Research Interests

My research focuses on the interrelationships among prehistoric peoples and the living landscapes that supported them. I use vertebrate remains from archaeological and paleontological sites to understand the nature of ancient vertebrate communities, the ways in which those communities changed through time, the ways in which past peoples used species drawn from those communities, and the ways in which those uses may have helped structure the histories of those species. I began my career building a robust set of quantitative methods that could be used to validly infer the changing abundances of vertebrate species through time from archaeological and paleontological data, and have spent much of the rest of my career applying those methods to archaeological and paleontological faunas that span the last 150,000 years or so. That work has informed us about such things as the lack of dietary differences between late Neandertals and early anatomically modern peoples in southwestern France, the impacts of intense aridity on small mammals between 8300 and 5000 years ago in the Great Basin desert of western North America, the inexorable loss of lower-elevation populations of pikas (Ochotona princeps) in the arid western United States, and the possible causes of extinction of late Ice Age (Pleistocene) mammals in North America and elsewhere.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology

Secondary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology