Skip to Content

Department of Anthropology


Jelena Jankovic-Rankovic

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6940
Office: Gambrell Hall, 410

Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Photo of Jelena Jankovic-Rankovic


Dr. Jankovic-Rankovic is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame in 2021. Prior to her appointment at USC in 2023, she held positions as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Center for Global Health & the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University. 


  • ANTH 261: Human Variation
  • ANTH 350: Anthropology and Development 
  • ANTH 591.H01: Anthropology of Migration: Displacement, Borders, and Health

Research Interests:

Biocultural Anthropology; Medical Anthropology; Biological Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology; Environmental Anthropology; Global Migration; Displacement; Resettlement; Water Insecurity; Ethnography; Qualitative and Quantitative Methods; Community-based participatory research; Neuroendocrine, Immune, and Inflammatory Stress Physiology; Mental Health; Lived Experiences; Social Practices; Humanitarian Relief and Development; Social and Environmental Inequality; Resource Insecurity; Climate Change.


Dr. Jankovic-Rankovic is a biocultural anthropologist. Her research focuses on understanding of the relationships between current migratory flows, social inequalities, chronic psychosocial stress, health, and psychobiology. She is interested in the ways in which political, sociocultural, and environmental contexts shape and impact these critical facets of the human experience, especially within encampment settings. Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams across multiple locations, she has expanded her research to investigate water insecurity and its impact on mental health and psychobiology among marginalized and water insecure communities in the United States. In all of her work, she combines rich measurements of social and cultural contexts gleaned through ethnographic research with physical and mental health data and physiological information obtained from a collection of biomarkers. Dr. Jankovic-Rankovic also has a keen interest in studying job-related stressors among humanitarian workers, chronic exposure to trauma in occupational settings, and burnout syndrome, and how these factors affect sociality, resilience, and psychobiology. Her research efforts have garnered support from prestigious institutions such as the National Science Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.

Selected recent publications 

2022 Jankovic-Rankovic, J., Oka, R., Meyer, J., Snodgrass, J., Eick, G., Meyer, J & Gettler, 

L.T. Transient refugees’ social support, mental health, and physiological markers: Evidence from Serbian asylum centers. American Journal of Human Biology, e23747, DOI: 10.1002/AJHB.23747. 

2020 Jankovic-Rankovic, J., Oka, R., Meyer, J., & Gettler, LT. 2020. Forced migration experiences, mental well-being, and nail cortisol among recently settled refugees in Serbia. Soc Sci Med 258, 113070. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.