Lori Cormier working in the field. Professor
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University Hall (UH) 3131
(205) 975-6526

Research and Teaching Interests: Historical ecology, ethnoprimatology, medical anthropology, primate zoonoses, and disaster preparedness with work with indigenous Amazonians (Awá-Guajá), Native Americans (Navajo, Choctaw), Lau Fijians, and US populations

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BS, University of Florida, Nursing
  • MA, University of Alabama/University of Alabama at Birmingham, Anthropology
  • PhD, Tulane University, Anthropology

I have done research in a wide variety of areas, but all relate to historical ecology, a multidisciplinary field that explores human-ecological relationships over time. As a Fulbright scholar, I worked with the Awá-Guajá, a group of Amazonian hunter-gatherers, designated by Survival International as “the world’s most endangered culture.” My work was in ethnoprimatology, exploring the relationship of the Awá-Guajá to local monkeys in social, cosmological, and ecological domains. More recent work in ethnoprimatology has involved medical anthropology, specifically, new emerging infections related to wild primates such as HIV/AIDS, Chikungunya, Zika, and new forms of malaria. 

Other fieldwork experiences include work with MOWA-Choctaw, serving as their tribal anthropologist for many years. Here, ethnohistorical research was conducted, including the historical links of the MOWA-Choctaw to their native lands in South Alabama. I also spent two summers as Co-PI on an NSF grant for an undergraduate field school in the Lau Group, Fiji, involving various projects historical ecology. In addition, I have conducted research with US populations involving disaster preparedness, funded by grants from the CDC and Homeland Security. 

Important contributions to teaching and service include ANTHRO-Teach and the Peace, Justice, and Ecology minor at UAB. ANTHRO-Teach is a non-profit that funds educational outreach in anthropology the community. Dozens of presentations have been given to local K-12 schools and community groups. ANTHRO-Teach also provides small scholarships to students. I currently serve as the director of the Peace, Justice, and Ecology minor at UAB as well as the Anthropology Graduate Director. I also co-wrote an Introductory Cultural Anthropology textbook and an accompanying reader.

{slider=Recent Courses}
  • ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 120: Language and Culture
  • ANTH 445/645: Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 447/647: Advanced Peace Studies
  • ANTH 450/650: Advanced Cultural Anthropology{/slider}
{slider=Select Publications}
  • L. A. Cormier and S.R. Jones, The Domesticated Penis: How Womanhood Shaped Manhood (University of Alabama Press, 2015)
  • L. R. Baker and L. A. Cormier, Disasters and Vulnerable Populations: Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions (Springer, 2014).
  • L. R. Baker and L. A. Cormier,Baker, "Disaster preparedness and families of children with special needs: a geographic comparison," Journal of Community Health 38 (No. 1, 2013):106-12.
  • L. A. Cormier, The Ten-Thousand Year Fever: Rethinking Human and Wild Primate Malaria (Historical Ecology Series, Left Coast Press, 2011).
  • L. A. Cormier and S. R. Jones, Introductory Cultural Anthropology: An Interactive Approach (National Social Science Press, 2010; CD, ebook, and hardcopy formats).
  • L. A. Cormier, "The historical ecology of human and wild primate malarias in the subsistence and symbolism of indigenous lowland South America," Diversity 2 (No. 2, 2010):256-80.
  • L. A. Cormier and B. Urbani, "The ethnoprimatology of the spider monkey: from past to present," in Spider Monkeys: The Biology and Behavior of the Genus Ateles, C. Campbell, ed. (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology, Cambridge University Press, 2008), 377-403.
  • L. A. Cormier, "Between the ship and the bulldozer: Historical ecology of Guaja subsistence, sociality, and symbolism after 1500," in Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies from the Neotropical Lowlands,B. Balee and C. Erickson, eds. (Historical Ecology Series, Columbia University Press, 2006), 341-63.
  • L. A. Cormier, "Um aroma no ar: Ecologia historica das plantas anti-fantasma entre os Guaja da Amazonia*,"Mana: Estudos de Anthropologia Social 11 (2005):129-54. (*“A scent on the breeze: The historical ecology of ghosts plants among the Guaja of Amazonia”)
  • L. A. Cormier, Kinship with Monkeys: The Guaja Foragers of Eastern Amazonia (Historical Ecology Series, Columbia University Press, 2003).{/slider}
{slider=Academic Distinctions & Professional Societies}
  • Humanities Scholar, Alabama Humanities Foundation (2011, 2010, 2005)
  • Fulbright Scholar to Brazil (1996)
  • Science Education Chair, Alabama Academy of Science (2005-2007)
  • Science Education Vice Chair, Alabama Academy of Science (2004-2005)
  • Program Chair: 47th Annual Southern Anthropological Society Meetings, “Peace, Justice, and Ecology” (2012)
  • Tribal Anthropologist for the MOWA-Choctaw
  • Secretary-Treasurer for the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (2005-2007)
  • Secretary-Treasurer for ANTHRO-Teach non-profit (2010-present)
  • Editorial Boards (former): Tipiti: Journal for the Society of the Anthropology of Lowland South America, Journal of Primatology
  • Awards for Research/Educational Projects: Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama State Council on the Arts, American Ethnological Society, American Society of Primatologists, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Homeland Security, Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, National Science Foundation, Tinker Foundation, UAB-Advance, UAB Faculty Development Grant, UAB Scholarship of Teaching, UAB-QEP
  • Professional Societies: Alabama Academy of Science, American Anthropological Association, National Social Science Association, Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Southern Anthropological Association {/slider}
{slider=Student Organizations}