Kathleen Johnson
Associate Professor | UCI, Department of Earth System Science
My lab focuses on reconstructing past rainfall variability in the tropics and Asian monsoon region using speleothems (cave calcite formations). We conduct field studies of modern cave systems to assess the environmental controls on speleothem geochemistry and develop robust paleoclimate records using stable isotopes, trace elements and radiocarbon. We combine our proxy data with instrumental climate data, other paleoclimate data, and climate models to investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of natural climate variability, calibrate paleoclimate proxy data, and investigate mechanisms of past climate variability. We currently have active projects in Laos, Vietnam, Mexico, and California.
Mick Griffiths
Associate Professor | William Paterson University, Department of Environmental Science
My research interests are primarily focused on the use of geochemical tracers preserved in sedimentary carbonate and phosphate deposits (“proxies”)–including cave stalagmites, fossil teeth, and lake sediments–to reconstruct past environmental/climate and landscape evolution. Specifically, my research is centered around building records of past environmental change over numerous time scales, ranging from the last millennium to the last ~100 million years, using various isotope systems and elemental tracers encoded in these natural archives. I also work with atmosphere-ocean climate models to elucidate the mechanisms for the changes observed in the proxies.
Aradhna Tripati
Associate Professor | UCLA, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
Aradhna researches and teaches about climate change; the history and dynamics of changing Earth systems including climate, ice sheets, oceans, the water cycle, carbon dioxide levels; tool development; and clumped isotope geochemistry. She is now Associate Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), and the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), as her work is highly interdisciplinary.


Barbara Watson Andaya
Professor | University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, Asian Studies Program
Christianity and religious change in Southeast Asia, ca. 1500-present, Women and gender in early modern Southeast Asia, Social issues in contemporary Southeast Asia. In 2005-06 she was President of the American Association of Asian Studies. Educated at the University of Sydney (BA, Dip.Ed.), she received an East West Center grant in 1966 and obtained her MA in history at the University of Hawai’i. She subsequently went on to study for her Ph.D. at Cornell University with a specialization in Southeast Asian history.
Leonard Andaya
Professor | University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, Department of History
Early modern history of Southeast Asia, particularly of Malaysia, Indonesia, the southern Philippines, and southern Thailand. I am now looking at the role of water (fresh, brackish, salt) and its dynamic interaction with Southeast Asian society in the early modern period. This particular interest led me to restructure a project on eastern Indonesia by adopting a sea perspective. In adopting this perspective I hope to demonstrate how local knowledge of the ocean on and below the surface affected local decisions regarding the creation of overlapping economic, ritual, and subsistence networks that criss-crossed the sea lanes of eastern Indonesia in the early modern period.
George E. Dutton
Professor | UCLA, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
I specialize in early modern through early colonial Vietnamese history. I teach courses on early and contemporary Vietnam, and a range of courses in Southeast Asian studies. These include courses on Southeast Asian religions in contemporary society, on 20th-century Southeast Asian literature, and on Zomia, which involves critical issues relating to upland ethnic communities in mainland Southeast Asia and Southwest China. I have also explored topics in 19th and early 20th century Vietnamese history. These have ranged from military technology to poetry to visual humor in the form of newspaper caricature.
Xing Hang
Associate Professor | Brandeis University, Department of History
My first project, which has yielded a book, an edited volume, and several articles and reviews, has examined the Zheng organization and its unique and profitable role in tying together the seventeenth-century maritime Asian trading lanes while struggling to define its legitimacy in terms of Confucian tenets and the imperial dynastic symbols of the Ming and Qing courts. My interests are now drawing me to a study of Chinese communities in Southeast Asia from the seventeenth to twenty-first centuries. I want to understand their institutions, state-building efforts, collaboration with multiple state and imperial actors, and how these elements intersected with the rise of nationalism in China itself.


Daya (Da-Wei) Kuan
Associate Professor | National Chengchi University (NCCU), Ethnology Department
Prof. Kuan's research interests include: indigenous geography, indigenous land policy, indigenous community mapping, and community-based resources management. In addition to the fieldworks in Taiwan, Daya also commits himself to the comparative studies and collaborations within the Austronesian language-speaking family in the Pacific, including Fiji, Palau, Guam, Philippines, Hawaii, and Aotearoa. Devoting to integrate his works of academic research, teaching and community service for the claim of indigenous land rights, he collaborates with different indigenous communities in many traditional territory mapping, land-use planning and community development projects.


