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Dr. Jessica Metcalfe

Research Associate


Faculty of Arts


Project Manager for the Indigenous/Science Research Cluster

Manager of the LOA Stable Isotope Facility

I am interested in how the isotopic compositions of organic materials such as bones, teeth, leather/hide, hair, plants, and sediments can provide insights into the past. The bulk of my research has focused on understanding how the isotopic compositions of large herbivores can be used to understand their diet, environment, and migratory activities. For the past two years I have focused on using stable isotopes to understand bison ecology and the activities of bison-hunting people who occupied the Promontory Caves (northern Utah) during the Late Prehistoric period. A significant part of my research also includes examining and identifying ancient hairs from sites in the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Canadian Subarctic. I am very excited to be part of a group that is seeking ways to integrate Western science and Indigenous science for the mutual benefit of university researchers and First Nations communities.