Suzanne Pilaar Birch

Published on: September 8th, 2012

SMKE scholar from Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Suzanne E Pilaar Birch earned her B.Sc. in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology at Rutgers University in 2008 and came to Cambridge under a Gates Cambridge scholarship that same year to pursue an MPhil in Archaeological Science. She recently submitted her PhD dissertation in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

She is interested in human adaptation and resilience to climate change and natural resource unpredictability in prehistory, and how understanding of past human response to environmental change informs current thinking about these issues. Her dissertation explored these themes during the early Holocene in the northeastern Adriatic, an especially important region for understanding the effects of rapid sea level rise on local human populations.

Her current research interests include seasonality and human mobility, the initial domestication of livestock, diffusion of domesticates across Eurasia, the transition from hunting to herding, human paleoecology, traditional ecological knowledge, and the integration and advancement of methodologies in zooarchaeology and stable isotope analysis.

She recently became interested in the use of social media in the dissemination of academic research and have been tweeting ever since.