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Welcome to the McMaster Paleoethnobotanical Research Facility!

Our research at the MPERF focuses on foodways and ethnoecology, drawing information from botanical residues to understand human-plant relationships in the ancient past. Paleoethnobotancial research enables us to pose new questions about human adaptations to climate shifts and human impacts on local environments over time.  Paleoethnobotany also contributes to understandings of culinary practices and gastronomic traditions as they have unfolded historically.

Through generous funding provided by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the MPERF laboratories house extraction materials and microscopy equipment for macrobotanical analysis, extraction materials and microscopy equipment for microbotanical analysis, and a portable NanoRam spectrometer for limited chemical analysis of uncharred botanical specimens. Active projects include work in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, and Ontario. 

There are opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students, and visiting scholars.  Please contact Dr. Shanti Morell-Hart with any questions.


Physical locations on campus