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Brea McCauley is an Archaeology Honours graduate, currently pursuing her MA Archaeology, with certificates in Cultural Resource Management and Liberal Arts. Her interests in the field include cultural evolution, the evolution of religion, and human behavioural ecology. She believes that archaeology is the key to discovering long term patterns in human behaviour, and is vital to understanding how and why societies function as they do today.
Brea participated in SFU’s South Pacific Archaeology field school in 2014, surveying for new sites on the Sigatoka Sand Dunes in Fiji, and digging at one of the earliest sites in Polynesia at the Nukuleka Hopoate Site in the Kingdom of Tonga. Since returning home from this trip she has been consistently working with the South Pacific Archaeology Lab here at SFU, researching the initial Lapita migration and colonization of Polynesia by tracking changes in pottery styles.
Brea has also done two seasons of field work in Europe. In 2015 she worked on the final lab season for the famous Neanderthal cave site, La Ferrassie in South West France. During this time, she worked to prepare the massive collection of stone tools for curation. The following year she joined a team from The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Southern Germany in discovering and excavating the site of Langmadhalde, a new Mesolithic rock shelter site.
When not doing fieldwork, Brea was the president of the Archaeology Student Society (A.S.S.) and a writer for the A.S.S. Newsletter: The Debitage for the past two and a half years, as well as the secretary for the Underwater Archaeology Club for a year. She is very committed to helping to foster a tight knit community of archaeologists and promoting both personal and professional relationships within the department.
In her final year as an undergraduate student at SFU, she worked on her honours thesis that looked at the role of demography on cultural evolution, and specifically how these two factors interact to influence variability in technological complexity amongst groups. After completing her BA in Archaeology, she presented this research at a number of conferences this summer, before returning for her Masters last Fall.