I am an anthropological archaeologist whose research examines the dynamics of complex societies and interactions between PreColumbian groups in different ecological zones of the Andes. My field research prioritizes examining the lived experience of household and producer communities and how those experiences are indirectly and directly connected to interregional economic and sociopolitical relationships. In my current postdoctoral project, I examine PreColumbian groups interactions through the study of high prestige objects, elite metal regalia. This project builds on my past research on prestige goods which examined imperial-local relationships in the chaupiyunga, the coca-plant producing zone of the western slope of the Andes between local groups and two Andean Empires, the Chimú (AD 900-1470) and the Inca (AD 1470-1532). Collaboration with modern communities is equally important in my research through community-based heritage preservation projects in Peru. I have almost a decade of experience working with local communities and students through Mobilizing Opportunities for Community HeritageEmpowerment (MOCHE, Inc.). In the Summer of 2017 I directed the MOCHE Conservation Field School with my fellow Cultures of Conservation Fellow, Jessica Walthew. One of my long-term research goal is to integrate heritage conservation more directly into social science research. My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections.

As an Andrew W. Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” Postdoctoral Fellow at Bard Graduate Center, I teach courses on the techné and cultures of the PreColumbian Americas. I am also collaborating with curatorial and conservation departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the “Crucibles of Innovation Project,” an endeavor to expand the lens of South American metallurgical studies and link The MET’s collection to a larger dialogue on metalworking technology and relationships throughout the Americas.

Select Publications

Author with Celeste Gagnon and Patrick Mullins. “Facing Extreme El Niños at the Local Level” essay for Just Environments series, Social Science Research Council, September 5, 2017. http://items.ssrc.org/facing-extreme-el-ninos-at-the-local-level/

Editor, with Kyle Knabb. Life at the Margins of the State: Comparative Landscapes from the Old and New Worlds. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, forthcoming.

“A Distinct Landscape: Late Andean Prehistory in the Chaupiyunga of the Moche Valley, Peru.” In Life at the Margins of the State: Comparative Landscapes form the Old and New World, edited by Kyle Knabb and Alicia Boswell. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, forthcoming.

“Social Identity in the Frontier: A Case Study from Moquegua, Peru,” in Ethnicity from Various Angles and Lenses, edited by Christine Hundefeldt and Leon Zamosc, vol 2, 45-57. East Sussex: Sussex Press, 2011.