Faculty and Staff

Kimber Haddix McKay

Kimber Haddix McKay


Email: kimber.mckay@mso.umt.edu
Office: Skaggs 154a
Office Hours:

TWR 11-11:50

Current Position

Professor, School of Public and Community Health Sciences and Department of Anthropology

Director, International Development Studies


Personal Summary

Kimber Haddix McKay is an applied medical anthropologist with expertise in research design, international development, and demography. Her research focuses on the interplay between marriage systems and fertility, and on demographic and health trends in African and South Asian societies. She is interested in the ways in which anthropology can be useful in fields outside of academia, and has worked both full time and as a consulting anthropologist designing studies of health and health seeking behavior in urban and rural areas of Nepal and Uganda. She has assisted in the design of locally appropriate development schemes aimed at improving health conditions in villages and homes, particularly in the use of sustainable energy technologies (solar photovoltaic, pico- and micro-hydroelectric systems) latrines, improved/smokeless cookstoves, lighting schemes, anthropometry and nutrition supplementation, community-based health training, and health-related drama and radio programming.


University of California, Berkeley

Post-doctoral Fellow in Demographic Anthropology 1998-2000

University of California, Davis

Ph.D. Anthropology 1998

M.A. Anthropology 1994

Mount Holyoke College

B.A. Anthropology, minor in Philosophy 1990

Field of Study

Demographic anthropology, applied medical anthropology, international development, human evolutionary ecology.


  • ANTY 521 Applied Anthropology and International Health (G)
  • PUBH 580 Rural Health Issues in a Global Context (G - Public Health)
  • ANTY 432 Anthropological and Clinical Perspectives on Global Health (UG)
  • ANTY 402 Quantitative Ethnographic Field Methods (UG)
  • IDS 497 Monitoring and Evaluation in International Development (UG)
  • ANTY 333 Population and Culture (U)
  • ANTY 430 Social Anthropology (UG)
  • ANTY 330 Peoples of Africa (U)
  • ANTY 349 Social Change (UG)
  • ANTY 220 Social Anthropology (UG)
  • ANTY 520 Seminar in Ethnology (G)

Professional Experience

2000 - Present: Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana

1998 - Present: Consultant to Adara Development. Conducting baseline and longitudinal studies of rural health care conditions in Humla District, Nepal and Nakaseke District, Uganda; currently Senior Advisor, Innovation and Best Practice for Adara Development

2001-2002 Country Manager, Nepal—The ISIS Foundation. Project director and manager and lead researcher on various health-related development projects in both Nepal and Uganda (on leave from University of Montana)

1998-2000 Andrew Mellon post-doctoral fellow in demographic anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, Program in Population Research, under the supervision of Gene Hammel

International Experience

Current Research Sites:

  • Nepal
  • Uganda

Other Research Sites:

  • Kenya
  • Honduras


  • Spanish
  • Nepali

Other Publications

Grocke MU and McKay, KH, After the road came: Insights into the nexus of food security and malnutrition in Northwestern Nepal. Mountain Research and Development, under review. 

McKay, K., Acholla, D., Namutebi, P., Sanders, C., Ssekidde, M., Lessons learned from a menstrual hygiene management program in Central Uganda, under review at East African Journal of Public Health.

2016 Grocke, MU and McKay, KH. The impact of the first road in Humla District, Nepal on children’s dietary patterns and nutritional status with recommendations for increased protein intake, Studies in Nepali History and Society, 21(2): 305-331.                                                                                                             

2016 McKay, K, Planning Families in Nepal. Jan Brunson, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 2016, 150 pp. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. doi:10.1111/maq.12344

2016 McKay K. Polyandry. In: T.K. Shackelford, V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_119-1

2015 Sanders, C., McKay, K. Lama, A., and Dhakal, P. “’Pro-government’ is not ‘Pro-corruption’ in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquakes”. in Anthropology News’ online magazine, In Focus, June 10th, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2015/06/10/pro-government-is-not-pro-corruption-in-the-aftermath-of-the-nepal-earthquakes/.

2015 Khumalo, K., McKay, K., Freimund, W., Who is a “real woman”? Empowerment and the discourse of respectability in Namibia’s Zambezi region, Women’s Studies International Forum , 48: 47-56.

2014 Sanders, C. and  McKay, K.. Where have all the young men gone? Social fragmentation during rapid neoliberal development in Nepal’s Himalayas, Human Organization 73(1): 25-37.

2013 McKay, K., Sanders, C., The dual collective action problem facing a latrine program in Nepal, Proceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum, http://www.sciforum.net/conference/wsf3..

2013 Sanders, C.and McKay, K.  "I don't know where my sons are": Social trade-offs during rapid development in Nepal, In Proceedings of the 3rd World Sustainability Forum, http://www.sciforum.net/conference/wsf3.

2013 Sanders, C. and McKay, K. The Search for “Strong Medicine”: Pathways to healthcare development in remote Nepal using GIS, Technology & Innovation 15: 109-124.

2012 Sanders, C. and McKay K.H. Love is cheap: Democratic rise of love marriage among Hindu Maoists in Nepal, Anthropology News, http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2012/04/02/love-is-cheap/.

2010 McKay, K.H.Socio-cultural dimensions of cluster vs. single home photovoltaic solar energy systems in rural Nepal, Sustainability, 2010(2): 494-504.

2009 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H. Benefits from a renewable energy village electrification system, Renewable Energy, 34:362-368.

2008 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H. A mountain to climb? How pico-hydro helps rural development in the Himalayas, Renewable Energy World, 11(2): 118-123. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/reworld/story?id=52026

2007 McKay, K., Zahnd, A., Sanders, C. and Nepali, G. Responses to innovation in an insecure environment in rural Nepal, Mountain Research and Development, 27(4): 302–307.

2007 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H. Eclairage sur mesure au Népal, Traces 24(12): 11-13.

2007 Pickering A. and Haddix McKay, K.   Old and new barriers to family planning in Humla, Nepal: How the urban/rural divide has widened, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, 34(1): 229-245.

2007 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H. Quatre piliers pour un développement holistique, Traces 24(12): 7-9.

2006 Fissel, A. and Haddix McKay, K. Action!  Why people engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS should take note of traditional healer organizations in Uganda, Practicing Anthropology, 28(4): 22-25.

2004 Tanner, R., Brown, P., Freimund, W. and Haddix McKay, K.  Transfrontier conservation areas of Southern Africa and international law in the context of community involvement, Journal of South African Environmental Law and Policy, 11: 167-182.

2003 Haddix McKay, K. Challenges to health care access in Maoist Nepal, Himalaya, XXII(2): 43-46.

2002 Haddix McKay, K. Health needs in two ethnic communities of Northwestern Nepal, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, 29(2): 241-273.

2001 Haddix, K. Leaving your wife and your brothers: When polyandrous marriages fall apart, Evolution and Human Behavior, 22(1):47-61.