Lab Members

Jade d’Alpoim Guedes

Jade d’Alpoim Guedes grew up on a small organic farm in Portugal where she collected and saved hundreds of varieties of seeds with her father. Her commitment to understanding how humans have achieved sustainable agricultural systems throughout history lead her to become an environmental archaeologist who studies how humans have adapted their agricultural strategies to changing climatic conditions.

Her primary region of focus is China, where she has carried out collaborative fieldwork and participated in projects for the past 12 years. She employs a variety of different methodologies in her research including archaeobotany, human osteology, paleoclimate reconstruction and modeling. Jade earned her Ph.D from Harvard University in 2013, and carried out a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She was previously faculty in the department of Anthropology at Washington State University.


Her current research project uses these methodologies to understand how humans adapted their lifestyles to the challenging environment of the foothills of the Himalayas. This project aims to understand why a major transition in subsistence regimes took place in the Himalayas through a collaboration with dendroclimatologists, geomorphologists and agricultural modelers.

Her other archaeological research projects include studying plant remains from the Chengdu Plain,  Thailand, Nepal and from the Harappa site in Pakistan.

Jade also works closely with crop scientists at Washington State University to examine the potential of landraces of traditional crops. Current lab research involves studying the potential of various varieties of millet for modern agricultural systems as well as traditional landraces of wheat and barley.

Lab members at UCSD:

Alexia Decaix (Postdoctoral researcher, Anthropology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Ph.D.

Alexia is an archaeobotanist interested in the relationships between human and their environment in the Near East, mainly the Caucasus, but also Central Asia, Sudan and Indus valley from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. She studies seeds and fruits, but also charcoal and wood remains, as well as fibers.

AlexiaAfter a MA in the National Museum of Natural History of Paris, France, she obtained her Ph.D. at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne on the study of past environments and agricultural practices in the Southern Caucasus. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California in San Diego and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

She is particularly interested in the evolution of plant husbandry practices and the impact of farming economies on the environment. Her fieldwork in

the Southern Caucasus allows her to work also on wood architecture and to participate to several ethnobotanical expeditions to develop a survey of traditional agricultural practices, the use of gathered plants, the relationship between agriculture and herding as well as to collect modern plants for seed and wood reference collections.

Check out her website.

Find her publications at Researchgate  and

Lab members at Washington State University:

Molly Carney, M.A., RPA (Primary Advisor)

Broadly, I am an environmental archaeologist. I use geoarchaeological and paleoethnobotanical methods along with computational modelling to study the ways in carney_lab_biowhich past people interacted with their natural and built environments. I am particularly interested in understanding management practices of food procuring and food producing societies and the associated landscape effects. I am also interested in the signatures of indigenous architecture on the Columbia Plateau with an emphasis on household archaeology and hunter-gatherer mobility. My other research interests include geomorphology, site and landscape formation processes, paleoclimate reconstructions, cultural resource management and heritage outreach, and indigenous collaboration and methodologies.

Nathaniel James (Primary Advisor)

Nathaniel interests focus on the interactions between early states,

NFJ-Thai Monkeyagriculture, and inequality: particularly the ways in which agricultural labor was directed by both individual households and larger polities. Nathaniel’s MA thesis focuses on applying crop-processing models to the Indus Civilization city of Harappa. He has field experience in Belize, Thailand and the American Southwest, and his future work will focus on the ancient agricultural strategies employed in Gansu, China.

Cedric Habiyaremye (Commitee Member)

Cedric Habiyaremye is a Rwandan plant scientist/PhD student in Crop Science atWashington State University (WSU). Fueled by his past as a young refugee, Cedric watched how hunger was sapping away the potential for his people to reach greater heights, in their pursuit to a better life, and during those times of hardships when he was 11 years old he vowed that when he grows up, he would study agriculture and become an expert, so he can improve agricultural systems and fight against hunger in his home country of Rwanda and other countries in Africa. Today his dreams are on their way to becoming true. Currently a PhD student in Crop Science at Washington State University (WSU), his research projects focus on agronomic practices of small grains such as quinoa, millet, and food b


arley to enhance the nutrition and utilization of novel and sustainable food and farming systems through interdisciplinary approaches: crop diversity, food science, and social anthropology. Besides his other agronomic projects, he is also working with Dr. d’Alpoim Guedes on evaluating the agronomic potential of various millet species and varieties for modern agricultural systems. He is also collecting data using ethnographic interviews on understanding the status of millet in farming communities of Rwanda and the potential adoption of quinoa and African millet in Rwanda to gather information about the type of crop qualities attractive to Rwandan farmers and how new crops like quinoa might be successfully integrated into their diet and what successful traditional farming strategies exist within Rwandan agriculture.

