Palaeoecology, Environmental Archaeology and Timescales Laboratory
The Palaeoecology, Environmental Archaeology and Timescales (PEAT) Laboratory (in QC 1000) is equipped with a variety of resources for both teaching and research involving the analysis of insect and plant remains associated with archaeological sites (archaeoentomology, archaeobotany and palynology). The laboratory’s main research focus is in examining long-term interactions between circumpolar foraging, fishing and farming communities through the analysis of ecofacts preserved in peat and archaeological deposits.
The PEAT Laboratory is located within the space originally dedicated to the Palaeoethnobotany Laboratory. The latter was managed by Dr. Mike Deal until his retirement in 2018, after which new Faculty Dr. Véronique Forbes took on this role. We have recently expanded the research, equipment and other resources of the laboratory to include the study of insects subfossils, in addition to plant remains.
Dr. Deal continues to work with us through student supervisions and has generously donated a collection of seeds and other remains of plants from Newfoundland, Labrador and the Maritime Provinces to the PEAT lab. We are also in the process of building a reference collection of Coleoptera (beetles) from Newfoundland, to expand upon our small collection of insects from Iceland and Alaska.
Dr. Véronique Forbes: archaeo/palaeoentomology, environmental archaeology
Equipments and Facilities
The PEAT lab offers ample bench space, a large stainless steel sink equipped with a sediment trap as well as severeal low and high-powered microscopes for palynological, archaeoentomological and archaeobotanical analyses. We also host a small reference collection of insects from Newfoundland, Alaska and Iceland, in addition to a seeds and plant remains collections form this province and other Maritime provinces of Canada.
Dr. Véronique Forbes
- An Archaeoentomological Approach to Long-Term Human-Environment Interactions in Newfoundland: This project aims to undertake the groundwork for a long-term research program that seeks to document five thousand years of human-environment interactions in Newfoundland. This will involve (1) undertaking a synthetic review of the island’s occupational history and archaeology, (2) initiating a survey of its modern insect fauna and (3) identifying key archaeological sites where paleoenvironmental and preliminary archaeoentomological analyses will be conducted.
- Dr. Paul Ledger, Pollen analyses and chronology modelling based on materials from Port au Choix, The Dorset Palaeoeskimo Site of Phillip’s Garden, Northwestern Newfoundland: Late Phase Occupation and Site Abandonment (SSHRC funded project, supervised by Dr. Trevor Bell (Geography) and Dr. Vaughan Grimes)
- John Andrew Campbell, Ph.D. student, Indigenous-European interactions in Nova Scotia during the Protohistoric Period (1500-1630). Supervised by Dr. Mike Deal and Dr. Scott Neilsen
- Emma Lewis-Sing, M.A. student, Palaeoethnobotanical approach to Beothuk-European Interactions at Ferryland, Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. Supervised by Dr. Mike Deal and Dr. Barry Gaulton
- Ivan Carlson, M.A. student, Palaeoentomological approach to Labrador Inuit's impacts and interactions with the landscape. Supervised by Dr. Véronique Forbes and Dr. Peter Whitridge
Undergraduate Research Assistants
- Juliet Lanphear, Undergraduate (MUCEP) Research Assistant
- Molly Ingenmey, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Research Partners & Collaborators
- Kevin McAleese, curator of history, the Rooms Provincial Museum
- Dr. Linus Girdland Flink (ancient DNA), School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University
- Dr. Dawn Elise Mooney (Archaeobotany), Archaeological Museum, University of Stavanger
- Dr. Karen Milek (Geoarchaeology), Department of Archaeology, Durham University
- North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation
- Groupe de Recherches en Archéometrie, Université Laval
- School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen