology Resources, Primates, Societies
  • Grant Reviewer for U.S. National Science Foundation (Cultural Anthropology Program) and the Leakey Foundation

Languages and Computer Programming

  • English (native), Spanish (advanced written and oral certification in School of Linguistics, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, 2011), Matsigenka (conversational), German (basic)
  • R, Stan, Mathematica, Microsoft Visual Basic