- MA, Anthropology, George Washington University, 2014
- BA, Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2010
My research interests center on zooarchaeology and paleoecology as part of a broader biogeographical context for understanding island evolution in Southeast Asia. Since the discovery of a distinct faunal boundary between mainland Asia and Wallacea, known as the Wallace Line (established in 1859 by Alfred Russel Wallace), island fauna has been a primary focus in understanding unique evolutionary pressures unlike those observed on continental landscapes. Borrowing from both mammalogical and anthropological studies, my previous research experience includes taxonomic studies of small mammals as well as the postcranial functional anatomy of Southeast Asian murids from Indonesia.
For my dissertation, I am interested researching the environmental context of a Late Pleistocene archaeological site; Liang Bua, Flores, Indonesia (the type locality of the enigmatic hominin, Homo floresiensis). Specifically, I am interested to understand our role in this more complex, ecological environment east of the Wallace Line: How and when did a small-bodied hominin reach Flores? What did their interaction with the local fauna look like? How does this interaction challenge our current understanding of hominin behavior? By incorporating isotopic, morphological, and taphonomic data from small mammals, I aim to explore ecological changes through time, biotic interactions, and accumulating agents at Liang Bua.
Advisor: Dr. Thompson