Associate Professor Melinda S Allen
BA, MA, PhD
Research | Current
Melinda’s research is in the area of human palaeoecology, including human-climate relations, human ecodynamics, construction of anthropogenic environments, and processes leading to social resilience. Her current research relates to long-term variation in traditional Polynesian marine fisheries, diets and health of prehistoric Pacific Islanders and their commensal animals, and colonisation processes in Polynesia.
Teaching | Current
Department: Department of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Archaeology
Availability in 2015
Coming of the Māori
Not offered in 2015
Semester 1 and 2 (full year)
Present graduate students
- Seth Quintus (PhD) – Human ecodynamics of terrestrial food production on Ofu Island, Manu'a, American Samoa, University Doctoral Scholar (primary supervisor).
- Sophie Miller (MA) - Bone histology (co-supervisor w/ J. Littleton, 2014)
- Lisa McKendry (MA) - Archaelogical evidence for Maori fibre use (co-supervisor w/ Ethan Cochrane, 2014)
Past graduate students (recent) – PhDs
- Jennifer Huebert (PhD) – The role of arboriculture in landscape domestication and agronomic development: A case study from the Marquesas Islands, East Polynesia; University Doctoral Scholar (primary supervisor, completed 2014).
- Andrew McAlister (PhD) – Methodological issues in the geochemical characterisation and morphological analysis of stone tools: a case study from Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, East Polynesia. University Doctoral Scholar (completed 2011).
- Jacqui A. Craig (PhD) – Stable isotope analysis of prehistoric human and commensal diets on Aitutaki, southern Cook Islands (co-supervisor Dr. Judith Littleton) (2009).
Past graduate students (recent) – MAs and BAHons
- Laura Dawson (MA) - Marquesan pig husbandry: insights from dental calculus (2013)
- Adam Hand (MA) - Maori and vegetation processes: wood charcoal analyses (2013)
- Lisa McKendry (BAHons) - Durabillity and strength properties of traditional Maori fibers (2013)
- Sophie Miller(BAHons )- Oral pathologies in southern Cook Island pigs (primar supervisor w/ Judith Littleton) (2013)
- Sayali Sangamnerkar (BAHons) - Interaction and exchange in the Cook Islands: stone tool geochemistry on Aitutaki, (primary supervisor w/ P. Sheppard) (2013)
- Laura Dawson (BAHons) – Dental calculus in Polynesian pigs: A pilot study (2012)
- Adam Hand (BAHons) – Māori fuel use and vegetation histories on Great Mercury Island (1' supervisor with Rod Wallace) (2012)
- Annie Stephens (BAHons) – History and function in Polynesian coral abraders (2012)
- Rebecca Walley (BAHons) – Fish stressors, osteological indicators & bio-archaeological potentials (2012).
- Alison Preston (MA) – Element choice, analytical bias and archaeofish interpretations: a case study from the Cook Islands. Faculty of Arts Scholarship.
- Sarah Ricketts (BAHons), Stone use and sourcing in Northland, New Zealand (w/ R. Philipps) (2011).
- Callan Ross-Sheppard (BAHons), Obsidian exchange and human interaction in the Bismarck Archipelago (primary supervisor w/ P. Sheppard) (2011).
- Eleanor Strurrock (BAHons), Māori use of estuarine environments (2011).
- Jennifer Huebert (MA) – The Reconstruction of past vegetation in the Anaho Valley, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands using archaeological wood charcoal (2009).
- Tamara Mason (MA) – Shellfish analysis and Maori shellfish use at Opoutere, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand (2009).
- Ella Ussher (MA) – Application of starch residue analysis within archaeological research in the Pacific (2009).
- Hannah Cowie (MA) – Enamel hypoplasia in humans and their commensals: Identification of developmental stress in the Marquesas Islands (co-supervisor Dr Judith Littleton) (2009).
- Andrea Crown (MA) – Settlement proxemics and late prehistoric residential organisation in Anaho Bay, Marquesas Islands (2009).
- Ben Davies (MA) – Analysis of resource limitations and prehistoric settlement on Nihoa, Northwest Hawaiian Islands: An agent-based approach (2009).
- Jen Huebert (PGDipArts dissertation) – Archaeobotanical investigation of wood charcoal from earth ovens in the Marquesas Islands (2008).
- Victoria Wichman (MA) – Prehistoric Māori Fishing at Tauroa Point, Northland, New Zealand (2006).
- Kelila Jaffee (MA) – Midden Deposition and Analysis: The Oropuriri Shell Assemblage (2005).
- Andrew McAlister (MA) – Prehistoric Fishing at Fakaofo, Tokelau: A Case for Resource Depression on a Small Atoll (2002).
- Leith MacDonald (MA) – Going bats: An archaeological investigation of Flying Fox usage in prehistoric Vanuatu (2002).
- Alaric Nicholls (MA) – Fishing for Ancient DNA: The development and application of a molecular technique for species identification of archaeological serranid remains (2000).
- Stuart Hawkins (MA) – Voyagers and fishermen: Early prehistoric fishing on Naigani Island, Fiji (2000).
- Jonathon Welch (MA) – The prehistoric stone row and wall systems of New Zealand and related factors of climate and soil (2000).
Areas of expertise
Pacific prehistory, human palaeoecology, human-climate interactions, Polynesian marine fisheries and technologies.
Editor, Journal of the Polynesian Society
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Allen, M. (2014). Short-Lived Plant Materials, Long-Lived Trees, and Polynesian 14C Dating: Considerations for 14C Sample Selection and Documentation. Radiocarbon, 56 (1).10.2458/56.16784
- Allen, M. S. (2014). Marquesan colonisation chronologies and post-colonisation interaction: implicationsfor Hawaiian origins and the “Marquesan Homeland” hypothesis. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 5 (2), 1-17.
- Allen, M. S. (2014). Variability is in the mesh-size of the sorter: Harataonga Beach and spatio-temporal patterning in northern Māori fisheries. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 5 (1), 21-38.
- Allen, M. S., & Morrison, A. E. (2013). Modelling site formation dynamics: Geoarchaeological, chronometric and statistical approaches to a stratified rockshelter sequence, Polynesia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40 (12), 4560-4575. 10.1016/j.jas.2013.06.008
- Allen, M. S., & McAlister, A. (2013). Early Marquesan settlement and patterns of interaction: new insights from Hatiheu Valley, Nuku Hiva Island. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 4 (1), 90-109.
- McAlister, A., Sheppard, P. J., & Allen, M. S. (2013). The identification of a Marquesan adze in the Cook Islands. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 122 (3), 257-273. 10.15286/jps.122.3.257-274
- Allen, M. S., & Ussher, E. (2013). Starch analysis reveals prehistoric plant translocations and shell tool use, marquesas islands, polynesia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40 (6), 2799-2812.
- Allen, M. S. (2012). Molluscan foraging efficiency and patterns of mobility amongst foraging agriculturalists: a case study from northern New Zealand. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39 (2), 295-307. 10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.013