Breanne Casper

PhD Student




  • M.A., Applied Anthropology, University of South Florida
  • B.S., Anthropology, Michigan State University


Daniel Lende


ANT 2511L Biological Anthropology Lab, and ANT 2410 Cultural Anthropology.


I am interested in employing a neuroanthropological lens in order to solve human problems.

My dissertation research focuses on substance use cessation and the “triggers” associated with quitting drugs. Employing theory and method from psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology my research interrogates the ontological nature of cessation and cue encounters in order to better understand the constructed reality of cessation. As the incoming chair (Summer 2021) of the Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group, I am interested in fostering growth within the community of scholars focused on research on substance use and recovery.

My master’s thesis explored the concept of “Natural Recovery”, which is when people stop or moderate problematic substance use without the use of formal addiction services. I specifically focused on patterns of college student substance use. Utilizing a neuroanthropological approach it was my goal to create a more biocultural theory of natural recovery that considers both the social/structural and biological aspects of problematic substance cessation/moderation.

Other research projects that I have worked on include prescription stimulant use among college students, the journey to “recovery” for participants in the This is My Brave Program, and change in higher education. Throughout these experiences I have utilized ethnographic field methods including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, social network analysis, and discourse analysis to answer questions about change and mental health.  

For more information about Neuroanthropology, and applying this research visit

Research interests 

Neuroanthropology, cue reactivity, substance use/cessation, mental health diagnosis/recovery, higher education.