Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch

Job Title: Affiliated Faculty

Phone Number: 706.542.4171

Highest Degree Earned: Ph.D.

Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch

Suzanne Pilaar Birch, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Anthropology and Geography and director the Quaternary Isotope Paleoecology Lab ( Dr. Pilaar Birch’s research is guided by the overarching theme of human adaptation and resilience to climate change and natural resource unpredictability in prehistory, and how our understanding of past human response to environmental change informs current thinking about these issues. As a result, her current work is channeled in three areas: developing archaeologically-linked terrestrial climate and environment proxies using stable isotope analysis of teeth and bone; combining zooarchaeology and stable isotope analysis to investigate changes in mobility and diet in the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, including the spread of agriculture from Southwest Asia into Europe; and using modern and archaeological datasets to better understand the isotope ecology of herd animal migration for applications in archaeology and conservation. In addition, Dr. Pilaar Birch is an active advocate of open access publishing and online data and research sharing, acting as a co-editor of the journal Open Quaternary and a collaborator on the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. She also co-founded and moderates the blog TrowelBlazers, which highlights the contributions of women in the fields of archaeology, paleontology, and geology.

I love to travel, so if I’m not in my lab or offices, I’m probably in another state or country!