Career Biography

Dr. Daniel Benyshek


  • University of Colorado at Boulder, 1988
  • Arizona State University: Ph.D in Medical Anthropology and Nutritional Anthropology, 2001

Academic Interests

  • medical anthropology
  • diabetes and other obesity-related chronic diseases
  • Native Americas in North America
  • Havasupai Indian tribe of northern Arizona
  • his research “focuses on the intersection of health and disease within the context of a changing human diet” by “investigating the increasing prevalence of obesity-related health disorders in evolutionary and political-ecological perspective.”

Current Position and Research

  • Associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Is investigating diabetes prevention lifestyle choices among urban Native Americans in Las Vegas by monitoring body weight, lipid consumption, and blood glucose to determine the effectiveness of various diabetes prevention strategies
  • Investigating the veracity of the claim that consuming the prepared and encapsulated placenta after giving birth has nutritional benefits. Specifically, Benyshek’s goal is to determine whether or not this practice that is gaining popularity among Native American mothers has implications towards diabetes prevention. 


  • 2001: Dr. Benyshek’s graduate thesis, “A reconsideration of the origins of the Type 2 diabetes epidemic among Native Americans and the implications for intervention policy” was published in Medical Anthropology
  • 2003: “The nutritional history of the Havasupai Indians of Northern Arizona: Dietary change and inadequacy in the reservation era and their implications for current health” was published in Nutritional Anthropology
  • 2005: “Type 2 diabetes and fetal origins: The promise of prevention programs focusing on prenatal health in high prevalence Native American communities,” where he discusses the concept of preventing Type 2 diabetes through prenatal care was published in Human Organization.