Prof. Kaestle specializes in molecular genetic techniques that can be utilized to address anthropological questions. Over the past decade she has concentrated on new techniques that make ancient DNA available for study, and has used these data to test hypotheses based on archaeological, linguistic, and ethnographic studies.
Prof. Kaestle has studied hypothesized prehistoric population movement, replacement, and contact in an effort to determine which archaeological signals are the most reliable indicators of prehistoric migrations and relationships and to refine current hypotheses regarding these specific instances of possible population movement. As part of this body of work, she has conducted research in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA variation in Island Melanesia as well as Papua New Guinea.
Select Honors and Awards
IUB Department of Anthropology Trustee’s Teaching Award, 2008.
Summer Faculty Fellowship, IUB Human Biology Summer Institute, 2005.
IUB Department of Anthropology Trustee’s Teaching Award, 2004.