Lauren Santini

Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Lauren Santini is an anthropological archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University.  Her dissertation was an interdisciplinary approach to reconstructing tree and arboreal product use by the ancient Maya of San Bartolo, Guatemala. Her work combines traditional archaeological field methods, ethnographic research, critical historiography, botanical analysis, and GIS/remote sensing techniques to understand the interplay between people and their environments, both natural and constructed, and the trajectory of this interplay across time in the Maya area. She specializes in wood charcoal analysis. Lauren seeks to reconstruct how the Maya used and managed their forest resources and how ancient human behaviors have long-lasting effects on modern biodiversity and traditional bodies of knowledge.

Lauren has been a Department of Anthropology , John Owens Graduate Research Fellow for six years, and also worked closely with NASA for her undergraduate research project on remote sensing. Currently she is editing a book on Archaeological Methods and Applications in Multispectral Image Processing, with Oxbow Press and colleagues Willem VanEssendelft, Bryce Davenport.

BA. (2007) Anthropology with a minor in forestry, University of New Hampshire
Ph. D. (2016, expected) Anthropology, Harvard University


Lauren Santini with tree survey team at San Bartolo, Grupo Zacatal, 2012. Photo by Jonathan Ruane.

Copan, 2010 at the Hieroglyphic Stairway. Photo by Jeff Dobereiner.