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Anthropology | Shannon Tushingham

Ph.D., University of California-Davis
Assistant Professor
Assistant Director, Museum of Anthropology
Director, Tushingham Ancient Residue Laboratory (TARL)

Research interests

Pacific Rim hunter-gatherer-fishers, evolutionary ecology, evolution of storage and sedentism, ancestral diet and modern health, nutrition and sustainability, indigenous resource management, residue studies, psychoactive plant use, contact and colonialism, complexity and anarchism, collaborative research and contemporary indigenous communities, heritage management. I have a broad background in academic, tribal, and cultural resource management archaeology. Current research is based in the American west, with projects in the Pacific Northwest, Plateau, northern Great Basin, and California.

Current Research

I am an anthropological archaeologist with a research program broadly centered on the development and historical ecology of hunter-gatherer-fishers in Western North America. I have an active field program and I head the Ancient Residue Laboratory at WSU, where I employ macro and micro analytical techniques to identify a range of archaeological residues, often in collaboration with biological chemists specializing in plant metabolomics, fisheries scientists, Ancient DNA analysts, paleoethnobotanists, and zooarchaeologists. At TARL I direct undergraduate and graduate students who assist with projects investigating a range of topics including the historical ecology of marine environments in the southern Pacific Northwest Coast and the use of ceremonial and medicinal psychoactive plants among worldwide cultures. My approach is explicitly collaborative and involves research with contemporary indigenous peoples. Studies are developed to incorporate issues of concern to descendant communities; for example current research focuses on historical ecology, ancestral diet, and community nutrition, and responses to threatened access to critical marine foods and the natural and human induced impacts on these resources.

Graduate students


Molly Carney (Ph.D., Chair)
William Damitio (M.A., Chair)

Nichole Fournier (Ph.D., Chair)
Andrew Frierson (M.A., Chair)
Tiffany Fulkerson (Ph.D., Chair)
Emily Helmer (M.A., Chair)
Jiw (Piyawit) Moonkham (Ph.D., Chair)
Dakota Wallen (Ph.D., Chair)

Charles Snyder (Ph.D., Committee)

Kevin Feeney (Ph.D., Committee)
Andy Tremaine (Ph.D., Committee-UC Davis)

Graduate and undergraduate student projects and internships

Research opportunities for graduate students include masters and dissertation level projects based on original fieldwork, and/or museum collections from western North America. I encourage students to contact me if they are interested in developing a particular idea or research project. I work with a team of exceptional students who work on a range of research topics related to hunter-gatherer-fishers in the Northwest and northern Great Basin.

Plateau Archaeology at WSU: In my work at the Museum of Anthropology I oversee substantial collections mostly from the Plateau region of North America, an exceedingly interesting yet relatively understudied cultural area. Because of WSU’s geographic position, its history of research, and commitment to collaboration with local tribes, there are abundant research possibilities for students.

Undergraduate opportunities include directed research projects and (for credit or volunteer) internships. Interns enrolled in ANTH 498 or ANTH 499 earn academic credits and contribute to scientific research while gaining valuable experience working with archaeological materials



Undergraduate Courses
Salmon and People

Time and Culture in the Northwest

Graduate Courses

Experimental Archaeology and Residue Analysis
Historical Ecology and Archaeology of Western North America
Cultural Resource Management

Representative Publications

Tushingham, Shannon, and Robert L. Bettinger (n.d.) Expansive and Intensive Territorialism in Hunter-Gatherer Storage Economies. Quaternary International. Revisions in progress.


Tushingham, Shannon, Tiffany Fulkerson, and Katheryn Hill (2017)  The Peer Review Gap: A Longitudinal Case Study of Gendered Publishing and Occupational Patterns in a Female-Rich Discipline (1974-2016). PLoS ONE. In press.

Eerkens, Jelmer W., Shannon Tushingham, Korey J. Brownstein, Ramona Garibay, Katherine Perez, Engel Murga, Philip Kaijankoski, Jeffrey Rosenthal, David R. Gang (n.d. ) Dental Calculus as a Source of Ancient Alkaloids: Detection of Nicotine by LC-MS in Calculus Samples from the Americas. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports In review.

Anderson, Shelby, Shannon Tushingham, and Tammy Buonasera (2017) Aquatic Adaptations and the Adoption of Arctic Pottery Technology: Results of Residue Analysis. American Antiquity.

Morgan, Christopher, Shannon Tushingham, Raven Garvey, Loukas Barton and Robert L. Bettinger (2017) Hunter Gatherer Economies in the Old World and the New World. In: Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Environment. Oxford Press, Oxford, England.

Tushingham, Shannon, and Richard Brooks (2017) Inland Sanctuary: A synergistic study of indigenous persistence, colonial entanglements, and multi-ethnic households at Hiouchi (Xaa-yuu-chit). Oregon Historical Quarterly 117(1).

