LISBETH A. LOUDERBACK portrait
  • Curator of Archaeology, Natural History Museum of Utah
  • Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department

Publications

  • - Pavlik, B.M., Louderback, L. A., Vernon, K. B., Yaworsky, P. M., Codding, B. F., Wilson C., Clifford, A. (In press) Plant species richness at archaeological sites suggests enduring ecological legacy of Indigenous subsistence on the Colorado Plateau, USA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Accepted, 03/30/2021.
  • - Wilks, S.L., Louderback, L.A., Boomgarden, S.A. (2021) Starch Granule Size and Morphology as a Proxy for Water Regime Influence on Zea mays. Ethnobiology Letters 12(1), 35-43. https://doi.org/10.14237/ebl.12.1.2021.1725 . Accepted, 12/30/2020.
  • - Rhode, D., Louderback, L.A., Brugger, S. (2020) Holocene subalpine woodland dynamics in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA. The Holocene. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683620972761. Published, 11/30/2020.
  • - Brown, G.H., Louderback, L.A. (2020) Identification of Starch Granules from Oak and GrassSpecies in the central coast of California. Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports 33 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102549). Published, 10/30/2020.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Kiahtipes, C., & Janetski, J. (2020). Holocene vegetation and climate change on the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah, USA. Quaternary Research, 1-15. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2019.80.. Published, 01/31/2020.
  • - Louderback, L.A. and Pavlik, B.M. (2018) Integrating Modern Vegetation and Ethnographic Data to Understand Dietary Choices in the Past. Human Ecology, 46(6):1-12. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-018-0040-9. Published, 11/21/2018.
  • - Herzog, N.M., Louderback, L.A., Pavlik, B.M. (2018). Effects of cultivation on tuber and starch granule morphometrics of Solanum jamesii and implications for interpretation of the archaeological record. Journal of Archaeological Science 98: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2018.07.014. Published, 08/01/2018.
  • - Louderback, L.A. and Pavlik, B.M. (2017). Starch granule evidence for the earliest potato use in North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(29) 7606-7610. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/4785f44d-7e00-4170-a4b4-89d443deb665. Published, 07/03/2017.
  • - Herzog N.M., Baker M., Pavlik B.M., Beck, K., Creer, S., Louderback L.A. (2017). A multi-proxy approach to archaeobotanical research: Archaic and Fremont diets, Utah. Journal of Archaeological Research: Reports 15, 169-178. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/c508da98-83ba-4bb3-aa5f-1e57cd2ed007. Published, 07/23/2017.
  • - Bamberg, J., Del Rio, A., Kinder, D., Louderback, L., Pavlik, B., Fernandez, C. (2016) Core Collections of potato (Solanum) species native to the USA. American Journal of Potato Research, https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/394aa5f2-75ee-46d8-9b9a-3a28fdbbbc8f. Published, 10/24/2016.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Herzog, N.M., Pavlik, B.M. (2016) A new approach for identifying of starch granules from wild food plants in arid western North America. Starch: Starke 68: 1-7. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/8c578ae1-cf3c-4c54-9085-3f69982a6635. Published, 06/15/2016.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Field, J., Janetski, J.C. (2015) Curation Practices and Extraction Methods in Relation to Starch Grain Yiields from Ground Stone Artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 4, 535-540. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/39a53e24-7db5-4652-9292-e5579da09db2. Published, 10/2015.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Rhode, D., Madsen, D.B., Metcalf, M. (2015). Rapid Vegetation Shifts in the Uinta Mountains (Utah and Wyoming, USA) during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/2c3d50a8-c09c-4aaa-b074-7b5687b0c803. Published, 09/02/2015.
  • - Rhode, D. and Louderback, L.A. (2015) Bonneville Basin Environments during the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition. In Madsen, D.B., Schmitt, D. and Page, D. (Eds.) The Paleoarchaic Occupation of the Old River Bed Delta. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT. Published, 02/03/2015.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Bruce M. Pavlik, Amy M. Spurling (2013) Ethnographic and Archaeological Evidence Corroborating Yucca as a Food Source, Mojave Desert, USA. Journal of Ethnobiology 33(2): 281-297. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/290fda06-602e-4ed3-9067-121320cdb3c9. Published, 01/01/2013.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Grayson, D.K., Llobera, M. (2011) Middle Holocene Climates and Human Population Densities in the Great Basin, western USA. The Holocene 21(2): 366-373. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/9edc58e3-93ad-453b-a48a-74aece4c0ec0. Published, 03/01/2011.
  • - Benson, L.V., S.P. Lund, J.P. Smooth, D.E. Rhode, R.J. Spencer, K.L. Verosub, L.A. Louderback, C.A. Johnson, R.O. Rye, R.M. Negrini (2011) The Rise and Fall of Lake Bonneville between 45 and 10.5 ka. Quaternary International 235:57-69. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/3fa15b7b-51a9-4c70-9e55-3e144495c238. Published, 09/2011.
  • - Louderback, L.A. and Rhode, D. (2009) 15,000 Years of Vegetation Change in the Bonneville Basin: The Blue Lake Pollen Record, Quaternary Science Reviews, 29, 1-19. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/927c8e1e-3115-4547-ba04-e586a77cd8d5. Published, 01/2009.
  • - Rhode, D. and Louderback, L.A. (2007) Dietary Plant Use in the Bonneville Basin during the Terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene Transition. In K.E. Graf and D.N. Schmitt, Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic? Great Basin Human Ecology at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition, pp. 231-247. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/c8477e2a-0939-40c3-9f21-482c770ae825. Published, 09/2007.
  • - Louderback, L.A., Rhode, D., Madsen, D.B., Metcalf, M. (2016) Uinta Mountains and Lakes: Sensitive Indicators of Climate Change. Mountain Views: Chronicles of the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains, Vol. 10 (1). https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/93557dee-52ea-41b0-a6ae-c8cfeb327455. Published, 09/04/2016.
  • - Louderback, L.A. (2019) Ancient Four Corners Potato. Archaeology Southwest. (https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/product-category/archaeology-southwest-magazine/). Published, 09/16/2019.
  • - Codding, B.F., Coltrain, J.B., Louderback, L.A., Vernon, K.B., Yaworsky, P.M., Brewer, S., Spangler, J.D. (In Revision) Socioecological Dynamics Structuring the Spread of Farming in the North American Basin-Plateau Region. Environmental Archaeology. Accepted, 09/04/2019.

