Neha Angal



I completed my M.A. under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Tillquist.

Research Interests: biological anthropology, human ecology, dialectical frameworks, GIS, R, population genetics, migration, colonization and range expansion theory, human genetic diversity, political economy, human nutrition and immunology.

As an undergraduate, I majored in biological anthropology with a minor in political science, and I focused in paleoanthropology and international/comparative politics and political theory. I presented at two institutional conferences. At the 3rd Annual WKU Anthropology Undergraduate Student Research Conference, I presented my paper ‘For the Greater Good: Using Xenotransplant Technology to Better Lives’. At the 43rd Annual WKU Student Research Conference, I presented my undergraduate independent research project under the guidance of my mentor and project contributor, Dr. Darlene Applegate: ‘Variation in Mandibular Morphology Related to Speech Production in Hominids’. I presented the finished version of this research project at the 4th Annual WKU Anthropology Undergraduate Student Research Conference. In November, 2014, I presented my paper ‘Phylogeography: Analytical Frameworks and Human Populations’ at the Fall 2014 Graduate Research Symposium, hosted by the Graduate Student Council at UofL. This Spring 2015, I will be attending my first AAAG and AAPA meetings in St. Louis.

As a graduate student, I have been involved in numerous student organizations, and have taken courses in biology, chemistry, anthropology, and geography. I am quickly becoming proficient in R, a statistical programming language, and GIS, and am also familiar with PaSSAGE and some rudimentary Python. For my thesis project with Dr. Tillquist, I am looking to understand how past demographic and evolutionary forces have impacted modern genetic diversity in European populations, and to what extent patterns observed in past literature were biased by particular statistical and sampling methods. The final product will use blood group and immune function related loci to test why observed patterns of spatial autocorrelation in past literature occurred, and will focus primarily on methodology. Dr. Tillquist and I plan to submit my thesis for publication sometime next academic year, and I plan to submit an abstract for the 2016 AAPA and AAAG conferences.

Additionally, I work for the Anthropology Department as a Graduate Research Assistant. My duties are mostly administrative, and include managing the department website and Facebook, and informing students of upcoming events and activities. I have also completed a research project as part of my assistantship work, where I collected data on undergraduate study abroad experiences within the anthropology undergraduate program. Using semi-structured interviews and post-data collection thematic coding, I spoke both with students who have studied abroad and those who have not. This research was delivered as an extensive report, along with a sheet of suggestions for students looking to study abroad for their first time and a study abroad interest questionnaire form, designed to facilitate the process of institutional and logistical requirements.

I have also assisted Dr. Markowitz with data collection for a grant-funded project investigating customer attitudes and beliefs regarding local farmers’ markets in Louisville, Ky, over the course of a month during the Fall 2014 semester.

I also am the secretary of the Anthropology Graduate Student Association; a member of the International Golden Key Honor Society; a member of the Amnesty International Student Group at the University of Louisville; a member of the American Association of Anthropological Genetics; and am currently awaiting membership into the American Association of Physical Anthropology. I also serve as the Anthropology Department representative to the Graduate Student Union/GNAS and as the Divisional Representative for the Social Sciences on GSU/GNAS, and as the Anthropology Department representative to the Graduate Student Council and as the 2015-2016 Information Chair for the Graduate Student Council.

Fun Facts:

I am a life-long traveler; on my first flight I was 2 months old. Since then, I have traveled to France, England, Canada, and India. I have also traveled in 45 out of the 50 US states.

I have a background in journalism and photojournalism, and I won several national awards for my work with my high school publications and staff members.

I’m a huge music lover. I played violin for several years, though I am more than rusty now, and I enjoy singing. I also have a very extensive music collection spanning from industrial techno-metal to indie folk and broadway musicals.