Lantier, Harrison, and Shannon Tushingham (2017) Newly Discovered Studio Photographs of Revolutionary Anthropologist Llewellyn Lemont Loud. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 37(1).

Elizabeth Bollwerk and Shannon Tushingham, editors (2016). Perspectives_on_the_Archaeology_of_PipesPerspectives on the Archaeology of Pipes, Tobacco and other Smoke Plants in the Ancient Americas. Springer Press.

Tushingham, Shannon, Janet P. Eidsness, Tiffany Fulkerson, Justin Hopt, Colin Christiansen, Angela Arpaia, and Julilani Chang (2016). Late Holocene Coastal Intensification, Mass Harvest Fishing, and the Historical Ecology of Marine Estuaries: The view from the Manila Site (CA-HUM-321), Humboldt Bay, Northwestern Alta California. California Archaeology 8(1):1-35.

Tushingham, Shannon and Eerkens, Jelmer. Hunter-Gatherer Tobacco Smoking in Ancient North America: Current Chemical Evidence and a Framework for Future Studies (2016). In Perspectives on the Archaeology of Pipes, Tobacco and other Smoke Plants in the Ancient Americas, edited by Elizabeth Bollwerk and Shannon Tushingham. Springer Interdisciplinary Series in Archaeology

Bettinger, Robert L., Garvey, Raven and Tushingham, Shannon (2015) Bettinger Garvey Tushingham 2015 Hunter-Gatherers Second Edition frontmatterHunter-Gatherers: Archaeology and Evolutionary Theory 2nd edition. Springer Press.

Tushingham, Shannon and Colin Christiansen (2015). Native American Fisheries of Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon: A Synthesis of Fish Bone Data and Implications for Late Holocene Storage and Socio-Economic Organization, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 35(2):189-215.

Collins, Mary and Shannon Tushingham (2014) Exploring the Future of Archaeology on the Plateau: The 2014 Washington State University Museum of Anthropology Plateau Conference. SAA Record.

Tushingham, Shannon (2015) Tobacco. In The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia, edited by Mary Beaudry and Karen Metheny. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland.

Whitaker, Adrian, and Shannon Tushingham (2014) A Quantitative Assessment of Ethnographically Identified Activity Areas at the Point Saint George Site (CA-DNO-11) and the Validity of Ethnographic Analogy. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 34(1): 1-15.

Tushingham, Shannon, and Robert L. Bettinger (2013) Why Foragers Choose Acorns before Salmon: Storage, Mobility, and Risk in Aboriginal California. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32:527-537.

Tushingham, Shannon (2014) Miniature Treasure: Geochemical Sourcing Indicates Socio-ceremonial Significance of an Obsidian Biface from the Red Elderberry Site (CA-DNO-26), Northwestern tushpub1-396x509Alta California. California Archaeology 6(1): 132-136.

Whitaker, Adrian, and Shannon Tushingham (2014) A Quantitative Assessment of Ethnographically Identified Activity Areas at the Point Saint George Site (CA-DNO-11) and the Validity of Ethnographic Analogy. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 34(1).

Tushingham, Shannon, Dominique Ardura, Jelmer Eerkens, Mine Palazoglu, Sevini Shahbaz, and Oliver Fiehn (2013) Hunter-Gatherer Tobacco Smoking: Earliest Evidence from the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Journal of Archaeological Science40(2):1397-1407.

Tushingham, Shannon and Jennifer Bencze (2013) Macro and Micro Scale Signatures of Hunter-Gatherer Organization at the Coastal Sites of Point St. George, Northwestern Alta California. California Archaeology 5(1):37-77.

Tushingham, Shannon (2013) Archaeology, Ethnography, and Tolowa Heritage at Red Elderberry Place, Chvn-su’lh-dvn, Jedediah tushpub2Smith Redwoods State Park. California Department of Parks and Recreation Archaeology, History and Museums Division, Publication Number 30. Sacramento.

Tushingham, Shannon, Amy Spurling and Timothy R. Carpenter (2013) The Sweetwater Site: Archaeological Recognition of Surf Fishing and Temporary Smelt Camps on the North Coast of California. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 33(1).

Eerkens, Jelmer, Shannon Tushingham, Kari Lentz, Jennifer Blake, Dominique Ardura, Mine Palazoglu, and Oliver Fiehn (2012) GC-MS Analysis of Residues Reveals Nicotine in Two Late Prehistoric Pipes from CA-ALA-554. Proceedings of the Society for California Archaeology 26:212-219.

Tushingham, Shannon, Charles H. McNutt, and Jane Hill, editors (2002) Histories of Southeastern Archaeology. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa.tushdig



Contact Information

College Hall 130

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