(Former Memorial University MA student. Currently a PhD Candidate with Prof. Michael P. Richards, Department of Anthropology, UBC)
My thesis work has involved assessing the validity of using dog remains as a proxy for those of human in paleodietary reconstructions using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. This work has involved a global literature review of available humans and dog stable isotope data, development of theory and method applicable to this approach, and comparison of human and dog diets among Archaic groups of northeastern North America as well as a Copper Age population in Spain.
I have also concurrently maintained a variety of collaborative side projects. Of these, the largest has been developing a stable isotope based dietary approach to identifying the origin of pork products consumed at French and English fishing station sites in Newfoundland. This research has expanded to include tangential projects analyzing livestock remains from a shipwreck wreck and urban site in Australia, a historic fishing-farm site in Iceland, and (in the near future) a series of post medieval sites in Ireland. I have also been collaborating on stable isotope based dietary work on sites in historic and prehistoric Labrador and Viking/Christianization era Iceland. Through further collaborative work with Dr. Colin Smith at La Trobe University, Australia, specimens from most of these projects, previously examined via bulk stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, have been reexamined using stable carbon isotope analyses of single amino acids via LC-IRMS. Additional research projects have applied paleoethnobotanical techniques to Dorest sites in Newfoundland.