Miriam T. Stark
Professor | University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, Department of Anthropology
My archaeological research focuses on local histories (particularly Cambodia’s deep history) and on the materiality of social life. Archaeology provides a research strategy for asking big historical questions, like: why did cities emerge where they did? what role does religion play in state formation? and what are points of fragility and resilience in long-term histories? I use archaeological field methods and analytical techniques to answer parts of these questions; collaboration with specialists is intrinsic to my archaeological research; and I am a lifelong student of the past. My research program, now based in Cambodia, tracks long-term changes in political economy and landscape ecology through the Lower Mekong Basin to answer parts of these broader questions: from the protohistoric to Early Modern periods.
Peter V. Lape
Professor | University of Washington, Department of Anthropology
My research focuses on understanding social change in Island Southeast Asia over the last 5,000 years. I have been particularly interested in island landscapes and seascapes, cross cultural interactions such as trade and warfare, human-environment interactions and climate change. I also have an interest in archaeology practice, cultural resource management and public archaeology in the Seattle area.
Stephen Acabado
Associate Professor | UCLA, Department of Anthropology
Stephen is an anthropological archaeologist interested in human environment interaction and indigenous responses to colonialism. His research focuses on the archaeology of highland agricultural systems in Southeast Asia, specifically on the Ifugao agricultural terraces (northern Philippines). Currently, he has active research programs in indigenous Taiwan, and in Bicol and Ifugao, Philippines.
Piphal Heng
Graduate Affiliate Faculty | University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, Department of Anthropology
Heng received his PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa-Department of Anthropology in 20018. He graduated with a Degree in Archaeology in 2002 from the Faculty of Archaeology at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA), Cambodia. Heng was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 2007 to pursue an MA degree at UHM Department of Anthropology. In 2009, a Harvard-Yenching Doctoral Fellowship funded the first 3.5 years of his PhD degree. Heng’s dissertation research explores the intersection between political economy, religion, and organizational change during the pre-Angkorian period based on temple economy, archaeology, epigraphy, ethnohistory, and settlement patterns. Heng’s interests lie in archaeological political economy, settlement patterns, state formation, and ceramic production and consumption. Cross-trained in history, epigraphy, and art history at the Cambodia Royal University of Fine Arts, Heng is interested in a multidisciplinary approach to study changes in the sociopolitical and economic system in Cambodia relative to other states in Southeast Asia. His current research focuses on organizational shift and political economy during the transition period to early modern Cambodia.
Martin Polkinghorne
Senior Lecturer in Archaeology | Flinders University
Martin is an archaeologist with interests in the production systems of pre-modern mainland Southeast Asia. Along with Cambodian and international collaborators he has discovered and excavated manufacturing hubs at Angkor and Cambodia’s Early Modern period urban centers. As a Chief Investigator on Australian Research Council Discovery Projects, Martin is conducting the first archaeological excavations of Cambodia’s Early Modern Period capitals on the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap arterial rivers to retrieve this period from a perceived Dark Age. By specifying the chronology, quantity, and technology of production and trade proxies these investigations reveal continuity, renewal, and adaptation in the political economies of Early Modern period Southeast Asia.
Thomas Wake
Assistant Adjunct Professor | UCLA, Department of Anthropology
Dr. Thomas Wake specializes in archaeological and zooarchaeological research on the Eastern Pacific Rim. He has expertise in paleoenvironmental reconstruction, paleoecology, historical archaeology, and neotropical archaeology.
Chin-hsin Liu
Assistant Professor | California State University, Northridge, Department of Anthropology
I am a bioarcharologist with research interests in the interaction between human lifeways and their physical and social environs. I use skeletal pathology and bone chemistry to extract biological information from skeletal remains. Interpreted within a biocultural framework, human growth patterns, skeletal health, demography, and dietary patterns can illustrate how a population interacted, reacted, and shaped its physical and social landscape. I am specialized in human osteology, dental anthropology, and stable isotope ratio analysis. Broadly, I am interested in the application of forensic anthropology, zooarchaeology, and cultural resource management.
Udomluck Hoontrakul
Lecturer | Thammasat University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Udomluck studies globalization and postcolonial studies, with an interest in museums and their relationship to identity.
Pyiet Phyo Kyaw
Associate Professor | University of Mandalay, Department of Archaeology
Dr. Pyiet Phyo Kyaw has expertise in water resources and iconography in Myanmar, with research spanning from the 11th to 14th centuries and 21st century cultural resource management.
Grace Barretto-Tesoro
Associate Professor | University of the Philippines Diliman, Archaeological Studies Program
Dr. Grace Barretto-Tesoro is primarily interested in Philippine indigenous cultures, including topics ranging from ceramics to status and identity.


