I'm originally from Pavillion, Wyoming and recieved my undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming in 2016. I was an NSF REU intern at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural Sciences while as an undergraduate in 2016 and I recieved an NSF GRFP in 2017 to attend Harvard University. I originally trained as a zooarchaeologist, but have recently moved into ethnoarchaeological methods.
My research interests center on understanding human-nonhuman animal interactions and relationships. I take the approach of first taking Indigenous knowledge seriously and then fusing that with recent ecological and ethological findings, resulting in an approach that treats animals as beings rather than automotons. Specifically for my PhD project, I focus on the changing behavior states of nonhuman animals to the selective pressures presented by a the changing human practices of a, largely, human-constructed environment. I'm interested in what this insight can bring to the physiological and behavioral adaptations of the past in both nonhuman animals and humans that result in ‘domestication’ relationships.
I am conducting my dissertation research on elk and elk management in the Rocky Mountain West, specifically western Wyoming and eastern Idaho. My methods are largely ethnoarchaeological. I am using this case study to investigate some previously proposed hypotheses that generalize animal behavior and human selection choices. By observing and participating in elk-human interactions and relationships across different geographical and cultural senarios, I hope to interrogate assumptions in archaeological domestication models. I am specifically challenging binary and dichotomous thinking that undercuts 'domestication.'
Supervisor: Richard H. Meadow