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Heather Thakar

Heather Thakar
Curator of Anthropology Research Collections
Assistant Professor
Contact
  • thakar@tamu.edu
  • Anthropology 309E
Professional Links
Degree
PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014
Program
Archaeology

Specialty:

Evolutionary and Ecological Theory, New World (California, Mexico, Central America) Foraging and Proto-agricultural Societies, Paleoecology, Archaeobotany, Archaeometry (Isotope Geochemistry), Quantitative Methods, Chronological Models and Data Integration, Archaeological Curation and Collections Management

Current Research Projects:

Human Niche Construction during the Late Pleistocene and Middle Holocene in Pacific Central America (Nicaragua and Coasta Rica), Principal Investigator (2018 – present), Funding: NSF Archaeology Program Collaborative Research Grant PENDING.

Landscape and Foodways Reconstruction through Palynological, Isotopic, Macrobotanical, and Faunal Analysis with Principal Investigator: Hector Neff (CSULB)

Domestication, Food Production & Wild Plant Use during the Holocene 11,000 -2,500 cal BP, Principal Investigator (2014 – present), Funding: NSF Archaeology Program Collaborative Research Grant BCS-1757374.

Foodways Reconstruction through Macrobotanical and Coprolite Analysis of the El Gigante Rockshelter Collection from Honduras with Principal Investigators: Amber VanDerwarker (UCSB), Douglas Kennett (PSU) and Collaborator: Kenneth Hirth (PSU)

Early Holocene Human Ecology and Culture in the Southern Lowlands of Belize, 15,000-3,500 cal BP,Research Collaborator (2017 – present)

Macrobotanical and Palynological Analysis of Saki Tzul and Mayahak Cab Pek Rockshelters with Principal Investigator Keith Prufer (UNM)

High-Precision Radiocarbon Dating & Chronological Assessment of Arlington Springs Man, Research Collaborator (2016 – present)

Bayesian Analysis and Integration of Chronological and Stratigraphic Data for Arlington Springs Man 13,500 cal BP with Principal Investigators: John Johnson (Santa Barbara Natural History Museum) and Tom W. Stafford (Stafford Laboratories)

Courses Taught:

ANTH 412: Archaeological Theory
ANTH 421: Museums and their Function
ANTH 484: Internships in Anthropology
ANTH 637: Paleoethnobotany

Current Graduate Students:

Dr. Thakar is currently accepting graduate students

Selected and Recent Publications:

2017           Kennett, D.J., H.B. Thakar, A.M. VanDerwarker, D.L. Webster, B.J., Culleton, T.K. Harper, L. Kistler, T.E. Scheffler, Hirth, K. High-precision chronology for Central American maize diversification from El Gigante rockshelter, Honduras. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1705052114
2017           Thakar, Heather B., Michael A. Glassow, and Carol A. Blanchette (In Press) “The Forest and the Trees: Small-Scale Ecological Variability and Archaeological Interpretations of Temporal Changes in California Mussel Shell Size.” Quaternary International, special issue entitled “Methodological issues in Archaeomalacological Studies”, edited by Antonieta Jerardino and Patrick Faulkner. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2016.08.031

2017           Thakar, Heather B., Michael A. Glassow, and Carol A. Blanchette (In Press) “Reconsidering Evidence of Human Impacts: Implications of Within-Site Variation of Growth Rates in Mytilus californianus along Tidal Gradients.” Quaternary International, special issue entitled “Methodological issues in Archaeomalacological Studies”, edited by Antonieta Jerardino and Patrick Faulkner. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.10.018

2016           Thakar, Heather B. “Foraging Ancient Landscapes: Seasonal and Spatial Variation in Prehistoric Exploitation of Plant and Animal Food Resources on Santa Cruz Island, California.” Journal of California and Great Basin Archaeology, 36:1, special issue on California Paleoethnobotany edited by Seetha Reddy and Eric Wohlegemuth.

2016           VanDerwarker, Amber M., Dana N. Bardolph, Kristen M. Hoppa, Heather B. Thakar, Lana S. Martin, Allison Jaqua, Matthew E. Biwer, and Kristina M. Gill “New World Paleoethnobotany in the New Millennium (2000-2013).” Journal of Archaeological Research, 24(2):125-177.

2014           Thakar, Heather B. “Sites Forlorn: Dating Intervals of Abandonment at Three Shell Middens on Santa Cruz Island, California using Bayesian Chronological Models.” Journal of Archaeological Science 52:633-634.

2012           Glassow, Michael A., Heather B. Thakar, and Douglas J. Kennett “Red Abalone Collecting and Marine Water Temperature during the Middle Holocene Occupation of Santa Cruz Island, California.” Journal of Archaeological Science 39(10):2574-2582.

2011           Thakar, Heather B. “Intensification of Shellfish Exploitation: Evidence of Species-Specific Deviation from Traditional Expectations.” Journal of Archaeological Science 38(10): 2596- 2605.