Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 2015
Dissertation Title: An Assessment of Health as an Indicator of Socio-political Sustainability in the Earliest State-Level Societies of East Asia
M.A. in Archaeology, Magna Cum Laude, CUNY Hunter College, 2010
Thesis Title: Changes in Nutritional and Occupational Stress Over Time: The Dietary Impact on Population Health During the Transition From Incipient to Intensive Agriculture in Northeast China
B.A. in Anthropology, University of Florida – Gainesville, 2004
Areas of Interest
Bioarchaeology, human osteology, biomechanics, paleopathology, social complexity, early state dynamics, diet and subsistence, archaeology, East Asia, China, Japan.
I was born in Havana, Cuba and was raised in Mexico City and South Florida. I attended college at the University of Florida, where I developed my interests in anthropology and archaeology. Later on, I obtained a master's degree in archaeology at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, with a project analyzing changes in nutritional stress from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Northeast China. As my interests in China expanded, I gained admission to the University of Cambridge to complete a project exploring how sociopolitical dynamics affected non-elite health in the earliest state-level societies in East Asia.
My interests involve assessing the long-term consequences of local and regional shifts in sociopolitical, economic strategies on human health across East Asia. I analyze osteometric data and pathological markers of disease in human skeletal remains to discern patterns of biological stress related to nutrition, development and routine activity. I also employ biomechanical methods to estimate robusticity and mobility indices from limb bone cross-sectional geometric properties. Currently, I am involved in a project in Northwest China researching how cultural contact with Inner Asian groups and progressive shifts in subsistence practices impacted the livelihood of communities living along a prehistoric exchange route that eventually became the Silk Road; both as a whole, as well as along gender lines.
Hernandez M, Hudson MJ. (2015) Diagnosis and evaluation of causative factors of endemic treponemal disease in a Japanese island population from the Tokugawa period. International Journal of Paleopathology 10(C): 16-25.
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H. (2015) Social evolution in East Asia and its human toll: A diachronic analysis of non-elite nutritional stress within early Chinese states. Current Anthropology (submitted 9th November, 2015 – manusc.# CA-S-15-00340)
Hernandez M, Wei D, Li F-J, Zhu H. (20XX) Biomechanical comparison of routine activity patterns between two ancient Chinese populations with different subsistence practices. American Journal of Physical Anthropology (submitted 25th April, 2016 – manusc.# AJPA-2016-00141)
Hernandez M, Zhu H, Wei D. (20xx) A Eurasian Amazon on Horseback: Identification of an Iron Age Female Archer via Archaeological and Paleopathological Approaches. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (submitted 27th April, 2016 – manusc.# JASREP-D-16-00216)
Hernandez M, Yeh H-Y, Dittmar J, Mao R, Wang H. (20XX) Ecology and activity shifts in the Hexi corridor: A diachronic assessment of mechanical stress at the Mogou cemetery, Lintan County, Gansu. In: Lintan Mogou Cemetery Osteological Research Papers (edited volume under preparation).
Hernandez M, Yeh H-Y, Dittmar J, Mao R, Wang H. (20XX) Intercultural contact and subsistence change at the Mogou cemetery: A bioarchaeological assessment of nutritional stress in Bronze Age Gansu. In: Lintan Mogou Cemetery Osteological Research Papers (edited volume under preparation).
Hernandez M. (2015) Review: Bioarchaeology of East Asia – Movement, Contact, Health. Anthropos 110(1): 259-260.
Hernandez M. (2012) Review: A Companion to Biological Anthropology. Anthropological Science 120(3): 253-254.
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H, Chen L. Ecology, subsistence and cultural admixture – A biomechanical reconstruction of routine activities across Northwest China's prehistoric exchange networks. Paper to be presented at the Ninth Worldwide Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology in Boston, Massachusetts. June, 2016
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H, Nie Z. A VERY sick tomb: A case study of infectious and metabolic disease at Yanghai, Turfan Basin, Xinjiang province. Paper to be presented at the Ninth Worldwide Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology in Boston, Massachusetts. June, 2016
Hernandez M. Health and the archaic state – Investigating possible links between nutritional stress and government control in early dynastic China. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology in Durham, United Kingdom. September, 2014
Hernandez M, Hudson, MJ. Preliminary analysis of activity-related musculo-skeletal stress markers via cross-sectional geometry in Tokugawa-period inhabitants in Miyako Island, Japan. Paper presented at the Fifth Worldwide Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology in Fukuoka, Japan. June, 2012
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H. Health Changes during the Neolithic Period at Jiangjialiang, Hebei Province, China. Paper presented at the 19th Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. November, 2009
Hernandez M. Stature trends among Neolithic populations in the Yellow River Basin. Paper presented at the Fourth Worldwide Conference of the Society for East Asian Archaeology in Beijing, China. June, 2008
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H. An Eurasian Amazon on horseback: Identification of a female archer via archaeological and paleopathological approaches. Poster presented at the 43rd Annual Paleopathology Association North American Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. April, 2016
Hernandez M, Hudson MJ. Diagnosis and evaluation of causative factors for the presence of endemic treponemal disease in a Japanese tropical island population from the Tokugawa period. Poster presented at the 82th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropology Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. April, 2013
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H. Activity-related osteological changes in Late Neolithic populations from Qinghai and Hebei Provinces, China. Poster presented at the 79th Annual American Association of Physical Anthropology Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. April, 2010
Hernandez M, Wei D, Zhu H. Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis on an Individual from the Xindian culture in Qinghai Province, China. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Paleopathology Association North American Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. April, 2010
Hernandez M, Pechenkina EA, Fan W. A Possible Case of Ateliotic Dwarfism in Neolithic China. Poster presented at the 35th Annual Paleopathology Association North American Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. March, 2008
Hernandez M. (2016) Ecology, subsistence and cultural admixture: A bioarchaeological perspective of community health along Northwest China's prehistoric exchange networks. Invited talk at the Department of Anthropology. University of California San Diego – San Diego, USA.
Hernandez M. (2015) Progress report and proposed outputs of osteoarchaeological research from the sites of Mogou and Majiayuan. Invited talk at the Gansu Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (甘肃省文物考古研究所) – Lanzhou, China.
Hernandez M. (2015) Early China as a case study for assessing the role of socio-political complexity on human health. Invited talk at the Department of Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学) – Guangzhou, China.
Hernandez M. (2014) Worked to the bone: Non-elite mechanical stress patterns in early Chinese state-level societies. Invited talk at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford – Oxford, United Kingdom.
Hernandez M. (2013) Promising research methods for elucidating the past and how they can be applied to physical anthropology in China. Invited talk at the School of History, Zhengzhou University (郑州大学) – Zhengzhou, China.
Hernandez M. (2012) Health as a measure of sustainability in the earliest state-level societies of East Asia. Invited talk at the Research Centre of Chinese Frontier Archaeology, Jilin University (吉林大学) – Changchun, China.
2016 Association for Asian Studies China and Inner Asia Council
2015 Lloyd B. Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellowship
Cotsen Institute Research Grant
Sigrid Rausing Scholarly Exchange Fund
2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society Travel Grant
2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society Research Studentship
Dorothy Garrod Memorial Trust Fund
HSS Foreign Language Learning Fund
William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award
2012 Cambridge Overseas Trust Fieldwork Fund
2011 Downing College Graduate Travel Grant
Downing College Parke Davies Studentship
Worts Traveling Scholar Fund
Ridgeway-Venn Travel Studentship