Ducula shutleri

November 25, 2019

The late Richard Shutler jr. was Chair and a Professor in the Department of Archaeology at SFU between 1979 and 1987, continuing as Emeritus until his death in 2007. He was a pioneer in the Archaeology of the South Pacific, importantly excavating the eponymous Lapita site in New Caledonia in 1952 with Edward Winslow Gifford.  The “Lapita people” are now recognized as the earliest phase of settlement throughout Remote Oceania, and the recognized ancestors of the Polynesians. In the 1990s and early 2000s Richard worked with David Burley on the earliest Lapita sites in Tonga, where large faunal assemblages were recovered including several species of extinct birds. In a just released article (advance view) in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the authors taxonomically describe Ducula shutleri, a large extinct Tongan pigeon named in Richard’s honour.