Biocultural archaeology; migration; kinship; social complexity, legitimization of power; isotope geochemistry; ancient DNA; memory; place-making; mortuary archaeology; archaeological science; human-environment interaction; resilience; household and settlement archaeology. Geographic foci include Belize, Mesoamerica, and Romania.
I am a biocultural archaeologist who studies the intersection of migration, kinship, placemaking, and resilience of the Ancient Maya via isotope geochemistry and ancient DNA. I received my PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Before joining Mason, I was a postdoc in the Department of Geosciences at The University of Texas. In addition to being a postdoc fellow in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mason, I am also affiliated with the Genetic Anthropology and Bio-Cultural Studies Lab and Bioarchaeology & Stable Isotope Research Lab at Vanderbilt University.
My research focuses on ancient societies to see how our environments shape our bodies and how our bodies are, in turn, used to help shape our societies and environments. I am particularly interested in mobility, kinship, how people negotiate positions of power through the creation of kinship, and how they use constructed kinship to create place and manipulate memory through shared burial practices and iconography. I also consider risk and resilience and examine how long people endure stress before societal change.