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Meghan Burchell

Meghan BurchellPosition

Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D. (Anthropology), McMaster University 2013


Phone: 709-864-8865
Office: QC 2016

Courses 2013-2014

1st Semester

  • 1030 - Introduction to Archaeology and Bioarchaeology
  • 2080 - Principles of Archaeology

2nd Semester

  • 1030 - Introduction to Archaeology and Bioarchaeology
  • Special Topics - The Archaeology of Death

Research Interests

My research intersects archaeology, biology and geochemistry to understand long-term human-environmental interactions. More specifically, I study the micro-structure and geochemistry of hard tissues such as shell, bone, teeth and coral to derive information on past climate, human settlement patterns and diet. The majority of my work focuses on coastal landscapes and the development of new techniques to improve seasonality and paleoclimate reconstructions using high-resolution stable isotope sclerochronology.

Regionally, I have worked on field and lab-based research projects on the coast of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In addition to archaeological research, I have also worked on environmental monitoring and remediation projects in Chile and the Caribbean.

My theoretical interests include hunter-gatherer settlement and subsistence economies, gender and archaeology, and the archaeology of death. Methodologically, I am interested in the application of stable isotopes and trace elements to understand past environments and populations. I am also interested in the practice of sustainable archaeology, collections management and archival-based research.

Graduate Supervision: Topics & Themes

  • Coastal landscapes
  • Sclerochronology and proxy development
  • Gender in archaeology
  • Mortuary archaeology
  • Collections management
  • Geochemical applications in archaeology

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

2013 Burchell, M., Hallmann, N, Martindale, A, Cannon, A, Schöne, BR. Seasonality and the intensity of shellfish harvesting on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. 8:152-169.

2013 Burchell, M., Cannon, A., Hallmann, N. Schwarcz, HP., Schöne, BR. Refining estimates for the season of shellfish collection on the Pacific Northwest Coast: Applying high-resolution stable oxygen isotope analysis and sclerochronology. Archaeometry. 55: 258-276.

2013 Burchell, M., Cannon, A., Hallmann, N. Schwarcz, HP., Schöne, BR. Inter-site variability in the season of shellfish collection on the central coast of British Columbia. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40:626-636.

2013 Hallmann, N., Burchell, M., Schöne, BR, Brewster, N., Martindale, A. Holocene climate and shellfish collection at the Dundas Island Group, northern British Columbia, Canada: A bivalve sclerochronological approach. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 373:163-172.

2011 Hallmann, N., Schöne, BR, Irvine, GV., Burchell, M., Cockelet, D., Hilton, M. An improved understanding of the Alaska Coastal Current: The application of a bivalve growth-temperature model to reconstruct freshwater-influenced paleoenvironments. Palaios. 26: 346-363.

2010 Risk, M., Burchell, M., de Roo, K., Nairn, R., Turbett, M. Trace elements in bivalve shells from the Rio Cruces, Chile, trace the evolution of an earthquake-impacted watershed. Aquatic Biology. 10: 85-97.

2009 Burchell, M. The interpretation of gender identity in Northwest Coast mortuary practices. In: Que(e)rying Archaeology: The Proceedings of the 37th Annual Chacmool Conference. S. Terendy, N. Lyons & M. Janse-Smekal, Eds. The Archaeological Association of the University of Calgary Press. Pp. 59-66.

2009 Cannon, A., Burchell, M. Clam growth-stage profiles as a measure of harvest intensity and resource management on the Central Coast of British Columbia. Journal of Archaeological Science. 36: 1050-1060.

2009 Hallman, N., Burchell, M., Schöne, BR., Irvine, G., Maxwell, D. High-resolution sclerochronological analysis of the bivalve mollusk Saxidomus gigantea from Alaska and British Columbia: techniques for revealing environmental archives and archaeological seasonality. Journal of Archaeological Science. 36: 2353-2364.

2006 Burchell, M. Gender, status and grave goods in British Columbia burials. Canadian Journal of Archaeology. 30:252-272.