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Warren Wilson

Submitted by krussell on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 10:41am
Contact Information

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology,
University of Calgary

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences,
University of Calgary

Office:  Earth Sciences 852
Phone: (403) 220-2665
Fax: (403) 282-9567


I am a biological anthropologist with an interest in health inequities, in particular, the relationship between human health, nutrition, and culture.  In my work I have focused upon the health and dietary practices of children in Cali, Colombia, Amerindians in the rainforests of Colombia and Guyana, refugees in Canada, and mothers and children in Tanzania and Nicaragua.

In Northern Nicaragua, I am working with Barbara Piperata and Kammi Schmeer (Ohio State U.), Jason DeCaro (U. Alabama), and the Nicaragua NGO, Comunidad Connect to identify barriers to study maternal and child health and develop new, evidence-based and locally-relevant public health solutions.

In Western Tanzania, I am working with Jason DeCaro (U. Alabama) to test a new model for the relationship between food insecurity, social capital, demographic characteristics and maternal and child well-being.  In this we've found that the mental health of mothers should be considered alongside nutritional status, pathogen exposure, and education as a potential driver of infant innate immune system development.

My work in Guyana concerned the impact of rapid culture change on the health of Makushi Amerindians who live in the rainforests and savannas of central Guyana. In addition, in Guyana I also explored the compatibility of biological conservation with human development

In Canada, I collaborated Christina Moffat (McMaster U.) and Dan Sellen (U. Toronto) to investigate knowledge and behaviour among immigrants and refugees in Canada regarding Vitamin D.

In Cali, Colombia, I collaborated with Darna Dufour (U. Colorado), Jerry Spurr (U. Wisconsin), Lisa Staten (U. Arizona) and Mario Reina (U. Valle, Cali) to study the association between parasitic infection and nutritional status in children.  Also in Colombia, I worked with Tatuyo-Tukanoan Amerindians to understand their preference for a toxic staple crop

Graduate Student Opportunities
I am interested in working with graduate students who wish to study human biological variation.  The research projects in Nicaragua and Tanzania provide opportunities for graduate studies.  If you are considering working with me, I encourage you to review the information provided above concerning the research in Nicaragua and Tanzania.  As well, I recommend that you peruse the website for the University of Calgary's Biological Anthropology Specialization (  If after reviewing this information you wish to discuss graduate study opportunities, please feel free to contact me.

Recent Publications

In Press          Wilson, W. Anthropometry. In The International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology, W Trevathan, editor.  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

 2018                Cole JB, MF Manyama, D Nikitovic, PN Gonzalez, DK Liberton, WM Wilson, C Rolian, JR Larson, E Kimwaga, J Mathayo, CC Roseman, SA Santorico, K Lukowiak, RA Spritz, B Hallgrimsson.  Facial Shape Manifestations of Growth Faltering in Tanzanian Children.  Journal of Anatomy. 232(2):250-262. doi: 10.1111/joa.12748. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

 2017                Wilson, W, Dufour DL. Reliance upon a toxic staple crop:  an anthropological consideration of the Tukanoan Amerindian cultivation of manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz ssp. esculenta) in Northwestern Amazonia.  In The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Diet, J Lee-Thorp and MA Katzenberg, editors.  Oxford University Press.

 2016                Dufour DL, Piperata BA, Murrieta RSS, Wilson W, Williams DD. Amazonian foods and implications for human biology. Annals of Human Biology. 43(4):330-348.

 2016                DeCaro JD, M Manyama, Wilson W  Household-level Predictors of Maternal/Caretaker Depressive Symptoms and Systemic Inflammation Among Infants in Mwanza, Tanzania. American Journal of Human Biology. 28(4):461-470.

 2015                Moffat T, Sellen D, Wilson W, Anderson L, Chadwick S, Amarra S. Comparison of Infant Vitamin D Supplement Use Among Canadian-Born, Immigrant, and Refugee Mothers. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 26(3):261-9.

 2015                Wilson, W.  Long Truck Ride.  In Disasters in the Field: Preparing for and Coping with Unexpected Events  G Ice, D Dufour, N Stevens, editors. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.  Lanham, MD.

 2014                Vercellotti G, Piperata B, Agnew A, Wilson W, Dufour D, Boano R, Justus H,  Larsen C, Stout S, Sciulli PW.  Exploring the Multidimensionality of Stature Variation in the Past through Comparisons of Archaeological and Living Populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 155(2):229-242, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22552.

 2011                Wilson W, Bulkan J, Piperata BA, Hicks K, Ehlers P.  Nutritional status of Makushi Amerindian Children and Adolescents of Guyana.  Annals of Human Biology.  38(5):615-629,  doi:10.3109/03014460.2011.588248.


 girl with baby
Archaeology 203 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology
syllabus:   syllabus_arky_203_fall_2015.pdf
  Archaeology 305 - Human Variation and Adaptation
syllabus: syllabus_arky_305-_w_2016.pdf
Archaeology & Anthropology 533.02 - Biological Anthropology Perspectives on Health
Archaeology & Anthropology 589 - Nutritional Anthropology
syllabus:   syllabus_antharky_589_fall_2015.pdf
  Archaeology 617 - Theory and its application in biological anthropology
syllabus:  syllabus_arkyanth_617-_winter_2016.pdf

Curriculum Vitae

My complete CV is available here:


Supervised Theses

Diet and health among the Makushi Indians of Guyana - Patricia Palmer (9/06 - 5/09)

Acculturation and health among the Makushi of Guyana - Erin Barr (8/05 - 6/08)

Seasonal variation in diet among the Makushi Indians of Guyana - Shawna Ardley
(9/01 - 8/05)

Dietary practices in Villaconte Valley of Peru- Karoline Guelke (9/01 - 2/04) (Co-supervised with Pascale Sicotte, Anthropology Dept., Univ. Calgary)


University of Calgary
Department of Archaeology
Department of Community Health Sciences
Graduate Studies in Biological Anthropology

Research Related Links
Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development
International Centre for Tropical Agriculture
Cassava Biotechnology Network
Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Biological Anthropology Organizations
Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology
The Human Biology Association
American Association of Physical Anthropology
American Anthropology Association