Aunchalee Palmquist

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 212D
2035 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-6413


Dr. Palmquist is a medical anthropologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She received her Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in 2006.  Before arriving at Elon, she held a two-year appointment as Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Global Health Initiative.  She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health-National Human Genome Research Institute, Social and Behavioral Research Branch from 2007-2009.

Current Projects

Dr. Palmquist has conducted research on a wide range of topics, from healing systems in Palau to family communication about genetic test results in the U.S. She has worked in clinical, community-based, and interdisciplinary settings.  She has done ethnographic fieldwork in Hawaii, Palau, and Thailand.

Her current research addresses social inequalities in health, infant and child health, women's and gender studies, and science and technology studies.  

Two projects include:

  • Child feeding beliefs and practices in the context of food insecurity among low-income Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families in Hawaii

Dr. Palmquist is also working collaboratively with the UNCG Center for New North Carolinians to improve access to health services for immigrant and refugee communities in NC.

Students who are interested in gaining research experience in these areas should contact Dr. Palmquist to learn about possible training opportunities.

Dr. Palmquist is faculty advisor for Lambda Alpha, Elon's Anthropology Honor Society, is active in Elon's Women's/Gender Studies program, and is the new Director of Elon's Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS)


O’Brien, M and Palmquist, AEL (In Press) “My Body, My Self.” In E. Mendenhall and K. Wollner, Eds. Community Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth, University of New Mexico Press 

Palmquist, AEL (2015) “Demedicalizing Breast Milk: The Discourses, Practices, and Identities of Informal Milk Sharing.” In T. Cassidy and A. El-Tom, Eds. Ethnographies of Breastfeeding: Cultural Contexts and Confrontations, Bloomsbury Press 

Palmquist, AEL and Doehler, KA (2014) Contextualizing Online Human Milk Sharing: Structural Factors and Lactation Disparity among Middle Income Women in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, 122, 140-147. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.10.036 

Palmquist, AEL (2014) “Breastfeeding and Intimacy (Psychosexual Functioning).” In P. Whelehan and A. Bolin, Eds., Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, Wiley

Stuebe, AM, Gribble, KD, and Palmquist, AEL [E-letter] Pediatrics (January 3, 2014) Differences between online milk sales and peer-to-peer sharing. 

Palmquist, AEL (2012). "The Old and the New." In E. Mendenhall and A.D. Koon, Eds., Environmental Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth, University of New Mexico Press 

Palmquist, AEL, Wilkinson, A, Sandoval, JM, and Koehly, LM (2012) Age-related differences in biomedical and folk beliefs as causes for diabetes and heart disease among Mexican origin adults. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 4(14): 596-601 

Palmquist, AEL, Upton, R, Kim, S, Panter, A, Hadley, D and Koehly, LM (2011) Beliefs about cancer and diet among those considering genetic testing for colon cancer. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 43(3): 150-156 

Palmquist, AEL, Koehly, LM, Peterson, SK, Shegog, MS, Vernon, S and Gritz, ER (2010) “The cancer bond”: exploring the formation of cancer risk perception in families with Lynch Syndrome. Journal of Genetic Counseling 19(5): 423-544 

Ashida, S, Palmquist, AEL, Basen-Engquist, K, Singletary, S. Eva and Koehly, LM (2009) Changes in female support network systems and adaptation after breast cancer diagnosis: differences between older and younger patients. Gerontologist 49(4): 549-59 

Koehly, LM and Loscalzo, AE (2009) Adolescent obesity and social networks. Preventing Chronic Disease 6(3): A99 


Elon faculty and staff may log in to add more detail to their profile.