HUMANS OF THE U: ALLISON WOLFE

“I was really attracted to zooarchaeology because it’s almost like a puzzle you know, like a mystery. We have this material record, but we have to try to find other clues to figure out what happened, why we see what we see.”

“I’m working with bird remains from a site called Homestead Cave. Owls have been living in that cave for 13,000 years…they would roost in there and throw up their pellets…So it’s a really fine grained record of [the birds] that these owls were eating, which in turn tells us what kind of things were living in that area for the past 13,000 years.”

“I think it’s neat that I can not only look at a record of birds that lived thousands of years ago and figure out what they are, but I can use that information to help conserve species that we see today.”

“Because we know what the environment was doing around that time, I can look at the bird record and see how that changed in relation to those things, and then apply that information to modern bird conservation.”

— Allison Wolfe, Anthropology graduate student in the University of Utah Zooarchaeology Laboratory

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.