Welcome to the Laboratory for the Analysis of Early Food-Webs at Washington University!

Our lab is involved in a range of multidisciplinary research projects focused on reconstructing ancient food-webs. Lab isotope scientists, archaeologists and archaeobotanists work closely to address questions about diet and nutrition, palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment. Some of our recent projects have included analysis of movement of ancient crops across the Eurasian continent, climate variability in Africa, human settlement of marginal environments on the Tibetan Plateau and the Negev desert, and llama herding in Peru.

Research Highlights

Alum Zhengwei Zhang was part of a team that published a Science Advances on genetic evidence for early hybridization of yak and cattle on the Tibetan Plateau

Alum Zhengwei Zhang published a study in The International Journal of Osteoarchaeology on ancient sheep management on the Tibetan Plateau

Melissa Ritchey, Yufeng Sun, & Xinyi Liu published a study in World Archaeology on the influence of East Asian cuisine on barley as it spread across Eurasia during the Bronze Age

To find out more about our ongoing research activities, check out our blog!

Teaching Highlights

Biomolecular Archaeology: Are you what you eat? (Anthropology 4565) is listed as one of the ‘6 Classes That Will Make You Want to Return to Classroom’

Alum Ximena Lemoine received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Contact us

Xinyi Liu, Principal Investigator: liuxinyi@wustl.edu

Location: B29 McMillan Hall, One Brookings Drive, St Louis, MO 63130-4899