During his work in community development projects and as an agriculture student, Cedric received different awards and honors. He is a 2017 World Food Prize Borlaug LEAP Delegate, U.S. Borlaug Fellow on Global Food Security, a 2017 WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Mug Award Recipient 2017. He is also a Spring 2016 Fellow of the Norman E Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP), He is Fellow of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) / Future Leaders Forum (FLF), Class of Leaders, 2015. He is also a WSU College of Agricultural Human and Natural Resource Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Team Award recipient, 2015 (Quinoa Research and Extension Team). Cedric was also featured by several media outlets and podcasts including The United Nations World Food Program News Article, The Purdue Center for Global Food Security News Article, UC-Davis News Article, Texas A&M Center on Conflict and Development News Article, WSU News Article, The Lewiston Tribune Newspaper.

Cedric earned his MS in Crop Science from Washington State University in 2016 and BS in Agricultural Science with Honours in Irrigation and Drainage from Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE-Busogo), Rwanda in 2013, and an Advanced Diploma in Soil and Water Management from (ISAE-Busogo), Rwanda in 2012. He is an experienced Graduate Research Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and International Agriculture Development.



Habiyaremye C, Barth V, Highet K, Coffey T, Murphy KM. Phenotypic Responses of Twenty Diverse Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) Accessions to Irrigation. Sustainability. 2017; 9(3):389. doi:10.3390/su9030389. (

Habiyaremye C, Matanguihan JB, D’Alpoim Guedes J, et al. Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) and Its Potential for Cultivation in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.: A Review. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2016; 7:1961. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.01961. (

Mario Zimmerman (Commitee Member)

MarioHaving achieved B.A. and M.A. degrees at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan at Merida, Mexico, my research and professional experience falls within Mayan Archaeology. I’m particularly interested in human-environment interactions, the impact and strategies of tropical pre-Columbian agriculture, as well as the social aspects of food distribution. My dissertation research focuses on the identification of areas of food preparation and consumption within pre-Columbian residences by ways of chemical residue analyses and the subsequent identification and analyses of micro-botanical elements (starch grains). The goal of my project is to obtain data relating to crop variety, diet and socioeconomic differentiation within and amongst urban Maya settlements.

Athar Ali Khan (Commitee Member)

Athar has worked as a director of the Karakorum National Park in Pakistan and has worked extensively with the FAO in participatory forestry, as well as biodiversity specialist for the IUCN.  Athar is interested in applying of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in climate change mitigation and adaptation in Himalayas. A part of his research is to find how climate change adaptation policies are viewed in the local discourse and what material consequences that has in practice.

Samantha Lee Fulgham (Commitee Member)

Multnomah Falls

I am currently pursuing my Masters in Archaeology with a focus on paleobotanical and

faunal analysis. My current work is situated on the Northwest Coast in the Coast Salish

region, in Penelakut Tribal territory. I am currently looking at how feasting activity manifests in the archaeological record at a site on Dionisio Point, located on Galiano Island B.C. I am also pursuing a specialization in wood charcoal analysis, which has included training in SEM microscopy to aid in species identification. My general research interests are in human and environmental interactions, and more specifically how Native Americans have managed and utilized their natural landscapes for generations.

