MEMBER SNAPSHOTS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Aleksa K. Alaica: Executive Director

(BA, University of Toronto; MSc, University of Edinburgh; PhD, University of Toronto) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Her main research interests include human-animal interactions, bioarchaeology, isotope analyses, Andean archaeology, political economy, and pastoralism. Her PhD research involved the study of the exploitation and veneration of animal species among the Moche of North Coast Peru. She examined the Moche iconographic record, faunal remains from the Middle Horizon sites (CE 600-1000) of Huaca Colorada and Tecapa and undertook systematic isotopic analyses of human and animal remains to interpret the role of wild and domesticated species in the daily lives, seasonal gatherings, and ritual practices of coastal communities. Her current research project addresses the role and influence of Wari imperial expansion during the Middle Horizon of the Cusco and Nasca regions. The central objective of this research is to realize the way that local groups of the Cusco and Nasca regions were responding to environmental and political transformations to shed light on the obstacles faced by these communities and their resilience in the face of change. Her research can be found at: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=5tCkPxoAAAAJ&hl=en and https://anth.ubc.ca/profile/aleksa-alaica/ 

Patricia Campos: Financial Director

(BA in heritage conservation at the Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía ENCRyM/INAH; MBA Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México ITAM). Patricia is a Doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary where she holds a scholarship from the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) from México. Her research revolves around creating community engagement as a strategy for long-term heritage conservation projects. She currently focuses her research on the Maya archaeological site of Tenam Puente and its relationship to the adjacent ejido of Francisco Sarabia in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. There she collaborates with the community from the ejido to understand the syncretism of the Maya cosmovision and the Catholic religion, seen through the mostly Tojolabal Indigenous population of Francisco Sarabia. She has participated in the restoration of a wide variety of archaeological, colonial and contemporary heritage in Mexico safeguarded by public and private institutions. She has held different leadership positions, including Deputy Planning Director at the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museum Studies (ENCRyM/INAH).

Arianne Boileau: Research Director

(BA Université Laval; MA Trent University: PhD University of Florida) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Royal University. Her main research interests include human-environment interactions, political economy, colonialism, trade and husbandry of animals, and subsistence patterns in the Maya subarea and broader Mesoamerica, which she studies using zooarchaeology, taphonomy, biomolecular and geochemical analyses, and ethnohistory. Her Ph.D. research investigated the impact of Spanish colonialism on household-level political economy at Lamanai, Belize, a Maya community in the Spanish borderlands. Using a mix of zooarchaeological, taphonomic, isotopic, and archival data, she examined how community members of different statuses and occupations continued or transformed their use and access to animal resources as they negotiated the new colonial order (1450-1700 CE). She is leading a new collaborative project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to investigate the long-term interactions between Mesoamerican groups and freshwater turtles. This study aims to document the possible resilience or vulnerability of river turtle populations to anthropogenic pressures and climatic events within the scale of human history and identify the range of practices in which Mesoamerican groups used freshwater turtles. Her research publications can be found on Google Scholar.

Patricia Aparicio: Events Director 

(BA University of León, Spain; MSc Universidad Autónoma of Madrid; PhD Candidate University of Oviedo, Spain) Patricia is currently a researcher at CIAC-PUCP and director of the project: "The Formation of agrarian landscapes in the central Andes of Perú. The study of pre-Hispanic agrarian and livestock landscapes of the Sondondo valley, Peru". Her main research interests are the pre-Hispanic agriculture, cultural landscapes, microremains such as phytoliths, paleobotany, Andean archaeology, Agrarian Archaeology and sacred landscapes. Her PhD research analyzes the formation and transformations of terrace and Andean systems over the last millennium in the valley of Sondondo. The research focuses on the construction and technological form of the terraces and the crops that were grown and harvested on the installations. Moreover, her study examines the symbolism of the terraces for the communities that built and used them. This diachronic study evaluates the changes in the landscape from the Early Intermediate period (500 BC - 600 AD) to the Late Horizon (1450-1532 AD). The research analyzes how different local and supra-local polities influenced the territorial transformations of the agrarian landscape. The research proves why tracking the changes in the agrarian landscape can provide a strong basis to reconstruct socio-political transformations of pre-Hispanic societies and the important role played by symbolism and ritual in the agrarian landscape. She belongs to different research groups as: LLABOR-LANDS (Oviedo), Modelando el Mundo and Patrimonio Arquitectónico PUCP. Her research can be found at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patricia-Aparicio-3 and https://pucp.academia.edu/PatriciaAparicio

