Theresa Nelson


Department of Archaeology

Research Student

  • Bachelor of Science in Geology (University of Pittsburgh, 2014)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (Archaeology) (University of Pittsburgh, 2014)
  • Minor in Chemistry (University of Pittsburgh, 2014)
  • MA in Anthropology (Archaeology) (University of Pittsburgh, 2016)
Research interests
  • Human-Environment relations
  • Resource exploitation strategies among mobile pastoralist communities
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Isotopic Analysis of Faunal Remains
  • Human Dietary Variation
  • Human-Animal-Environment Relationships
  • Environmental Archaeology, Pastoralism
  • Eurasian Steppe Prehistory
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Mobile Pastoralism in the Eurasian steppes
Research group


Teaching activities

During my Master’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh (2014-2016), I was teaching assistant for four semesters and a teaching fellow for one semester.

I was the teaching assistant for two undergraduate archaeology lab courses, including “Archaeology Lab Practicum” and “Advanced Lab Analysis,” taught by Dr. Kathleen Allen.

I was also the teaching assistant for a combined undergraduate and graduate course, “Zooarchaeology,” taught by Dr. Bryan Hanks.

Additionally, I was the head teaching assistant for a 300-person undergraduate archaeology class, “The Archaeologist Looks at Death,” under Dr. Marc Bermann.

Finally, as a teaching fellow, I taught an undergraduate course, “Zooarchaeology.”

Professional activities
  • Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures Studentship (January 2017-January 2021)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention (2015)

Field experience

Since 2011, I have participated on multiple archaeological research projects around the world, including the Russian Steppe, Northeastern Serbia, the Salmon River of Idaho in the United States, and both central and Western Mongolia.

These research projects focused on different time periods, from the Late Neolithic to the Early Iron Age.

Work included excavations, recording, collecting and organizing artifacts, surveying, geophysical surveying, soil sampling, faunal analysis, ethnoarchaeology, ethnographic interviews, lab work, data entry, and in one case, supervising 12 undergraduate students.