Iona completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology at the Australian National University graduating with First Class Honours and a Vice Chancellor's commendation. Her Honours research combined taphonomic and skeletal analysis to generate a new framework for the study of faunal remains at Polynesian ritual sites. Her thesis 'The Archaeology of Polynesian Feasting: A zooarchaeological and taphonomic approach to turtle feasting deposits at Fakahina marae sites' used this framework to identify past ritual behaviours using sea turtle remains. Iona's current PhD elaborates on the topic of ritual zooarchaeology and human-animal interactions, presenting the first detailed faunal analyses of Polynesian contexts including dog and pig burials, offerings, and feasting remains from ceremonial ma'ae and tohua sites in the Marquesas. Her research additionally incorporates palaeopathology and biomolecular techniques into reconstructions of animal life-histories, expanding the regional ability of social zooarchaeology to incorporate areas such as zoonotic diseases and socioecosystems. Iona is a member of the ICAZ (International Council for Archaeozoology) Palaeopathology Working Group and advocates for multi-disciplinary collaboration between zooarchaeology and veterinary science.
Social and Ritual Frameworks
Pacific and Polynesian Archaeology
Ecodynamics and Socio-ecosystems