Ancient DNA and Historical Ecology: An Innovative Approach to Environmental Conservation


It is now generally accepted that humans are the primary drivers of environmental change; virtually no ecosystem has escaped our influence. With increasing awareness of the impact of humanity on the biosphere, researchers have begun to focus on understanding, protecting and perpetuating biological diversity at all scales and levels of biological organization. One of the best ways to understand current and future anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity is by studying their effects in the past. Archaeological sites can be a great resource, containing evidence of environmental and cultural changes in deep time. Ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis combines the precision of genetic analysis with the time depth of archaeology, and thus it can provide unique insights when studying historical ecology. This presentation will provide a broad overview of aDNA analysis and use case studies to highlight the potential contributions this field can make to historical ecology. Finally, the use (or lack of use) of aDNA data in historical ecology will be explored, ending with recommendations on how to facilitate meaningful collaborations between the fields.

Cite this Record

Ancient DNA and Historical Ecology: An Innovative Approach to Environmental Conservation. Antonia Rodrigues, Chelsey Geralda Armstrong. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430287)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17310