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Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Assistant Curator, Museum of Anthropology
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I study the influences of ecological, demographic and social factors on prehistoric hunter-gatherers’ behaviors and broader cultural change through time. My current projects in Argentine Patagonia use simple economic models incorporating these factors to generate predictions of hunter-gatherer settlement and resource use at different times in the past. For example, I recently modeled potential responses to a widespread and prolonged trend of warmer, drier conditions during the middle Holocene (8000-4000 years ago) and then gathered data using large-scale archaeological surveys, geochemical and microscopic studies of obsidian (volcanic glass), and morphometric analyses of stone tools to test the models’ predictions. I believe that understanding interactions between humans and their environments and examining the degree to which ecological conditions constrain and influence culture will help us understand larger trajectories of adaptive cultural change.
101 West Hall1085 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan