Pre-Hispanic Fishing Strategies in the U.S. Southwest

My dissertation focused on Ancestral Pueblo fishing (ca. AD 1300–1600). But I am generally interested in the development of aridland fishing strategies, and the U.S. Southwest is vastly understudied in this regard. Future work will take place in the San Juan Basin (ca. AD 900–1200), and in the Archaic time period.


Raptor Management in the U.S. Southwest/Mexican Northwest

Raptors hold a special place in the cultures of the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest. It appears in the late pre-Hispanic period that captive management practices associated with birds of prey begin. This project focuses on the socioenvironmental context of raptor management and its development through time to better understand pathways of animal domestication.

In Development

Changing the Human/Fish Narrative in Archaeology

This project focuses on the global evolution of human fishing through the lens of food choice. Fishing is currently one of the most environmentally impactful modes of human resource extraction. But, there is no synthetic archaeological understanding of human fishing choice through time, leaving a gap between long-term patterns of human fishing and current fishing strategies and policies.

Active (student lead)

Classifying Tarsals of Mule Deer and Pronghorn

Eric Gilmore, Master’s student at the University of North Texas, leads this project. He is interested in testing criteria developed—by Barbara Lawrence in the 1950s—to skeletally distinguish mule deer and pronghorn. I provide expertise in predictive modeling and machine learning techniques.


The Haynie Site Fauna

The Haynie Site is an Ancestral Pueblo community, located in southwestern Colorado, that includes two Chaco period Great Houses. This site is part of the larger Lakeview Community, which includes two other Great Houses located close by. Fauna from Haynie represents a way to explore how human/environmental relationships linked with Chaco outlier community formation, perseverance, and integration within the larger region.


The Prevalence of Garden Hunting in Prehistory

Garden hunting is a specific subsistence practice that mixes plant cultivation and hunting, and it is assumed that prehistoric societies across North America adopted this subsistence strategy. Here, I and colleagues directly test whether the bones of cottontails (Sylvilagus spp.) and jackrabbits (Lepus spp.) recovered from Ancestral Pueblo sites exhibit signatures of a garden diet.


Individuals from Isotopes

The history of zooarchaeology is replete with attempts to quantify the number of individual animals in the archaeological record, each fraught with statistical and methodological hurdles. This project tests whether stable isotopes can identify individual animals using the same skeletal elements from 20 different Cooper’s Hawks recently collected from the Albuquerque area.

Recently Completed

Body Size from Unconventional Specimens

Zooarchaeologists frequently estimate body size from skeletal remains to answer a host of anthropological questions. However, normal body size estimation techniques rely on complete and whole skeletal remains. This work uses 3D geometric morphometrics to reconstruct the body size of animals from fragmented material.

Recently Completed

Resource Risk and Stability in the Zooarchaeological Record

Energy maximization foraging logic dominates much of the zooarchaeological literature. The body of theory concerning risk sensitive foraging is less developed. This project set a theoretical and methodological framework for identifying risky wild food resources in the past.

Recently Completed

A 13C Suess Correction for Past Ecosystems

The burning of fossil fuels and the production of cement has drastically altered the kinds of carbon in the atmosphere through time, which is a problem if researchers want to compare stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) of past animal tissue to more recent ones. Scholars have handled this issue in multiple ways, but a standard correction has not been proposed. This project proposed a standard correction.


Applied Zooarchaeology of the Ponsipa Fauna

Ponsipa is a late pre-Hispanic (ca. AD 1300–1600) site located in the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico. The site included remains of the Rio Grande Blue Sucker (Cycleptus sp. cf. elongatus), which is a currently undescribed species of sucker fish that is highly imperiled. Archaeological data show that this fish’s range was much larger in the past and set baseline ecological conditions for its conservation and management


Student Perception of Feral Cat Management on a University Campus

The management of feral cats with Trap Neuter Return (TNR) programs is a highly contentious issue. This project used a political ecology framework to identify stakeholder values on a university campus to help promote more efficient management of feral cats and their impacts on wild animal populations.