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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

Vercellotti G, Piperata B, Agnew A, Wilson W, Dufour D, Boano R, Justus H,  Larsen C, Stout S, Sciulli PW. 2014.  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.



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


Wilson, W. and Dufour, D.L. 2006. Ethnobotanical evidence for cultivar selection among the Tukanoans: Manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in the Northwest Amazon. Culture and Agriculture.  28(2):122-130.


Wilson, W.; Milner, J.; Bulkan, J.; and Ehlers, P. 2006. Weaning Practices of the Makushi of Guyana and their Relationship to Infant and Child Mortality: A Preliminary Assessment of International Recommendations.  American Journal of Human Biology 18(3):312-324.


 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