Department of Anthropology

Kristen Syme

Advisor: Edward H. Hagen
Position: PhD student

Biographical sketch

I received my BA in anthropology from the University of Delaware where I developed an interest in using evolutionary theory to investigate mental health and behavioral phenomena that are diagnosed and treated as diseases and deviations according to the Western medical paradigm. I conducted my MA research on suicidal behavior in 53 cultures and received my MA in 2014.


My research interests broadly concern the evolved interpersonal functions of psychological and behavioral phenomena. My MA thesis tested two evolutionary models of suicidal behavior against the ethnographic record, and my dissertation research is a continuation of this project. I am presently conducting an exploratory investigation on bargaining strategies and parent-offspring conflict with an immigrant Micronesian population in the Vancouver WA/Portland, OR area.


Anth 201 Art and Society
Anth 390 History of Anthropological Theory

Research projects

Selected publications

Articles and Chapters

PDF Syme KL, Garfield ZH, Hagen EH 2015. Testing the bargaining vs. inclusive fitness models of suicidal behavior against the ethnographic record. Evolution and Human Behavior.