Research Statement

I bring a strong interdisciplinary background to archaeology with technical expertise in archaeobotany and paleoecology. Plant remains found in archeological sites, both large (seeds, fruits, leaves) and small (starch granules and pollen grains), provide clues to local resources and past climates that help define human dietary patterns through time.  This allows me to explore how people coped with environmental change during the late Pleistocene and Holocene in western North America, with a particular focus on the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau.

I am currently establishing a research program on human dietary ecology, which examines the supply, harvest, processing and energetic returns of plant and animal resources from natural ecosystems. Starch granule analysis has become critical to understanding human diets from archaeological contexts, especially when determining the contributions of geophytes (plants with edible underground tubers, bulbs, rhizomes and roots). Despite their dietary importance, geophytes have largely been ignored when diet breadth analyses and foraging theory are applied to archaeological studies. The energetic rankings of food resources commonly used to explain human subsistence patterns and dietary shifts would have to be substantially revised to accommodate and elevate the role of calorie-rich geophytes.

Research Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Ethnobotany and paleoethnobotany
  • Paleoecology
  • Plant domestication

Presentations

  • Detecting the Domestication of the Four Corners Potato. Invited talk. Am-Arcs of Nevada, Oct. 2020. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/01/2020.
  • Detecting the Domestication of the Four Corners Potato. Invited talk. San Juan Basin Archaeological Society, August 2020. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/03/2020.
  • Field Evaluation of Solanum jamesii – a Native USA Wild Potato. Paper presented at the American Society for Horticulture Science (fifth author with John Bamberg et al.), July 2019. Conference Paper, Presented, 07/01/2019.
  • The Archaeology of Diet: Evidence from an Ancient Rockshelter in Southern Utah. Invited talk. Field Work: Aligning Poetry & Science, SLC Public Library, April 2019. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/01/2019.
  • Preliminary Analysis of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Diatom Assemblages in the Bonneville Basin, western Utah, USA: Blue Lake warm spring. Paper presented at the Geological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN (third author with Scott Starratt and David Rhode). Conference Paper, Presented, 11/20/2018.
  • Revisiting the Blue Lake pollen core for vegetation change around Bonneville Estates Rockshelter. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Salt Lake City, UT (first author with David Rhode, Kaylee Jones, and Ted Goebel). Conference Paper, Presented, 11/10/2018.
  • Archeo-ecosystem Surveys of Puebloan Sites in Bears Ears, Southeast Utah. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Salt Lake City, UT (second author with Bruce Pavlik and Brian Codding). Conference Paper, Presented, 11/09/2018.
  • The Archaeology of Diet: Evidence from an Ancient Rockshelter in Southern Utah. Invited talk. Leakey Foundation Board Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/08/2018.
  • The Four Corners Potato: Conserving an Ancient Food in Southern Utah. Invited talk. Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, Kanab, UT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/26/2018.
  • The Four Corners Potato: Conserving an Ancient Food in Southern Utah. Invited talk. NHMU Volunteer Education Lecture Series, Salt Lake City, UT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/13/2018.
  • Re-evaluating the Earliest Evidence for Wild Potato Use in South-central Chile. Paper presented at the Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Washington DC (first author with Nicole Herzog, Ellyse Simons, Bruce Pavlik, Tom Dillehay), Apr. 2018. Conference Paper, Accepted, 10/02/2017.
  • Comparing Starch Granules from Wild and Cultivated Solanum jamesii to Determine the Effects of Domestication. Paper presented at the Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Washington DC (second author with Nicole Herzog and Bruce Pavlik), Apr. 2018. Conference Paper, Accepted, 10/02/2017.
  • The Archaeology and Conservation of the Four Corners Potato. Paper presented at the Biennial Conference of Science & Management on the Colorado Plateau & Southwest Region (with B.M. Pavlik), September 2017. Conference Paper, Presented, 09/16/2017.
  • The Four Corners Potato: Conserving an Ancient Food in Escalante, Utah. Invited talk/Keynote for the Escalante River Watershed Partnership, Escalante, UT (with B.M. Pavlik), August 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/07/2017.
