Ellen Platts recently earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Maryland. Her work focuses on the ways that cultural heritage can form the building blocks of equitable approaches to difficult social challenges, such as socioeconomic inequality, climate change, and uneven urban development. Her dissertation focused on the use of food and desert farming heritage in sustainable development efforts in the city of Tucson, Arizona, and surrounding area.

While at UMD, Ellen was a Flagship Fellow, a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Fellow with the UMD Global STEWARDS program, and received additional funding from the Wylie Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, and the National Science Foundation DDRI grant-making program. 

Prior to joining the department, she was the Program Assistant for the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. There, she worked on interdisciplinary projects bringing together scientists, engineers, human rights practitioners, and policymakers. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and holds a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Human Rights. She received her Master of Applied Anthropology degree from UMD in 2019. 

Areas of Interest

  • cultural heritage
  • heritage landscapes
  • heritage management
  • climate change
  • food security
CV: Ellen Platts CV144.3 KB


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Anthropology, University of Chicago
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Applied Anthropology, University of Maryland
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Anthropology, University of Maryland
Platts, Ellen
ejplatts [at] umd.edu