Fossils, the X-Files, and roller coasters - this may seem like a strange combination, but there is no better way to describe the Burnett Honors College sophomore Marley Denierio. Marley, a student originally from New York, never imagined she would be reconstructing dietary patterns of ancient Peruvian societies from Kuelap, Peru. However, that is exactly what she is doing now.
“Freshman year I sat through another general education class, General Anthropology, that UCF was requiring us to take, story of our lives, but by the end of the class, I was completely enthralled by everything to do with anthropology. After just one semester, I decided that just being a Bio Med major wouldn’t allow me to accomplish all I wanted to do, so I added a double major in Anthropology. Soon after, I became a research assistant for Dr. Toyne, an assistant professor in the Anthropology department.
The research that takes place in her lab consists of taking bone fragments from animals of ancient Peruvian societies. Doing this type of research can help to see past migratory patterns of societies, the spread of diseases, and the overall health of different cultures in specific time periods just from seeing what the people of this time ate. Research like this prepares me for where I eventually want to work, the Center for Disease Control.
When I’m not breaking down bones and mixing them with isotopes to see their levels of nitrogen and carbon, I’m going from one roller coaster to the next at Universal Studios and hanging out with my friends in Phi Delta Epsilon, the medical fraternity on campus. I’m also working on turning my research into an Honors in the Major thesis. All I can say is, do not write off a class just because you are required to take it, you never know what may come from it.”