Phil Trella is Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies. His work focuses on enhancing graduate student and postdoctoral recruitment and retention, and upon coordinating university-wide efforts in graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs. To this end, one of Phil’s primary concerns is the promotion of more integrated cultures among both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at UVa. To meet these goals he is working to increase fellowship opportunities that stimulate innovative and multidisciplinary research, to enhance diversity within the ranks of graduate students and postdocs, and to broaden and strengthen the university’s efforts in career development and placement.
Phil earned his Ph.D. in anthropology in 2010 from the University of Virginia. His research interests include ancient food production systems, the disintegration of complex societies, and long-term environmental change. He has conducted anthropological and archaeological research in the North America, Europe, and the Middle East. As an undergraduate he studied abroad and participated in research in northern Finland where he developed an ongoing interest in the lives of pastoral peoples. More recent archaeological research concerns the “collapse” of some of the world’s first cities across northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey at the close of the third millennium B.C.
Before joining the staff at VPR Phil held a postdoc position with the Sciences Humanities and Arts Network for Technological Initiatives (SHANTI) where he worked to advance digital scholarship among faculty and graduate students at UVA.