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Elspeth Ready

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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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. I am currently collaborating on several projects, all focused on combining network methods with models from behavioural ecology to better understand how socioeconomic and health inequalities are created and persist. A complementary focus on the development of quantitative data collection and analysis methods is also a major thread of my research.

My dissertation research examined 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 15 months conducting fieldwork in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik since 2011. My fieldwork has focused on gathering quantitative data on food security, food sharing, subsistence harvesting. 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 dissertation research was 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.

I also maintain an active research agenda in archaeology, in collaboration with Eugène Morin at Trent University. Our work has focused on 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.


Ethnographic and HBE papers

Ready, E. In press. Why subsistence matters. Hunter-Gatherer Research.

Ready, E. In press. Who, being loved, is poor? Poverty, marriage, and changing family structures in the Canadian Arctic. Human Organization.

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

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

Ready, E. 2016. Challenges in the Assessment 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., 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.


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