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    Thomas Banghart

    As a graduate student at UCSC, I am investigating indigenous management strategies of marine and terrestrial ecosystems along the Pacific coast of North America. More specifically, I am exploring the effects of European colonization on these traditionally managed landscapes with the intent of influencing contemporary environmental public policy discussions. Archaeological data are invaluable assets in addressing current environmental issues and may provide baselines for natural resource management strategies and insight into the nature of long term human-environment interactionsBy interweaving ecologic data with zooarchaeological analysis and archival research, I aim to highlight the relationship between climatic variability, intensification of natural resources, and shifting forms of social organization prior to and during the colonization of North America. 

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    Emma Britton

    My dissertation focuses on the mineralogical and chemical diversity of Casas Grandes polychromes across the Casas Grandes region, which extends through most of Chihuahua, eastern Sonora, and the southern portions of New Mexico and Arizona. I have a background in geology as well as anthropology and approach ceramics from a material science perspective. I intend to remedy breaches in our comprehensive understanding of Casas Grandes polychromes by joining modern conceptions of design analyses with technological analyses, that remain largely underdeveloped. By executing the first comprehensive study of Chihuahuan polychromes, with the goal of identifying and describing the degree and extent of stylistic, mineralogical, and chemical variability, both within and across the traditionally defined polychrome types and both through time and across space, I intend to amend the generally limited and non-compatible nature of previous studies.  


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    Rebecca Davis

    My graduate research at UCSC examines enslaved domestic spaces within plantation landscapes in the former French colony of Saint Domingue (present day Haiti). The time period being researched is just prior to the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution in 1791 when over 90% of the population was comprised of enslaved individuals. My research focuses on the enslaved use of space, cultural persistence, agency, active resistance and how these elements might present themselves in the landscape.  

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    Georgie DeAntoni

    My graduate research at UC Santa Cruz examines colonialism in California, particularly emphasizing Indigenous survivance and resilience before, during, and following the contact period and missionization. Using paleoethnobotany and the identification of wood charcoal through anthracology, my work will examine traditional landscape management practices as well as environmental changes following colonization. As a researcher, I am interested in Indigenous, collaborative, community-based archaeologies which prioritize the questions and ethics of the descendant communities. Additional emphases in my work are public outreach and the archaeology of hinterland spaces. 

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    Karli DeRego

    My Research is focused on the migration of Native Hawaiians to western areas of the mainland, specifically California, for labor purposes during the 1800's. As a Native Hawaiian myself, I am interested in seeing how migrants created and maintained connections to Hawai'i and how these relationships were sustained through their relocation. Additionally, I examine indigenous identity preservation in these migrant communities while they sought economic gain in a new country. According to modern U.S. census data, more Native Hawaiians and residents of Hawai'i are moving to the West Coast for various reasons and these first communities may have established networks of migration for today.


  • No alternative textDavid Ingleman

    I am an anthropological archaeologist. My research interests range from ethnohistory to historical creole linguistics and lithic analysis to zooarchaeology. In the past, I have worked in several regions of North America and in the Caribbean. I currently work in Hawai`i and I focus on post-contact period archaeology. I am the Student Representative on the Board of Directors for the Society for Hawaiian ArchaeologyI am also the O`ahu Army Cultural Resources Program Manager for the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR).

  • No alternative textAnneke Janzen (PhD awarded 2015)

    My dissertation examines mobility and herd management strategies of early pastoralists of Kenya’s Central Rift and neighboring plains. Here I use isotopic methods to investigate seasonal and longer-range herd movements across the landscape. I also use zooarchaeological analyses to assess the health and demographics of livestock, with the goal of identifying herding practices in the past and examining the spread of pastoralism throughout East Africa.

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    Kalina Kassadjikova

    My graduate research uses DNA from excavated human remains to recreate ancestral lineages erased by the trans-Atlantic slave trade and examine the genomic effects of colonial slavery among enslaved populations in North America and the Caribbean. Through studying the emergence of new Creole identities, I attempt to better understand how power dynamics and social hierarchy influence processes of individual and group identity-making and social solidarity. Combining biological and anthropological perspectives, I take a multiscalar approach to exploring how these biocultural interactions affect short- and long-term processes of cultural inheritance, endurance, and evolution.

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    Chester Liwosz  (PhD awarded 2018)

    As an anthropological archaeologist, I seek to bridge scientific understanding with indigenous worldviews.  My ongoing doctoral research explores cognition and meaning-making through embodied multisensory experiences connected with precolonial religious practices in the Mojave Desert and Great Basin of western North America.  This ethnographically informed research bridges the materiality of enigmatic rock art within its archaeological landscape context, with oral traditions shared by descendant Native American communities living in the region.  When informed by current and supported neuropsychology theory, we can build phenomenological understandings of subjective divine experiences. In forging new discourses, archaeologists such as myself hope to dispel primitivising narratives of "magical thinking," instead illuminating the common ground of empiricism, and its active role in cultivating non-Western ontologies.

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    My research explores the Classic Maya in the Palenque Region through a multi-scalar approach. With bachelor degrees in both geography and anthropology, I approach archaeology with an anthropological perspective alongside a cultural geographer's lens. The focus of my research is on ceramic resource procurement.Through developing a model of clay and mineral sources alongside landscape features and settlement locations, I will examine ceramic material procurement in the context of social and environmental interactions between the inhabitants of Palenque, Chinikihá, and Santa Isabel. This project is part of the MayaLab multi-institutional, collaborative project with UC Berkeley and UNAM.

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    Casondra Sobieralski 

    I am a PhD student in the Film and Digital Media department. I am interested in immersive environments and embodiment as that pertains to representing history and archaeology. I am particularly interested in the history of the American West and the archaeology of the Near East and Mediterranean. I am currently exploring creating embodied experiences via archaeoacoustics and augmented reality, and I am learning to dive in hopes of becoming proficient at underwater documentation for archaeologists.

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    My graduate research at UCSC explores the role of human sacrifice in ancient Maya political and religious practice. Specifically, I am investigating the recruitment of sacrificial victims by attempting to determine whether the individuals sacrificed come from local populations surrounding the cave or if they are captives from farther afield. I am also interested in how the selection for sacrificial victims reflects political and religious ideologies of the time. I am currently working with the Midnight Terror Cave skeletal collection from Belize to examine these issues.

  • No alternative textEden Washburn

    My graduate research at UCSC focuses on broad questions surrounding life history in the Central Amazon in Brazil. Specifically, I am interested in reconstructing past life ways in an attempt understanding the challenges and activities of daily life. My research looks at the interactions of people with other members of their community and more broadly their environment. Through bioarchaeological methods as well as stable isotope analysis I hope to examine the direct impact of daily life activities on an individual level and further draw conclusions about population dynamics.