Ruel V. Pagunsan
Associate Professor | University of the Philippines Diliman, Department of History
The role of colonialism in the historical construction of the Philippine natural world. Focusing on the range of natural history projects under the American colonial sponsorship, Dr. Pagunsan examines the approaches and narratives about the Philippine environment as they intertwined with the stories of the colony, the scientists, the institutions, and the nation.
David R. Biggs
Professor | UC Riverside, Department of History
David Biggs (PhD University of Washington, 2004) is a Professor of SE Asian and environmental history at the University of California at Riverside. His research focuses on the ways that historic human interventions such as public works construction as well as destructive actions such as war have not only reshaped landscapes but also produced legacies that often continue to play into national, international, environmental and development politics. His first book, Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (2010), focused on hydro-engineering and its association with politics of colonialism and post-colonial struggles in Vietnam. His second book, Footprints of War: Militarized Landscapes of Vietnam (2018) focuses on how certain landscapes become militarized and the long-term legacies of these spaces in shaping later conflicts as well as challenging post-war development. Besides these book projects, his essays apply these approaches to related issues such as chemical weapons histories and cleanups, international river basin management, and military base transfers. His work also draws heavily from use of historic maps and aerial photography, and he integrates them into these studies. He is currently working on two projects, an introductory history of Southeast Asia and a new research project on shoreline development, mangroves and resiliency in the Indo-Pacific region.
William Balée
Professor | Tulane University, Department of Anthropology
Prof. Balée received his PhD from Columbia University in 1984. He has conducted fieldwork among Ka’apor, Guajá, Araweté, Tembé, Assurini do Xingu, and Sirionó societies. He teaches courses including cultural anthropology, ecological anthropology, historical ecology of Amazonia, South American ethnology, ethnographic methods, and the four-field model.
Adam Clulow
Associate Professor | The University of Texas at Austin, Department of History
Adam Clulow is a historian of early modern Asia. His work is concerned broadly with the transnational circulation of ideas, people, practices and commodities across East and Southeast Asia. Dr. Clulow’s first book, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan, was published in 2014 and received the Jerry Bentley Book Prize for World History from the American Historical Association, the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2015 Humanities Book Prize, the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction 2015 Book Prize, and the W.K. Hancock Prize from the Australian Historical Association. His second book, Amboina, 1623: Conspiracy and Fear on the Edge of Empire, was published by Columbia University Press in 2019. Dr. Clulow is also the editor of three books: with Tristan Mostert, The Dutch and English East India Companies: Diplomacy, Trade and Violence in Early Modern Asia (Amsterdam University Press, 2018); with Lauren Benton and Bain Attwood, Protection and Empire: A Global History (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and Statecraft and Spectacle in East Asia: Studies in Taiwan-Japan Relations (Routledge, 2010).
Patrick Roberts
Research Group Leader | Deparment of Archaeology, Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History / Principal Investigator | ‘PANTROPOCENE: Finding a pre-industrial, pan-tropical Anthropocene’ European Research Council Project
Patrick is committed to applying stable isotope methods within multidisciplinary research programs that are focused on human palaeoclimates, palaeoenvironments, palaeodiets and palaeomobility. Patrick has a number of international peer-reviewed publications that use stable isotope analysis in a variety of archaeological research contexts in Asia: from reconstructing rainforest adaptations of the earliest humans in Sri Lanka to historical insights into colonial impacts on indigenous diets. Patrick’s recently funded ‘PANTROPOCENE’ ERC Project combines archaeology, history, palaeoecology, and remote sensing methods to determine how pre- and post-colonial land-use changed in the Philippine Archipelago either side of the arrival of the Spanish Empire in the region, and how this might have effected deforestation, soil erosion, and precipitation both in the past but also in terms of present day legacies. He has worked on UNESCO panels looking into issues of tropical sustainability and heritage and collaborates closely with Indigenous communities in developing repatriation programmes and forums for the curation of traditional knowledge about land management and tropical resource use.


Damian Evans
Research Fellow | Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris (EFEO)
Damian Evans is a Canadian-Australian researcher whose work focuses on archaeological landscapes in mainland Southeast Asia, in particular those of the Khmer Empire, which dominated the area for several hundred years from the ninth to fourteenth centuries AD. He specializes in using advanced remote sensing technologies such as airborne laser scanning (or “lidar”) to uncover, map and analyse the urban and agricultural networks that stretched between, and beyond, great temple complexes such as Angkor in Cambodia. Evans is also a recipient of a ERC Starting Grant (2015-20).