My research is concerned with the history and philosophy of archaeology in the Pacific region. I am investigating the ongoing contribution of early 20th century museum collections to the construction of archaeological knowledge, especially the development of theories about the origins and migrations of Pacific peoples. To do this I am examining original field notes and historic documents associated with the collections. My research aims to include museum objects alongside current archaeological field research by using non-destructive elemental pXRF analysis to geochemically provenance igneous stone objects and identify past exchange networks. I aim to consider how evidence of past inter-island interactions has been identified historically compared to the geochemical techniques available now, and how this has influenced our understanding of how seafaring people first colonised the Pacific.
I developed an interest in the application of scientific techniques to characterise ancient stone tools during my Bachelors degree in archaeology at the University of Sydney where I studied lithic technology, exchange theory, the history and philosophy of archaeology and worked with collections held at the Australian Museum. Before my PhD candidacy at the Australian National University, I was involved in several research projects in the field including the survey of an obsidian source in Peru and excavations at an early Neolithic settlement site in Turkey. I also worked in Australian commercial archaeology as a stone tool specialist and produced cultural heritage assessments.