Research & Collections


Our lab is equipped with an excellent set-up for the identification and analysis of macrobotanical remains.  We have three Olympus binocular stereoscopes (6-40X), one of which has a camera attachment (Olympus Altra-20 camera). In addition to the high-end Olympus scopes and gooseneck light sources, we also have seven “student” microscopes that are used as part of teaching ANTH 186 (Lab Course in Paleoethnobotany).  These “student” scopes can also be “checked out” by grad students for use in the field on a limited basis.  Our macro comparative collection boasts 512 species from the New World, with a focus on the American Eastern Woodlands, Gulf Coastal Mexico, California, and Peru (although we have limited accessions of plants native to the Southwest as well).  All of our macro comparative specimens have been photographed, and we are in the process of setting up our image database for accessibility through the website.

Student Project Titles



We began setting up the microbotany lab in 2010, through the combined efforts of Ms. Kristin Hoppa and Dr. Amber VanDerwarker.  The microbot lab is located adjacent to the macrobotany lab in an annex that houses the fume hood.  In addition to a high-magnification polarizing binocular scope (40-1000X), we have three centrifuges, a sonicator, shaker, and vortexer. Ms. Hoppa is currently in the process of building the comparative slide collections for starch grains and phytoliths for the plants that exist in the macrobotanical comparative collection.  Once these slides are complete and images captured, we will be adding a digital database of this comparative collection to the website as well.

Student Project Titles



The faunal lab shares space with the macrobotanical lab.  The lab houses a limited comparative vertebrate collection, which primarily includes mammals from the Eastern Woodlands.  A few doors down from the main lab is a broader comparative vertebrate collection maintained by the UCSB Anthropology Department – this collection primarily includes native California species, and boasts a decent representation of mammals (including sea mammals), birds, and fish.  Students interested in zooarchaeology can use both labs to conduct a thorough rough sort of their collection(s), followed by travel to more substantial comparative collections relevant to their region(s) of interest.

Student Project Titles


Comparative Photographic Collection

coming soon...