I received my PhD in the Anthropology Department at UC Davis with a focus on Paleolithic Archaeology. I am interested in analyzing bone tools, with the attempt to understand the relationship between technologies made by various hominin groups. I do this taking a holistic approach combining qualitative and quantitative analyses.
I am currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and former Fulbright Post-Doctoral U.S. Scholar at the New Bulgarian University investigating the osseous artifacts at the Middle to Upper Paleolithic archaeological site of Bacho Kiro, Bulgaria. This research addresses issues related to the migration of Upper Paleolithic human populations into Europe and their replacement of Neandertal populations. I am reconstructing aspects of osseous tool technology across all layers of the site, focusing on the Initial Upper Paleolithic layers. Overall, this project is providing a high-resolution reconstruction of technological change at Bacho Kiro, while considering its place at an essential crossroads in the European Paleolithic.
My dissertation research at UC Davis utilized 3D texture analysis and stereoscopic microscopy to study manufacture, use, and the development of traces found on bones. I conducted both actualistic and more systematic, controlled experiments to understand how bones wear over time. As an undergrad at UC Davis, I found a Neandertal-made bone tool (lissoir, or smoother), and this discovery led to the formulation of my dissertation. In particular, I compared this tool type in both Neandertal and modern human contexts in an attempt to understand if any relationships exist. My dissertation work brought me to France, Germany, Bulgaria, and Russia where I studied faunal remains and bone tools from the collections of Abri Peyrony, Pech-de-l’Azé I and IV, Chez Pineau Jonzac, Bacho Kiro, Abri Castanet, Fourneau du Diable, La Ferrassie, Abri Pataud, Grotte d’Isturitz. In addition, I spent about a year developing and implementing my analytical methodology at the Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie, UMR 7055 Prétech Préhistoire et Technology, Nanterre, France and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Human Evolution, Leipzig, Germany.
I've also had the privilege to excavate in France, Israel, and South Africa on sites ranging from the Early Stone Age to the Bronze Age.