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Professor of Archaeology, SFU
I am interested in the social and ecological impacts of past human interactions with their environment. I work primarily in the Northwest Coast, in the traditional territories of and in collaboration with, several First Nations. I incorporate diverse technical and methodological approaches in my research, including interviews with knowledge holders, ethnohistoric research, geomorphology, archaeological survey and excavation, paleoethnobotany, and paleoecology. My recognition of the value of different disciplines and kinds of knowledge has led me to believe strongly in multi-disciplinary and collaborative research. My research program has been strengthened considerably by my association with other archaeologists, paleo- and neo-ecologists, geomorphologists, and experts in First Nations traditional knowledge.
With my students, I am working on several projects, broadly focused on exploring how Northwest Coast peoples lived and live with their land and seascapes. My team seeks to blend local ecological and historical knowledge with archaeological data to understand these interactions, and when possible, to apply this knowledge to current issues. I am particularly interested in the role of culturally valued species and places (“cultural keystone species and places”) in past and current social and ecological contexts.