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Zoe Nyssa

Zoe Nyssa

Assistant Professor // Anthropology

Office and Contact

Room: STON 323


Phone: 765-494-8322


ANTH 640: Foundations and Frameworks: Applying Anthropology

ANTH 592: Evidence, Power, Politics: Working in Expert & Technical Cultures



Expert and technical cultures, environmental/climate policy and practice, anthropology of science and technology, applied anthropology, organizational strategy, future making, global challenges, computational and mixed methods, epistemology and ethics, risk.

Dr. Nyssa is an applied anthropologist specializing in expert decision-making and technical cultures. Her research combines traditional ethnographic and qualitative methods with techniques from computational social science, particularly text mining and topic modeling, in order to study the relationships between knowledge practices, governance, and distributive questions of risk and justice. Her work has been funded by a number of organizations; previously she was a Predoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin and Ziff Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Nyssa has conducted research and worked as an adviser for leading scientific and environmental organizations and is co-developing the new Master’s track in Applied and Practicing Anthropology at Purdue. She advises graduate students in the M.S., applied/non-thesis M.S., and Ph.D. programs on projects related to expert and technical cultures, environmental science, policy and governance, including climate and biodiversity, as well as mixed methods projects employing computational approaches. Dr. Nyssa holds an Hon. B.Sc. in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto, Canada, an M.A. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.