About Publications Resources Contact

ELSPETH READY

Senior Researcher
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Random Name
Random Name
Random Name

ABOUT

My research interests are broadly focused in two areas: human subsistence ecology, both today and in the past, and on social support networks. My work cross-cuts cultural, evolutionary, and biological anthropology.

My own field research examines the role of traditional harvesting and food sharing in the food security and socioeconomic status of Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. I have spent over 17 months conducting fieldwork in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik since 2011. My fieldwork has focused on gathering quantitative data on food security, food sharing, subsistence harvesting, and, more recently, qualitative data on mental health and well-being. One of the major conclusions of this work is that poverty may constrain how effectively traditional harvesting and sharing can contribute to community resilience to climate change. An additional focus of my work is on understanding food security in mixed cash-subsistence economies. This work focuses on bridging the gap between quantitative scientific methods and the multidimensional and cultural ways in which people experience food insecurity. A summary report of my dissertation results, in Inuktitut and English, can be downloaded here. A more recent community report of my work can be downloaded here.

I am currently collaborating on several additional projects based on ethnographic data from Tanzania, Tamil Nadu, and Puerto Rico. These projects are focused on using network methods to test behavioural ecological hypotheses about the benefits (and costs!) of cooperation. A complementary focus on the development of quantitative data collection and analysis methods is also a major thread of my research.

I also maintain an active research agenda in archaeology, in collaboration with Eugène Morin at Trent University. Our work has focused on Neandertal subsistence ecology, quantitative zooarchaeological methods and on the use of skeletal part profiles to infer Palaeolithic subsistence behaviours.

I graduated in 2008 with a B.A. Honours in Anthropology from the University of Alberta, and I completed an M.A. in Anthropology at Trent University in 2010. I completed my Ph.D. at Stanford in June 2016. For more details, download my curriculum vitae.

PUBLICATIONS

Ethnographic and HBE papers

Power, E.A. and Ready, E. 2019. Cooperation beyond consanguinity: post-marital residence, delineations of kin, and social support among South Indian Tamils. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Ready, E. 2019. Why subsistence matters. Hunter-Gatherer Research 3 (4): 635–649.

Koster, J., McElreath, R. et al. 2019. The life history of human foraging: Cross-cultural and individual variation. bioRxiv.

Ready, E. 2018. Who, being loved, is poor? Poverty, marriage, and changing family structures in the Canadian Arctic. Human Organization 77 (2): 122–134.

Bliege Bird, R., Ready, E., and Power, E.A., 2018. The social significance of subtle signals. Nature Human Behaviour 2 (2): 1–6.

Power, E. and Ready, E. 2018. Building bigness: Reputation, prominence, and social capital in rural South India. American Anthropologist 120 (3): 444–459.

Ready, E. 2018. Sharing-based social capital associated with harvest production and wealth in the Canadian Arctic. PLoS ONE 13 (3): e1093759.

Ready, E. and Collings, P. 2018. Rethinking "Big problems" in Arctic health. Anthropology News 59 (1): e71-e76.

Ready, E. and Power, E.A. 2018. Why wage-earners hunt. Food sharing, social structure and influence in an Arctic mixed economy. Current Anthropology 59 (1): 74–97.

Ready, E. 2016. Challenges in the asessment of Inuit food security. Arctic 69 (3): 266–280.

Ready, E. 2015. Ensuring country food access for a food secure future in Nunavik. In: Quebec policy on the Arctic: Challenges and perspectives. Arctic and International Relations Series, Issue 1. Canadian Studies Center and Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, pp.50–54. University of Washington, Seattle.

Archaeological Research

Morin, E., Beauval, C., Boileau, A., Ready, E., and Laroulandie, V., 2019. The Number of Distinct Elements: Extending a landmark-based counting unit to other taxa. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 24: 773–784.

Ready, E. and Morin, E., 2019. Preliminary analysis of faunal remains from three Middle Paleolithic deposits in Charente, France. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 24: 290–301 .

Morin, E., E. Ready, A. Boileau, C. Beauval, and M.P. Coumont. 2017. Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part I: Insights from a Blind Test. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
24 (3): 886–937.

Morin, E., E. Ready, A. Boileau, C. Beauval, and M.P. Coumont. 2017. Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part II: Presentation of an Alternative Counting Method. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 24 (3): 938–973.

Ready, E. 2013. Neandertal foraging during the late Mousterian in the Pyrenees: New insights based on faunal remains from Gatzarria Cave. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1568–1578.

Morin, E., and E. Ready. 2013. Foraging goals and transport decisions in Western Europe during the Middle and early Upper Paleolithic. In: J.A. Clark and J. Speth, Eds., Zooarchaeology and modern human origins: Human hunting behavior during the later Pleistocene. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, pp. 227–269. Springer, Dordrecht.

Ready, E. 2010. Neandertal Man the hunter: A history of Neandertal subsistence. Vis-à-vis: Explorations in Anthropology 10: 58–80.

RESOURCES

Social Network Analysis

Jamie Jones, Ashley Hazel and I ran introductory social network analysis workshops at the AAPA meetings in 2018 and 2019. You can view the materials on our workshop webpage.

Datasets and code repositories

Code repository for Building Bigness (Power and Ready 2018).

Code repository for Cooperation beyond consanguinuity (Power and Ready 2019).

More to come...