  • The Four Corners Potato: Conserving an Ancient Food in Southern Utah. Invited talk. Four Corners Lecture Series, Edge of Cedars State Museum, Blanding, UT (with B.M. Pavlik), August 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/05/2017.
  • The Archaeology and Conservation of the Four Corners Potato. Utah Rare Plant Meeting (with B.M. Pavlik). Conference Paper, Presented, 03/07/2017.
  • Setting New Standards for Starch Grain Identification. Poster presented at Workshop on the Analysis of Micro Particles in Archaeological Samples (WAMPAS), Max Planck Institute, Germany (with N.M. Herzog and B.M. Pavlik). Poster, Presented, 12/06/2016.
  • The Archaeology and Conservation of the Four Corners Potato. Utah State University Museum of Anthropology Friday Lecture Series (with B.M. Pavlik). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/18/2016.
  • Honoring an Interdisciplinary Giant: David B. Madsen. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno, NV. Conference Paper, Presented, 10/07/2016.
  • Setting New Standards for Starch Grain Identification. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno, NV. (with N.M. Herzog and B.M. Pavlik). Conference Paper, Presented, 10/07/2016.
  • Establishing an Online Ethnobotanical Database for the Northwest Great Basin. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno, NV. (second author with N.M. Herzog and J. Rovenpera). Conference Paper, Presented, 10/07/2016.
  • The Archaeobotany of the Sigurd to Red Butte Transmission Line. Poster presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Reno, NV. (with N.M. Herzog, M. Baker, K. Magargal, B.M. Pavlik). Poster, Presented, 10/06/2016.
  • The Archaeology and Conservation of the Four Corners Potato. Esclanate Arts Festival Speaker Series, Escalante, Utah (co-author B. Pavlik). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 09/24/2016.
    http://escalantecanyonsartfestival.org/speakers/sp...
  • The Archaeology and Conservation of the Four Corners Potato. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) Science Forum, Kanab Utah (co-author with B. Pavlik). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/02/2016.
  • Diet breadth and Resource Intensification in Relation to Environmental Change. Paper presented at the Society of Ethnobiology, Tuscon, AZ. Presentation, Accepted, 02/01/2016.
  • The Dietary Inventory and Dietary Palette at North Creek Shelter, Utah. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Boise, ID (first author with Bruce M. Pavlik). Presentation, Presented, 10/2014.
  • Patterns of Chenopodium Seed Use at North Creek Shelter, Utah. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Boise, ID (second author with Kayla Worthey and David Rhode). Presentation, Presented, 10/2014.
  • Frontiers of Archaeobotany in the Great Basin and northern Colorado Plateau. Symposium organizer (with Nicole Herzog) at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Boise, ID. Presentation, Presented, 10/2014.
  • Patterns of Chenopodium spp. use at North Creek Shelter, Utah. Poster presented at the Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Austin, TX (second author with Kayla Worthey). Poster, Presented, 04/2014.
  • The Ecology of Diet Breadth During the Early to Middle Holocene at North Creek Shelter, Utah. Symposium participant at the Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Austin, TX (first author with Joel Janetski and Judith Field). Presentation, Presented, 04/2014.
  • Seeds of Change: The impacts of climate change on dietary choice and human occupation patterns in Early Holocene North America. Archaeology First Thursdays, Portland State University, Oregon. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2013.
  • Yucca Roasting and Basketmaker to Post-Puebloan Occupations of Coyote Springs Valley, SE Nevada. Poster at Society of American Archaeology (SAA), Honolulu, HI (fourth author with Amy Spurling, Mary Ann Vicari, Victor Villagran). Poster, Presented, 04/2013.
  • Seeds of Change: The impacts of climate change on dietary choice and human occupation patterns in Early Holocene North America. Invited speaker: BEES Seminar Series, University of New South Wales, Australia. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2013.
  • 30 Years On: Archaeology and Behavioral Ecology in the Great Basin. Symposium organizer (with Michael Cannon and Jack Broughton) at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Presentation, Presented, 10/2012.
  • 12,000 Years of Climate and Vegetation Change in the northern Uinta Mountains, western North America. Invited speaker, paper presented at the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA), Duluth, MN (first author with D. Rhode, D.B. Madsen, and M. Metcalf). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2012.
