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UK Research Names University Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology

By Alicia Gregory

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 16, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research has named four fellows to the Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship and the University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship.  The Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship is named in honor of UK's first Black graduate student and prioritizes funding for candidates from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in the faculty ranks. The University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship is for individuals training in disciplines with limited gender diversity.  

One of the University Research Postdoctoral Fellows is Amber Plemons, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences. Her mentors are Hugo Reyes-Centeno and James Hartsfield. Plemons, a biological and forensic anthropologist, examines the evolutionary forces of human skeletal variation, specifically the interaction of climate and genetics in shaping human form. She is involved in research on juvenile dental age estimation methods, population affinity and access and ethical considerations in digital pedagogy using human remains.  

Since 1990, the office has supported these two postdoctoral fellowship programs with the primary goal of diversifying the pipeline of candidates qualified to become academic leaders in their fields. These programs support a stipend, plus benefits, along with funds for their research career development.

“We are pleased to announce our new cohort of fellows, and we are excited to partner with them and their mentors to help shape their research careers,” said Lisa Cassis, UK vice president for research. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.