Julia E. Earle: Social Media Director

(BA and MA, University of Toronto; PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin) is an anthropological archaeologist working in the Sacred Valley, an important region of the former Inka imperial heartland (Cusco, Peru). Since 2017, she has directed collaborative and community-engaged research projects in the southern Peruvian highlands with funding from the National Science Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and National Geographic Society, among other private foundations. Using a multi-scalar methodology, her dissertation evaluates Inka state formation by reconstructing diachronic change in the Sacred Valley’s built environment between 900 and 1532 CE. In contrast to a long-running scholarly focus on elites, Julia’s ongoing research attends to the political agency of rural, non-Inka populations. Her next-phase research will combine archaeology, ethnography, and oral histories to investigate past and present agropastoral groups’ strategies of resilience and sovereignty in the face of climate change and state occupation. Julia’s work has been published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and has been presented at numerous universities and conferences in the USA and Peru. Follow her research on Instagram (@juliaearle16) and at https://utexas.academia.edu/JEarle.

 

Past Board Members

Dr. Diana Moreiras Reynaga: Past Executive Director 

(BA & MA, University of British Columbia; PhD, The University of Western Ontario) is currently a Research Associate at The University of British Columbia and a Bioarchaeologist within the Templo Mayor Project who specializes in Mesoamerican bioarchaeology. Her main research interests include ancient human diets and geographic mobility, stable isotopes, biomolecular techniques, childhood and children in Mesoamerica, the use of animals in Mesoamerican ritual contexts, and the use (environmental, cultural, symbolic) of Theobroma cacao (chocolate) and maize by pre-Columbian peoples across the Americas. Her PhD research involved the study of dietary and residential patterns via multiple stable isotope analyses of adults and subadults sacrificed by the Aztecs (Mexica) at the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan and Templo R of Tlatelolco (Basin of Mexico) during the Late Postclassic period (AD 900-1521). Her research can be found at: https://ubc.academia.edu/DianaMoreiras and https://works.bepress.com/d_moreiras/

Kathryn Florence: Past Executive Director

Kathryn Florence is the founder of CLAAS. She conducted her undergraduate work at Purdue University, West Lafayette, graduating in 2017 with an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, minoring in Classics. In 2019 Florence received a Master of Arts in Art History from Concordia University, Montreal. Her interests include the intersection of art, power, and the formation of identity in Indigenous art, computational statistical analysis in art historical research, and Teotihuacano interregional interaction. She is currently revising a manuscript of her research about the origin of the Plumed Serpent as a symbol of Teotihuacan common action government for publication. She can be reached by email at kathryn.m.florence@gmail.com. Her lectures can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3bRGTYX5Vopt-YmOrQTzBw.

Amedeo Sghinolfi: Past Social Media Director

(BA & MA, University of Padova – Italy; PhD The University of Western Ontario) is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. His  research reconstructs the Prehispanic settlement patterns of the Carabamba Valley, located between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean in Northern Peru. He has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Italy (Aquileia, Sepino, Pilastri di Bondeno), in the Moche and Virú valleys in Northern Peru, and he analyzed Peruvian ceramic artifacts preserved in the Museum of Civilizations (former Pigorini Museum in Rome). His research interests include intergroup interaction, ancient borderlands, settlement patterns, spatial analyses through Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, ceramic analysis and early state societies. His research can be viewed at: https://westernu.academia.edu/AmedeoSghinolfi

Matthew Longstaffe: Past Financial Director

(BA University of Western Ontario; MA Trent University) is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary. His ongoing research examines ancient Maya household strategies of integration with socioeconomic institutions. He has conducted archaeological field work in Belize, Mexico, and Ontario. He has also worked in leadership positions at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in the areas of programmatic evaluation, data analysis, continuous quality assurance, and project management. He is currently the Field Director for the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project (https://scraparchaeology.com/), Alabama, Stann Creek District, Belize, and a Field Supervisor for the Proyecto Arqueológico Yaxnohcah (PAY), Yaxnohcah, Campeche, Mexico.

