About Us

our overarching question: “How do human interactions with biodiversity shape socio-ecological dynamics and sustainability across deep time?”

Our History & Mission

The ArchaeoEcology Project was convened in 2017, and funded by the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis in 2018. While a great deal of archaeological and anthropological research has explored how humans have interacted with various plants, animals and other taxa, there has been no systematic or comprehensive assessments of the full array of such biodiversity interactions for particular systems, much less a synthesis across systems. Our work integrates available archaeological, ethnographic, ecological, climatic and geological data to compile new “human-centered interaction networks” that comprehensively document the many ways humans interact with other species (e.g., using them for food, shelter, clothing, tools, etc.), and conduct synthetic analyses and modeling across multiple systems. We use such integration and synthesis to better understand the roles of cultural, ecological and environmental constraints and synergies in the sustainability of socio-ecological systems in the past, with lessons for the present and future.

About The Project directors

Stefani Crabtree

Stefani Crabtree is Assistant-Professor of Social-Environmental Modeling at Utah State University and the ASU-SFI Biosocial Complex Systems Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. Crabtree holds two Ph.Ds: one in Anthropology from Washington State University, and a second in Archéologie, Territoires et Environnements from the Université de Franche-Comté. Her research brings her interests in human-environment interaction and her expertise in archaeology and computational modeling to the fore.

Jennifer Dunne

Jennifer Dunne is Vice President for Science and Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. With her Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, her research has pushed the study of paleo food webs forward, with specific research foci in the organization, dynamics, and function of ecosystems.