Andrew Gillreath-Brown (Commitee Member)

Andrew is a PhD student in Archaeology at Washington State University. His research 13690629_10100569871950675_8256141592687790803_ninterests include modeling, agriculture, paleoclimate, computational archaeology, environmental archaeology, and research that surrounds how humans respond to environmental change. His dissertation research focuses on experimenting with paleoecological data (e.g., pollen) to assess whether or not different approaches are feasible for paleoclimatic field reconstructions. By using tree-ring and pollen data, we can gain a better understanding of the paleoclimate and the spatial distribution of vegetation communities and how those changed over time. These data can be used to better understand changes in demography and how people responded to environmental change. He is also interested in improving relationships between empirical and model-based researchers (see “A Dialogue Between Empirical and Model-Based Agricultural Studies in Archaeology” at As part of this interest, he is currently working with Dr. d’Alpoim Guedes on collecting data on hulled barley in the Indus Valley, primarily from the Harappa site, to better understand what may have been driving changes in barley size.

A full description of Andrew’s research and publications can be found on his website.

Jessica Devio (Commitee Member)

My dissertation examines Late-to-Terminal Classic Maya household species diversity at the site of Xunantunich in Belize. I am extensively sampling households near


Xunantunich for botanical remains to understand differences in household plant diversityusing both microbotanical and macrobotanical forms of analyses. Previously, research at the site identified large-scale food preparation activities associated with a houselot near Group E. I plan to compare the plant assemblages from this household to other nearby households. I am particularly interested in understanding the importance of manioc and other tubers in Late Classic diets. Additionally, I have begun to explore household gardening activities as part of Maya subsistence strategies. My research will contribute to discussions of Maya gardening, plant diversity, seasonality, risk management, environmental impacts, and general discussions of Maya foodways.

Former Lab Members:

Sydney Hanson, M.A (Primary Advisor)



Sydney is interested in the relationship between past humans and their environments, particularly in Asia. Sydney’s MA thesis research is focused on changes in prehistoric subsistence practices in central Thailand as evidenced by plant remains. She is also interested in Pacific Northwest archaeology.

Piyawit Moonkham, M.A. (Commitee Member)

I am currently a PhD student in Archaeology at Washington State University working on IMG_1069a project that connects myth and folklore to historical landscape change in northern Thailand and Laos. My MA thesis examined northern Thai legends and folktales of the naga (a kind of mythical serpent) as clues to the ways that people have modified their landscape and communally adapted to disasters in the region, especially in periods after historical floods and earthquakes. I am working on developing a theoretical approach that integrates archaeological and cultural theories to understand patterns of interaction and relations between human, objects, and the environment of early historic settlements in northern Thailand and Laos, in locally-structured transitions to its complexity. My research interests also include the social networks involved in collective memory, and ethnohistorical archaeology of changing landscapes relating to historical disasters and climate changes in mainland Southeast Asia

Ryan Syzmanksi (Commitee Member)

My interest lies in the symbiotic relationships that exist between people and their environments. More specifically, my research focus is on the continuing emergence of anthropogenic landscapes, particularly relating to the intensification of food production by foraging populations. Currently, I am involved within several projects. The first of these involves using pollen, phytolith, and fungal evidence to gain insight into the emergence of grain cultivation in East Africa. Additionally, in cooperation with the USDA Western Wheat Quality Laboratory, I am attempting to characterize carbonized wheat grain morphologies across domesticated varieties in order to improve interpretive confidence in taxonomic assignments made to macrobotanical archaeological assemblages. This will hopefully prove especially useful when dealing with very fragmentary material. Lastly, I am analyzing zooarchaeological material from Iron Age agro-pastoral sites in Kenya to better understand economic diversification and lineage cooperation during this period.

 R. Kyle Bocinsky (Committee Member)  PhD, RPA

Kyle is a computational anthropologist interested in human responses to environmental change. He is currently an assistant research professor in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute, research associate at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, and adjuct research faculty in the Department of Anthropology at

kyle_bocinsky_largeWashington State University. Most of Kyle’s research has focused on the Ancestral Pueblo Southwest (as part of the Village Ecodynamics Project), but he also has projects on the Northwest Coast of North America, sub-Saharan Africa, and on the Tibetan Plateau (with Jade d’Alpoim Guedes).

Most recently, Kyle joined the Native Waters on Arid Lands project, where he works collaboratively with Native American tribes across the West to understand the impacts of climate change and to evaluate adaptation options for sustaining water resources and agriculture on tribal reservations.
Visit his website here.