Year 2005 | Volume 12    Southern Methodist University


Carolyn Smith-Morris, Anthropology

For her fieldwork during the summer, Carolyn Smith-Morris conducts research among the Pima (Akimel O’odham) Indians of the Gila River Indian Community in southern Arizona. She explores the political-economic, historic, cultural, and genetic contributors to the tribe’s epidemic of diabetes. Much like many other Americans’ diets, she says, Pima diets are high in fat, salt, and carbohydrates. This contributes to excessive rates of obesity, elevated blood glucose, and other health problems. She is preparing a study to measure the relationship between psychological stress and disease, including diabetes and heart disease. Smith-Morris (right) also teaches anthropology classes at SMU-in-Taos at Fort Burgwin in northern New Mexico. For more information about her research:



Bonnie Jacobs, Environmental Science

Paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs (right) conducts research on plant fossils in Ethiopia on the northwestern plateau in an area known as Chilga. In a multi-institution collaboration, scientists are documenting an ecosystem that existed 28 million years ago in interior tropical Afro-Arabia (the Arabian peninsula was connected to Africa at that time). The Chilga project includes researchers from SMU, UT-Austin, Washington University, University of Michigan, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, and Addis Ababa University. In addition to Jacobs, the field crew from SMU that went to Ethiopia in December 2004 included Neil Tabor, Geological Sciences, and Aaron Pan and Juan Garcia Massini, paleo-botany Ph.D. students. For more information about Jacobs’ research: