John Staller, Ph.D.

    BRIT Research Associate

    Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology, Southern Methodist University
    M.A. in Archaeology, Southern Methodist University
    B.A. in Anthropology, Roosevelt University

    John’s research represents a nexus of evolutionary science, ethnobotany, anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory. Most of this research is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, specifically at the interface of the biological and social sciences, and integrates data on maize, plant domestication, cultivation, early agriculture, and cultural ecology. Quantitative research has specifically involved research on geoarchaeology, nutrition, isotopic analysis and food science in order to gain a historical perspective on the roles of the ecology and the surrounding landscape upon indigenous adaptations. John has also researched the formation of pre-Columbian and Colonial Periods social identities as well as how storage and redistribution of food crops, particularly maize in pre-Columbian political economies relate to political authority and the development of complexity. John has also published on the origins, biogeography, domestication and cultivation of maize (Zea mays L.) and its roles in the development of complex social organization in the Andes and Mesoamerica.

    John taught at various universities, and has worked with museums and their anthropology and biology collections. As a research associate at The Field Museum, Chicago as well as at various museums in Latin America, John has gained considerable experience working with and publishing on archaeological and botanical collections. He has researched and published on early Colonial documents and manuscripts as well as pre-Linnaean botanicals to explore how initial Old World perceptions surrounding newly introduced New World plants influence our current interpretations and consensus regarding their roles in ancient subsistence economies and how the incorporation of New World cultigens transformed European cuisines and how indigenous cuisines in the Andes and Mesoamerica changed with the introduction of European introduced plants and animals.