  • Formative Period Research from the Milford Wind Corridor Project. Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Davis, Utah (third author with Kiera Simms, Amy Spurling, and Mike Cannon). Presentation, Presented, 10/2010.
  • Packrats, Pollen and Pine I: Holocene Vegetation History in Northwest Colorado. Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference (RMAC) Gunnison, CO (second author with D. Rhode, D.B. Madsen, and M. Metcalf). Presentation, Presented, 10/2009.
  • Packrats, Pollen and Pine II: The Flat Tops Pollen Records and Implications for Regional Millennial-Scale Climate Cycles. Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference (RMAC), Gunnison, CO (third author with D.B. Madsen, D. Rhode and M. Metcalf). Presentation, Presented, 10/2009.
  • Development of Grinding Stone Technology in the Great Basin, western North America. Paper presented at the 75th Anniversary Meeting Society of American Archaeology (SAA), St. Louis, Missouri. Presentation, Presented, 04/2009.
  • Holocene Vegetation History in Northwest Colorado and Southwest Wyoming: New Results from Packrat Middens and Pollen Cores. Poster presentation at PACLIM Conference, Asilomar, CA (second author with D. Rhode). Poster, Presented, 03/2009.
  • “Into the Holocene: Archaeological Implications for Climatic and Biotic Variations.” Symposium presented at the 31st Biennial Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Portland, Oregon (Symposium organizer). Presentation, Presented, 10/2008.
  • Middle Holocene Human Behavioral Responses in the Great Basin of Western North America. Paper presented at the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 72nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada (second author with Donald K. Grayson). Presentation, Presented, 04/2008.
  • Climate Change and Human Adaptation in the Bonneville Basin: The Blue Lake Pollen Record and Archaeology of Bonneville Estates Rockshelter. Paper presented at the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 72nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada (with Ted Goebel, Kelly Graf, Bryan Hockett, and David Rhode). Presentation, Presented, 04/2008.
  • Paleoenvironmental Research on the Piceance Basin Lateral and REX Pipeline Project: A Preliminary Report. Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference (RMAC), Jackson Hole, Wyoming (with David Rhode, David B. Madsen, and Michael Metcalf). Presentation, Presented, 10/2007.
  • Holocene Vegetation Change and Human Plant use in the Northwest Bonneville Basin, Nevada/Utah. Poster presented at the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 71st Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas (with D. Rhode). Poster, Presented, 04/2007.
  • Latest Pleistocene/ Holocene Vegetation Change at Blue Lake, western Bonneville Basin, Utah. Paper presented at the 30th Biennial Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC), Las Vegas, NV (with D. Rhode). Presentation, Presented, 10/2006.
  • Latest Pleistocene/ Holocene Vegetation Change at Blue Lake, western Bonneville Basin, Utah. Poster presented at American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) Biennial Meeting. Bozeman, MT (with D. Rhode). Poster, Presented, 06/2006.
  • Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Vegetation Change and Human Adaptation in the Bonneville Basin. Presentation for University of Nevada, Reno Geography Lecture Series: “Arid Lands and the People Who Use Them”. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2006.
  • Latest Pleistocene/ Holocene Vegetation Change at Blue Lake, western Bonneville Basin, Utah. Poster presented at PACLIM (Climate Variability of the Eastern North Pacific and Western North America) Conference. Asilomar, CA (with D. Rhode). Poster, Presented, 03/2006.
  • Into the Archaic: Dietary Plant Use in the Prearchaic (Paleoarchaic?) in the Bonneville Basin. Paper presented at Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 70th Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah (second author with D. Rhode). Presentation, Presented, 04/2005.

Research Equipment and Testing Expertise

  • Zeiss Axioscope 2 (transmitted brightfield microscope fitted with polarizing filters and Nomarski optics) Zeiss HRc (digital camera) Zeiss Zen (imaging and measurement software) Zeiss Discovery 8 (stereoscope) Axiovision (imaging and measurement software) Beckman TJ-6 Centrifuge. Contact: Lisbeth Louderback , (801) 585-2634 , 301 Wakara Way.

Languages

  • Spanish, functional.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • United States of America
    Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Southwest.