My academic interest lies in illuminating the human condition of the past by using bioarchaeological approximations and is anchored in the heart of the Maya area, where my husband, Dr. Andrea Cucina, and I have been teaching and investigating actively at the Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico. My approach is intimately tied to the multilayered dimensions of the human “body” and operationalized by scaled examinations of the native material and intellectual record, integrating life history approaches with those of communities, social sectors and “ethnic” groups. My recent research has specifically focused on the enactment, the emblematic roles and ideological underpinnings of Mesoamerican cranial vault modifications. Similarly rich is the line of study I wish to pursue now during my sabbatical year at UCRiverside, to revolve around permanent Maya facial modifications. These include dental filings and inlays, forehead flattening and cartilage piercings to hold personal ornaments. I look much forward to sharing and enriching this research with my host at the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Karl Taube and my other colleagues from this Department. Another academic treat will be advancing jointly with Dr. Travis Stanton of UCR in our collaboration on the Maya burial population from Yaxuná, Mexico.