Human evolution, symbolic communication, cognitive complexity, Middle/Later Stone Age, Middle/Upper Palaeolithic, ostrich eggshell beads, land snail shell beads, experimental archaeology
Jennifer earned a BA in 2007 from the Archaeology Department at Simon Fraser University. Intrigued by human evolution, she began studies at the University of Alberta, completing her MA in 2012, and PhD in 2019.
Her graduate research examined ostrich eggshell (OES) beads as a window into Stone Age human relationships, and her dissertation (Variability in Ostrich Eggshell Beads from the Middle and Later Stone Age of Africa) is the largest existing study of OES ornaments. In addition to her own project, Jennifer is also a collaborator on larger research teams working in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa.
As a postdoctoral project, Jennifer is leading the investigations at Panga ya Saidi cave in Kenya. The site is a massive cave complex, with a long history of human activity that spans an important time in the evolution of our species. In her two-year position Jennifer will explore the spatial and temporal components of Panga ya Saidi's occupations, ultimately seeking to place the finds within a regional context to provide a better understanding of human evolution.