News

Victoria van der Haas, BHAP PhD student, attends AAPA Meeting in St. Louis

April 1, 2015

Victoria van der Haas, BHAP PhD student, recently attended the AAPA Annual Meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Here is a short report on her trip below. Thank you to Victoria for sharing!

Last month I visited St. Louis, Missouri from March 24 through 27 to attend the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA). This is an international scientific society of physical anthropologists based in the United States. The AAPA also publishes the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, a peer-reviewed journal. This year's annual meeting took place at the "St. Louis Hilton hotel at the Ballpark" with a program that included 1065 scientific presentations over 3 full days.

The main purpose for my visit was to attend a workshop on enamel hypoplasia given by Simon Hillson (University College London) and Daniel Antoine (The British Museum). The workshop focused on the developmental difference between furrow, plane and pit-form defects together with methods for recording these defects. These defects are related to episodes of disruption during growth. Researchers at all stages of academic endeavor and from various parts of the world attended the workshop. It was very informative and useful. The rest of my time was devoted to viewing the hundreds of poster presentations and podium presentations with topics that ranged from primatology and biological anthropology to forensic anthropology and genetics. In the evenings several receptions were hosted, allowing researchers to meet, exchange ideas and relax after a long day.

Of course I had to spend a day exploring the city of St. Louis as well as this was only my second visit to the United States. I took a trip to the famous gateway arch, a 630 foot monument that offers a spectacular view of downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi river and parts of Illinois. I do not advise anyone with claustrophobia to visit the top as you are put inside a very confined windowless pod and transported to the top.

I also visited Busch Stadium ballpark which is home to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Old Courthouse which displayed a very interesting exhibition on slavery, and Citygarden which is a park filled with some very interesting and fun looking sculptures.

As I was told by several people at the AAPA to make sure to try St. Louis BBQ, I also indulged in some amazing BBQ pulled pork. That meal alone gives me enough reason to revisit the city one day.

My trip to St. Louis ended with a wonderful luncheon organized by the Dental Anthropology Association in order to celebrate their 30th anniversary. I had the pleasure of meeting several renowned dental anthropologists from all over the world. It is safe to say that this was a worthwhile trip and I very much look forward to attending next year's annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

More information on the AAPA can be found here: http://physanth.org

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