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Dr. Erin Thornton Dept. of Anthropology - Stable Isotope Lab

Prospective Students

Graduate Student Opportunities

I am currently accepting graduate students (at the MA or Ph.D. level)  interested in applying  zooarchaeology and/or stable isotope analysis to research questions within New World archaeology. I am open to working with students in many geographic or cultural areas, but I am particularly interested in recruiting students interested in Mesoamerican archaeology (my primary area of specialization).




Current projects with potential for graduate student research include:

  •  Zooarchaeology at the Late Preclassic center of El Mirador (Peten, Guatemala)
  • Zooarchaeology of ritual cave sites within the Cancuen region (Peten, Guatemala)
  • Zooarchaeology at the inland salt-production site of Salinas de los Nueve Cerros (Peten, Guatemala)
  • Various isotopic analyses of faunal remains (e.g., deer, quail) from Maya archaeological sites to assess potential animal husbandry and exchange, as well as past environmental conditions and hunting catchment zones.
    • [NOTE: The isotopic projects would require students to apply for outside funding through sources such as Sigma-Xi or NSF. I am very willing to help students generate these proposals.]

Please note that these are not the only opportunities for research in my lab, and that I encourage students to generate and pursue their own ideas for research.


Find out more about the WSU graduate program in Anthropology. Serious students interested in working with me should also contact me directly before applying to the graduate program (