Brea McCauley

Email: bmccaule@sfu.ca  Website: breamccauley.com  Twitter: brea_mccauley

M.A.: M.A., Archaeology; Simon Fraser University, 2019
B.A.: B.A. (Hons), Archaeology; Simon Fraser University 2017

Other Credentials: Liberal Arts and Cultural Resource Management Certificates; Simon Fraser University 2017

Supervisor: Dr. Mark Collard

Research Areas: Cultural Evolution; Cross-Cultural Analyses; Cognitive Science of Religion; Extreme Rituals; Body Modification 

Research Interest: 

I am broadly interested in the variability in human behaviour. How groups adapt to similar social problems with vastly different practices, or  how groups grow to have similar practices for drastically different purposes. 

My current research endeavours focus on addressing the variability in extreme body modification rituals. My M.A. work focused on exploring the extreme dysphoric ritual of finger amputation through cross-cultural ethnographic survey as well as a case study of Ancient Maya finger amputation practices. My current PhD work focuses on tattooing using Micronesia and Polynesia tattoo traditions as case studies. 

Honours Research:

A Test of Competing Hypotheses Concerning the Impact of Demography on Cultural Evolution

Masters Research:

Ancient Maya Finger Caches: A Multidisciplinary Analysis

Other Activities

I am spending the first year of my doctoral program in Europe. I will be learning how to use comparative phylogenetic analyses with with Dr. Jamie Tehrani at Durham University in England. Then, I will be working with Dr. Felix Reide at Aarhus University in Denmark to conduct a survey of a European Mesolithic burial tradition. 

In addition to my doctoral research, I am also an active field archaeologist having worked on sites in Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Germany. Further, I am well versed in laboratory analyses with experience from the La Ferrassie project in France and five years as a laboratory assistant in the South Pacific Archaeology lab at SFU.   

 

 Publications:

In Press (Brea McCauley). “Life Expectancy in Hunter-Gatherers” In: T. Shackelford and V. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Evolutionary Psychological Sciences, Springer Verlag.

2019 (W. Chris Carleton, Brea McCauley, André Costopoulos, and Mark Collard). Agent-based model experiments cast doubt on Dunnell’s adaptive waste explanation for cultural elaboration, STAR: Science and Technology of Archaeological Research, 1(5): 1-17.

2018 (Brea McCauley, David Maxwell, and Mark Collard). A cross-cultural perspective on Upper Palaeolithic hand images with missing phalanges. Journal of Palaeolithic Archaeology 1(4): 314-333.

Digital Publications:

2017 (Brea McCauley) Why Archaeology Could Save Our Fish; SFU Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Op-Ed Contest Finalist. http://www.sfu.ca/fenv/news/why-archaeology-could-save-our-fish.html

Conference Presentations:

2019 (Brea McCauley, David Maxwell, and Mark Collard). Finger Amputation Rituals among the Ancient Maya. [Podium]. 31st Annual Human Behaviour and Evolution Society Conference. Boston, Massachusetts.

2019 (Brea McCauley, David Maxwell, and Mark Collard). Upper Palaeolithic handprints with missing fingers: An ethnological perspective. Society for American Archaeology 84th Annual Meeting. [Podium + Session Chair]. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2018 (Brea McCauley, David Maxwell, and Mark Collard). Cross-cultural perspective on Upper Palaeolithic hand images with missing phalanges. [Invited Podium]. SFU Faculty of Environment Research Wrap Up. Burnaby, British Columbia. 

2018 (Brea McCauley, David Maxwell, and Mark Collard). Upper Palaeolithic handprints with missing fingers: An ethnological perspective. [Podium]. 2nd Annual Cultural Evolution Society Conference. Tempe, Arizona. 

2018 (Brea McCauley). Ritual finger amputation: Perspectives from archaeology, anthropology, and cognitive science. [Podium]. Simon Fraser University Crawford Lab of Evolutionary Studies Seminar Series. Burnaby, British Columbia. 

2018 (Brea McCauley, Chris Carleton, André Costopoulos, and Mark Collard) Waste not wanted: testing Dunnell’s waste hypothesis with an agent-based model [Podium]. 30th Annual Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

2018 (Brea McCauley, Dennis Sandgathe, and Mark Collard) Assessing archaeological assumptions about fire use through ethnographic survey [Podium]. 10th Annual International Young Archaeologists Conference. Vardzia, Georgia.

2018 (Brea McCauley, Dennis Sandgathe, and Mark Collard) Assessing archaeological assumptions about fire use through ethnographic survey [Podium]. 1st Annual SFU Faculty of Environment Graduate Research Day. Burnaby, Canada. 

2018 (Brea McCauley) Ritualized finger amputation globally and among the Classic Maya. 3rd Annual Power of Future Minds event, University Women’s Club. Vancouver, Canada.

2017 (Brea McCauley and Mark Collard). A test of competing hypotheses concerning the impact of demography on cultural evolution [Podium Presentation]. 1st Annual Cultural Evolution Society Conference.  Jena, Germany.

2017 (Brea McCauley and Mark Collard). A test of competing hypotheses concerning the impact of demography on cultural evolution [Podium Presentation]. 29th Annual Meeting of the Human Behaviour and Evolution Society.  Boise, U.S.A.

2017 (Brea McCauley and Mark Collard). A test of competing hypotheses concerning the impact of demography on cultural evolution [Podium Presentation]. Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting.  Vancouver, Canada.

2017 (Brea McCauley and Mark Collard). A test of competing hypotheses concerning the impact of demography on cultural evolution [Podium].  5th Annual SFU Faculty of Environment Student Symposium.  Burnaby, Canada. 

 

Images:

Presenting at the Human Behaviour and Evolution Society Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018)

Excavations at Hopoate Site, Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga (2014)