Geoarchaeology and Human Pyrogeography

I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University and a Research Associate at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona.  My primary research interest is in human-environment dynamics, particularly recursive relationships between wildland fires, climate change, and human land use.  To this end, I have developed novel, interdisciplinary research projects to test ideas about coupled human-natural fire regimes in the context of changing climates.  As contemporary societies wrestle with changing fire and climate regimes, my research partners and I are hoping to learn more about the dynamics of fires, climate, and societies over multiple centuries to inform contemporary adaptive management. We think of this research as form of applied historical ecology, in which we can extend the learning window for alternative management strategies multiple centuries (or more) into the past.

In practice, I am a geoarchaeologist, so I also have my hand in a variety of other archaeological projects to which I can lend my expertise.  These projects include using soil micromorphology to identify traces of ritual formation processes and the use of geochemical surveys to map site structure and identify activity areas within dwellings.  

In 2012 - 2014, I will have active field projects in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico and on Viti Levu in Fiji.  I am looking to recruit an excellent graduate student interested in geoarchaeology or human ecology to work with me on the upcoming project in Fiji.  Please contact me and schedule a time to visit SMU before you apply.

You can find out more about me, my research partners, active research projects, and recent publications in the pages highlighted above.

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