Alyssa Anwar Biography



Alyssa Anwar is currently a senior undergraduate anthropology student at the University of Oklahoma. Alyssa was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has spent a great deal of time traveling with the purpose of experiencing and further understanding the diversity of life, environments, people, and their culture. Pakistan, China, England, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Mexico are among some of the places she has had the joy of studying and visiting.

After finishing her degree in anthropology, Alyssa decided to stay and minor in biology. Her original focus was in physical and medical anthropology, where she worked with human osteology and paleopathology. She has worked on human and faunal osteological projects with Dr. Lesley Rankin-Hill, Dr. Lee Bement, and the state forensic anthropologist Kent Buehler. Her interests in human and primate speciation led her to transition into studying evolutionary ecology. In the summer of 2014 she took the Field Herpetology course offered at the OU Biological Station with Dr. Geoff Carpenter. Alyssa loved the fieldwork, and enjoyed studying how amphibians and reptiles can provide many indications about the environment in which they live.

Right now Alyssa is working on phylogenetics, and investigating snake venom evolution. She is utilizing genetic sequencing data and positive selection algorithms for analysis and phylogeny construction. She is also currently working on a side project studying the language of science. She is utilizing her experience in linguistics and linguistic anthropology to apply phonetic description, discourse analysis of semantics and pragmatics, and syntactic analysis to scientific language use. Her goal is investigate scientific miscommunications amongst scientists and between scientists and the mainstream community. She hopes to apply this in her scientific research in evolutionary ecology and definitions of speciation.

Alyssa plans to go to graduate school, in hopes of continuing a path of discovery in the field of herpetology and biology.