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Dr. Tanya M. Peres
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 My 1997 Master of Arts degree in Anthropology is from the Florida State University. My thesis, Analysis of a Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Faunal Assemblage from the Page/Ladson Site (8JE591), Jefferson County, Florida, was part of the larger Aucilla River Prehistory Project funded by grants from numerous agencies, including the National Geographic Society and the Florida Department of State. The Page/Ladson site, located in the Aucilla River in Northwest Florida, yielded numerous Paleoindian artifacts as well as Pleistocene megafauna remains. Little attention had been given to the smaller mammals, turtles, snakes, and fishes that also make up the faunal assemblage from this site. My thesis concentrated on the analysis and interpretation of these non-megafauna vertebrate remains. Due to the nature of the deposits and their environmental context (along the riverbed in approximately 15-30 ft. of water), I suspected that the assemblage was not entirely due to cultural deposition.                                                                                                                                       In 2001 I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida, where I focused on the zooarchaeology of early agricultural fisherfolk of the Early Ceramic (3,000-1,000 BC) period in central Pacific Panama. My dissertation research was funded in part by a grant from the UF Center for Latin American Studies. I was also a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fellow in 1999. The site I worked at for my dissertation research, Zapotal, is a shell midden located along the Parita Bay in the Azuero Peninsula, and is one of the few remaining sites in the region from this period, as looting, deforestation, erosion, and the growing shrimp-farm industry have destroyed many others. The primary goal of my project was to reconstruct the subsistence economy for the Early Ceramic period, specifically how these strategies applied to ecological niche-use and procurement technologies. The data show that during the occupation of Zapotal, people increased their exploitation of marine and estuarine vertebrates and invertebrates.                                                                                                                                              Immediately following the completion of my doctoral program, I began my employment at the University of Kentucky’s Program for Archaeological Research (UK-PAR) as a Senior Project Archaeologist and Zooarchaeologist. In July 2002, I was promoted to Assistant Director of Laboratory and Special Analytical Services. In this role, I oversaw all laboratory activities, including artifact analysis, database maintenance, curation of UK-PAR project materials, and coordinated special analyses (such as zooarchaeological, osteological, paleoethnobotanical, and soils).                                                                                                                                      I began my appointment at MTSU in fall 2005 and have taught over 700 students in formal lecture and lab courses and independent research.  I teach a number of classes in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and have an active research program. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the relationships between humans and their environments, and how these relationships impacted both the humans and other organisms around them in a variety of times and places. I have conducted research on ancient environments in the southeastern U.S, Gulf Coastal Mexico, Central Pacific Panama, and more recently, in the Scottish Highlands. My research is lab-centered, hands-on, and strives to answer anthropological questions on three levels: national/international, regional, and site-specific. I strive to include students in all phases of my research and encourage them to seek out research projects and funding of their own.


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Dr. Tanya M. Peres
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
MTSU Box 10
Murfreesboro, TN 37132