Abby Baka

How humans have adapted to earlier changing climates

Graduate, Department of Anthropology

Abby is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology. Her research explores how humans used stone tools and other subsistence technologies to adapt to the ecological transformations—and associated dietary pressures—of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition on the Colorado Plateau. Her research designs are rooted in behavioral ecology, which allows her to interpret human behaviors as adaptations within social and physical environments. Having done fieldwork across the Americas, from the Georgia coast to the Atacama Desert in Peru, she has witnessed how significantly a region’s environment shapes the lifeways of the people who live there, as well as the archaeological record they leave behind. As a result, she has become fascinated with how the changing environment of a given region over time is reflected archaeologically. Her dissertation research involves geographic predictive modeling, survey and small-scale excavation, artifact analysis, and quantitative modeling to locate and understand the nature of early sites on the Colorado Plateau. When she’s not doing archaeology, she loves to climb, read, and explore Utah’s natural spaces.

Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fellow