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Dr. Kathryn Hicks
  Dr. Kathryn Hicks  
  Associate Professor  
  300 A Manning Hall  
             (901) 678-3328  
  Curriculum Vitae  

Expertise and Interests

Biological Anthropology, human-environmental interactions, developmental systems theory, political economy, social justice, health inequities, environmental health, Andes, US.


Dr. Kathryn Hicks completed her PhD in anthropology at Northwestern University in 2008. Her dissertation research examined norms of social support in the Bolivian city of El Alto, particularly forms of economic or instrumental support, and evaluated interactions between women’s marital status and access to social support in predicting health outcomes such as immune function and body composition. Dr. Hicks joined the Department of Anthropology at The University of Memphis in the fall of 2008. As a compliment to the research projects described below, she is currently writing about the intersection between political economy and evolutionary approaches grounded in developmental plasticity. For example, Current Anthropology recently accepted for publication her co-authored paper entitled “Developmental Systems and Inequality: Linking Evolutionary and Political Economic Theory in Biological Anthropology.





Research Projects

Dr. Hicks has worked on a number of projects in the Memphis area. Since 2011 she has been collaborating with Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington to evaluate the social and nutritional impact of the community-initiated South Memphis Farmers Market (SMFM), and explore the unequal food landscape in Memphis. Dr. Hicks and her students have engaged in service-learning with other faculty and a number of local non-profit and community organizations on an evaluation of community perceptions of a proposed extension to the Shelby Farms Greenline, neighborhood perceptions of environmental inequality in SW Memphis, and an assessment of fresh food availability in local corner stores. Students from her classes have also volunteered at the local Sierra Club’s annual grassroots environmental justice conference.

Dr. Hicks has also continued her work in highland Bolivia since coming to Memphis. In collaboration with Dr. Nicole Fabricant of Towson University, she is exploring perceptions of climate change, social movement action and environmental policy in the cities of El Alto and La Paz, and the role of Bolivians in multilateral climate change negotiations.

ej green bolivia fm  

Selected Publications

In Press  Hicks, K and WR Leonard. Developmental Systems and Inequality: Linking Evolutionary and Political Economic Theory in Biological Anthropology. Current Anthropology.

In Press  Hicks, K. A Biocultural Perspective on Fictive Kinship in the Andes: Social Support and Women’s Immune Function in El Alto, Bolivia. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.  

2013  Hicks, K. Instrumental Social Support and Women’s Body Composition in El Also, Bolivia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 152(1): 51-57.

2013  Fabricant, N and K Hicks. Bolivia’s Next Water War: Historicizing the Struggles over Access to Water Resources in the Twenty-First Century. Radical History Review. 116: 130-145. 

2011  Wilson, WM, J Bulkan, BA Piperata, K Hicks, P Ehlers. Nutritional Status of Makushi Amerindian Children and Adolescents of Guyana. Annals of Human Biology. 38(5): 615-629.


Selected Awards


Additional Resources

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Last Updated: 9/9/14