Biological Anthropology

Justin Murphy Nolan

Justin Murphy Nolan

Departmental Chairperson

J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-2508

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My interests within biological anthropology include ethnobiology, the study of humans and their relationships with native flora and fauna, medical anthropology, the study of health belief systems, cultural conservation, the study of region-specific folkways and traditions. Since joining the anthropology faculty at UA-Fayetteville in 2002, I have examined folk medicine in the Ozarks, vernacular lore in the Ouachita Mountains, historic hunting and fishing practices in the Piney Woods, and traditional foodways in the Arkansas Delta. Presently, I am working with communities throughout Cherokee Nation in Northeast Oklahoma on a project designed to safeguard and perpetuate Cherokee language and culture. My fieldwork in the Cherokee Nation also explores the linkages between ecological diversity in the Ozark foothills and the continuity of Cherokee artisanship and expressive traditions. I recently completed an applied study of sustainable tourism throughout Arkansas’ natural regions. View more information on the project.

Ph.D. University of Missouri


2007. Wild Harvest in the Heartland: Ethnobotany in Missouri’s Little Dixie. Lanham, MD : Rowman and Littlefield.

Selected articles:

2017.  (with Monika Kujawska, N. David Jiménez-Escobar, and Daniel Arias-Mutis). Cognition, culture and utility: Plant classification by Paraguayan immigrant farmers in Misiones, ArgentinaJournal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13:42.

2016.  (with Amie West and Thad Scott).  Optical water quality and human perceptions of rivers: an ethnohydrology studyEcosystem Health and Sustainability 2(8).

2014.  (with Steve Wolverton and Waquar Ahmed).  Ethnobiology, Political Ecology, and ConservationJournal of Ethnobiology 34(2).

2014. (with Andrea Pieroni). Introduction to Special Issue on Food Security in a Changing WorldJournal of Ethnobiology 34(1).

2013. (with William Balée). Freelisting as a Tool for Assessing Cognitive Realities of Landscape Transformation: A Case Study from Amazonia. In Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology, edited by Christian Isendahl and Daryl Stump. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

2013. (with Andrea Pieroni). Recollections, Reflections, and Revelations: Ethnobiologists and their "First Time" in the Field. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 9:12.

2013. (with C. Laine Gates and Mary Jo Schneider). The Politics of Traditional Foodways in the Arkansas Delta. In Southern Foodways and Culture, edited by Lisa Lefler. Knoxville, TX: Newfound Press.

Nolan, Justin M.  2011.  Piney Woods Traditions at the Crossroads: Barbecue and Regional Identity in South Arkansas and North Louisiana.  In The Slaw and the Slow Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South.  James R. Veteto and Edward M. Maclin, eds.  Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Nolan, Justin M. and John Richard Stepp. 2011. The Application of Cognitive Ethnobiology to Environmental Education.  In Anthropology of Environmental Education, edited by Helen Kopnina.  Hauppauge, NY: Nova Scientific Publishers.

Nolan, Justin M. and Nancy J. Turner.  2011.  Ethnobotany: The Study of People-Plant Relationships. In Ethnobiology, edited by E. N. Anderson, Deborah M. Pearsall, Eugene Hunn, and Nancy J. Turner.  Wiley-Blackwell (in press).

Nolan, Justin M. and Mary Jo Schneider.  2011.  Medical Tourism in the Backcountry: Alternative Health and Healing in the Arkansas Ozarks.   Signs 36:319-36.

2009. (with Mary Jo Schneider, Shawna Cain, Roger Cain, Michael C. Robbins, and J. Matthew Reynolds). Cherokee Language Documentation: Revival and Resistance in Northeast Oklahoma. Manuscript in preparation for Human Organization.

2009. (with Nancy J. Turner). Ethnobotany: The Study of People-Plant Relationships. Forthcoming in Ethnobiology: A Student Reader, edited by Eugene Anderson. New York: Wiley Publishers.

2009. (with Laine Gates and Mary Jo Schneider). Traditional Foodways and the Politics of Obesity in the Arkansas Delta. Forthcoming in Foodways in the American South, edited by L. Lefler and H. Altman. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

2008. (with Mary Jo Schneider). Healing in the Hills: Health-Seeking through Recreational Travel in Rural Arkansas’ Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. In Medical Tourism: Perspectives and Specific Country Experiences, edited by J. Bose and B. Sumathi. Hyberadad: Icfai University Press.

2008. Review of Native American Placenames, by William Bright. Western Folklore.

2007. (with Michael C. Robbins). Cultural Change in Hunting and Fishing in Missouri and Arkansas. In Cultural Analysis and the Navigation of Complexity, edited by Lisa Brandt. Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield.

2007. Review of Ethnobiology and the Science of Humankind, edited by Roy Ellen. Journal of Ethnobiology.

2007. (with Mary Jo Schneider). Miracles in the Mountains: Medical Tourism in Arkansas ’ Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. In Reimagining Communities in a Globalizing World, edited by B. Duggan and S. Folman. University of Georgia Press.

2006. (with K. Jones, M. McFarlin, W. McDougal , and M. Ward). The Lovable, the Loathsome, and the Liminal: Emotionality in Ethnozoological Cognition. Journal of Ethnobiology.

2006. Ethnoecology. In The Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by H. James Birx. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications.

2006. Cultural Conservation. In The Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by H. James Birx. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications.

2002. Wild Plant Classification in Little Dixie : Variation in a Regional Culture. Journal of Ecological Anthropology.

2002. (with Marsha Quinlan and Robert Quinlan). Concepts and Treatments of Intestinal Worms in a Rural Caribbean Village. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

2001. Pursuing the Fruits of Knowledge: Cognitive Ethnobotany in Missouri 's Little Dixie. Journal of Ethnobiology.

2001. (with Todd Gemeinhardt, Douglas Noltie, and Michael Robbins). Teaching and Learning in a University Ichthyology Course. Fisheries.

2001. (with Michael Robbins). Emotional Meaning and the Cognitive Organization of Ethnozoological Domains. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.

2000. (with Gery Ryan and Stanley Yoder). Using Successive Free Lists to Generate Explanatory Models. Field Methods.

2000. (with Gery Ryan). Fear and Loathing at the Cineplex: Gender Differences in Perceptions and Descriptions of Slasher Films. Sex Roles.

2000. (with Michael Robbins). Ethnobotany and Ethnicity in the Ozarks: A Reply to Jones. Human Organization.

2000. (with Michael Robbins). A Measure of Semantic Category Clustering in Free-Listing Tasks. Field Methods.

1999. (with Michael Robbins). Cultural Conservation of Medicinal Plant Use in the Ozarks. Human Organization.

1998. The Roots of Tradition: Social Ecology, Cultural Geography, and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in the Ozark-Ouachita Highlands. Journal of Ethnobiology.

1997. (with Michael Robbins). A Measure of Dichotomous Category Bias in Free List Tasks. Cultural Anthropology Methods Journal.