Affiliates

Personnel

David Chicoine, Associate Professor, Geography & Anthropology

David Chicoine is an anthropological archaeologist who studies ancient Andean societies. His field research focuses on the north coast of Peru and he currently directs excavations at Cerro San Isidro in the Nepeña Valley. He has published extensively on various topics related to early urban formations, architecture, material culture, visual arts, mortuary practices, marine resources, paleoenvironments, and foodways. David is co-PI on the NSF funded project, "New Perspectives on Paleo-ENSO Conditions in Coastal Peru as Seen Through Short-Lived Bivalves" and is co-advisor for doctoral student Jacob Warner.

Ginesse Listi, Director LSU FACES Lab, Assistant Professor - Research, Geography & Anthropology

Ginesse Listi is a biological anthropologist with experience in analyzing human skeletal remains from prehistoric, historic, and forensic contexts including preparation of human skeletal remains for geochemical analysis. Her research interests include bio-archaeological and forensic applications. Her previous research experience has involved 1) the use of carbon and nitrogen isotopes to assess the timing of the dietary transition from foraging to maize agriculture in prehistoric populations from the southern Lower Mississippi Valley (Listi, 2011, 2013); 2) the use of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopes to assess age at weaning in a post-contact Maya population (Hiers, 2014); and 3) the use of strontium and oxygen isotopes to suggest geographic origin of individuals from a historic cemetery (Listi et al., 2016). With regard to forensic applications, her interests include researching the utility of isotopes for suggesting geographic origin in modern populations. This information could potentially assist with providing leads for identifying unidentified human remains from forensic contexts (Jackson, 2014). The FACES lab has extensive facilites for forsenics applications including a digital X-ray system.

Juliet Brophy, Assistant Professor, Geography & Anthropology

Juliet is one of our newest professors and her research interests include craniodental morphometric analysis, Hominin Evolution, paleoenvironments, zooarchaeology, and taphonomy. Dr. Brophy is a paleoanthropologist who conducts research on human evolution in southern Africa and is currently a Research Associate at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She has been involved in excavations at several fossil localities in South Africa including Plover’s Lake, Coopers, Malapa, and Gladysvale Cave and, at present, Juliet is senior research assistant in charge of field operations at the early Pliocene site of Matjhabeng in the Free State of South Africa. She is one of the dental morphologists investigating the teeth of Australopithecus sediba from the site of Malapa, South Africa, which earned her a paper in the journal Science. She is also a member of the research team that named a new species in the genus Homo, Homo naledi. In addition, she documents the paleoenvironments associated with the South African hominins and assesses how changes in these environments might have influenced hominin evolution. Her dissertation involved developing a methodology for quantitatively analyzing teeth from animals in the Family Bovidae. 

Heather McKillop, Thomas & Lillian Landrum Alumni Professor, Director of the DIVA lab

Heather McKillop is a Maya archaeologist with over 30 years of experience investigating human-environmental adaptations at ancient Maya sites on the coast of Belize, Central America, as well as research on prehistoric and historic cemeteries in Canada. The discovery of a peat bog below the seafloor at the Paynes Creek Salt Works in a shallow coastal lagoon in Belize with wooden architecture that supported a massive ancient Maya salt industry provides new opportunities for geochemical analyses of tropical woods to look for seasonality of construction of the submerged salt works. She discovered and mapped 4042 wooden posts and other architectural elements at 110 underwater sites dated to the Classic Maya (A.D. 300–900) that have outstanding preservation. Dr. McKiillop is the director of the DIVA lab that has a full suite of 3D printers and is creating 3D replicas of artifacts from Underwater Maya project for Punta Gorda and Paynes Creek National Park, Belize, funded by AIA Site Preservation Grant

Rebecca Saunders, Associate Professor, Associate Curator of Anthropology - LSU Museum of Natural Science 

Rebecca Saunders has been using the sclerochronology of shells and fish otoliths in her archaeological research along the lower Atlantic and northern Gulf coasts since the 1980s. Saunders has experience predominantly in reading annular (and smaller) rings. Many of her undergraduate and graduate students have participated in her shell midden research, including one who received an NSF Graduate Fellowship for work at Rollins Shell Ring in Florida. Rebecca is currently working with students on Swift Creek and Weeden Island period sites (sites date to ca. AD 500–1000) on the Florida panhandle as part of a larger project studying prehistoric interaction along the northern Gulf coast. Dr. Saunders also continues to work on Archaic period (ca. 5000–3500) ceremonial sites on the lower Atlantic coast (South Carolina to Florida).

South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center

Established in 2012, the South Central Climate Science Center provides decision makers with the science, tools, and information they need to address the impacts of climate variability and change on their areas of responsibility. The Center looks to transform how climate science is conducted and applied in the south-central United States. The SC CASC supports big thinking, including multi-institutional and stakeholder-driven approaches to climate variability, change, impacts, mitigation, and adaptation research. South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center focuses specifically on Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Seven organizations participate in the SC-CASC: University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, and University of New Mexico (shown in the map to the right). Additionally, these branches partner with local, regional, and federal agencies to create a network of scientists who work together to develop tools to manage the effects of climatic changes within each region. The SC CASC provides funding for graduate and undergraduate students in the PAST lab as well as support for research projects.

Marine Annually Resolved Proxy Archives (MARPA)

Marine annually-resolved proxy archives (MARPA), including corals, mollusks, alga, sclerosponges, etc, have become important sources of paleoclimate information, making it increasingly important for the MARPA community to increase accessibility to data and specimens while creating a lasting legacy for future paleoclimate research beyond the careers of individual PIs. We propose a grass-roots program aimed to develop the MARPA community’s cyberinfrastructure, incorporating community-approved standards and tools to be used in archiving metadata for physical materials, geochemical data, and sclerochronological data from proxies measured by the MARPA community. One way to reach these goals is to leverage existing data archival (NOAA NCDC) and data serving systems (IEDA) to improve access, reuse, and facilitate further analyses of paleoclimate data and samples with the goal to advance and empower science, particularly in the paleoclimate domain but also in the wider climate community.

Coastal Studies Institute

The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) is an interdisciplinary organization established to foster collaborative coastal science and engineering research in coastal settings, with over twenty leading faculty and more students spanning five departments in five colleges and schools at LSU. CSI is a centerpiece of LSU's Commitment to the Coast. CSI provides researchers with field support in a dedicated 8000 sq. ft. building housing separate space for maintenance and calibration laboratories, fabrication and machine shops, and equipment storage. Major equipment at CSI includes R/V Coastal Profiler, a fleet of small boats, acoustic Doppler velocimeters, acoustic Doppler current profilers, optical backscatter sensors, bottom-mounted pressure sensors, five bottom-boundary-layer instrumentation tripods and many others. CSI provides funding for graduate students, attending conferences, and for research projects.

Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP)

The SCIPP is a South Central United States focused climate hazards and research program whose mission is to help communities build resilience to weather and climate extremes now and in the future. SCIPP focuses on climate challenges in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and coastal Mississippi. SCIPP provides funding for graduate students, contact SCIPP Director Barry Keim.

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center is uniquely situated within the coastal landscape and is close to the gateways of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Yet their research programs span coastal and marine systems: from the brackish Barataria Bay, across the coastal ocean and its intersection with the Mississippi River, to the open Gulf of Mexico, and in oceans all over the globe. LUMCOM also provides scientific diving support for the PAST Lab with training classes for students and researchers, contact Dive Safety Officer at dso@lumcon.edu.