 

Cara Tremin: Past Social Media Director

Alec McLellan: Past Research Director

Lindsey Paskulin: Past Social Media Director



MEMBERS AT LARGE

 

Sarai Barreiro Argüelles, Université de Montréal

Olive, Student

Anthropology Student Who Loves Learning Latin American Language, Culture and Music Cultures.

Heather McKillop, Louisiana State University

I earned my Honors B.Sc. and M.A. from Trent University and my Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. My MA thesis fieldwork at Moho Cay near Belize City started my adventures in coastal Maya archaeology. I am grateful to Trent and to my MA advisor Dr. Paul F. Healy. After excavating on Wild Cane Cay, another trading port in southern Belize for my doctoral research and afterwards, I searched the coastal area for other sites and to figure out the ancient economy and settlement.
With students from LSU, I directed excavations on Frenchman's Cay, Pork and Doughboy Point, and Wild Cane Cay. Since the discovery of preserved wooden buildings and the Classic Maya canoe paddle in 2004, my team has focused research on the submerged sites of the Paynes Creek Salt Works in Punta Ycacos Lagoon, not far from Wild Cane Cay. See my web page www.underwatermaya.com for information about the submerged salt works, our 3D digital imaging, and movies. I have a current NSF project with Dr. E. Cory Sills excavating Ta'ab Nuk Na and hopefully soon, Ek Way Nal.

Michael Blake, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Michael Blake is an anthropological archaeologist who joined the Dept. of Anthropology at UBC in 1986, after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1985. He has carried out archaeological research in Mexico and British Columbia for the past 40+ years. His work in Mexico has focussed on early village life, social and economic organization, including both ethnoarchaeology and archaeology with Maya people in Highland Chiapas. His work on the origins of maize agriculture appears in the book Maize for the Gods: Unearthing the 9,000-Year History of Corn (University of California Press, 2015). He also works with many First Nations elders and community members in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia—primarily with Sq’éwlets First Nation, Stó:lō Tribal Council, and Stó:lō Nation, whose teachings and history are highlighted in the recently released Sq’éwlets: a Stó:lō-Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley (sponsored by the Virtual Museum of Canada: http://www.digitalsqewlets.ca/).

Kathryn Florence, Independent Scholar

Kathryn Florence is the founder of CLAAS. She conducted her undergraduate work at Purdue University, West Lafayette, graduating in 2017 with an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, minoring in Classics. In 2019 Florence received a Master of Arts in Art History from Concordia University, Montreal. Her interests include the intersection of art, power, and the formation of identity in Indigenous art, computational statistical analysis in art historical research, and Teotihuacano interregional interaction. She is currently revising a manuscript of her research about the origin of the Plumed Serpent as a symbol of Teotihuacan common action government for publication.She can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Her lectures can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3bRGTYX5Vopt-YmOrQTzBw.

Dr. Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, Athabasca University

I am an Archaeologist who specializes in the complex societies of Mesoamerica. I received my MA in Artefact Studies from the Institute of Archaeology at the University College London (2004), and my PhD in Archaeology from the University of Calgary (2013) where I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. I am originally from Thunder Bay, ON, but now live in Calgary, Alberta.

My research focuses primarily on ancient settlement development and household activity patterns. I am Principal Investigator of the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project (SCRAP), and have worked at several sites in Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. My teaching at AU takes place entirely online and, as a result, I am particularly interested in technology-enabled learning in archaeological pedagogy, education, and outreach.

You can read more about my research at the following sites:

www.anthropology.athabascau.ca/faculty/mbrown.php
www.scraparchaeology.com/
www.sketchfab.com/meaghanp

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