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Dylan S. Davis

Ph.D. Candidate

303 Carpenter Building
University Park , PA 16802
Email:
Office Phone: (814) 867-0003

Office Hours

  • By appointment

Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  1. M.A. Anthropology, Binghamton University - 2018
  2. B.S. Anthropology & B.A. Geography, Binghamton University (summa cum laude)- 2017
  3. Concentrations: Archaeology and Computer Applications for Human Environmental Analysis

Biography

I am an archaeologist specializing in remote sensing applications and human-environmental interaction. I focus primarily on population settlement distributions and their connections to resource use. Central to my research is evolutionary theory and technologies such as remote sensing and GIS. My research largely focuses on island and coastal regions, and seeks to further our understanding of how people interact with and are affected by their environmental surroundings. I have conducted fieldwork in Italy, the American Southeast, and Madagascar, and have also conducted research in Polynesia. My early graduate career focused on the use of machine learning approaches and their utility for archaeological remote sensing studies of landscape-scale datasets.

My current research continues to utilize automated remote sensing methods and is focused on establishing linkages between environmental conditions and human settlement and mobility patterns in Southwest Madagascar. Using paleoclimate proxies and machine-learning based remote-sensing methods, I am locating archaeological deposits systematically over a landscape scale. This allows archaeologists to study the different ways by which human mobility changes as a result of environmental and socio-political factors.

My research has been funded by a range of institutions, including NASA's Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (2019-2021), the American Philosophical Society (2020-2021), the Explorers Club (2020-2021), Sigma Xi (2020-2021), The National Science Foundation (2021-Present), Microsoft (2019-2020), and National Geographic (2021-2022). I currently serve on the Editorial Board of Archaeological Prospection as an Early Career Researcher. 

Recent Publications:

Davis, D.S., & Sanger, M. C. (in press). Ethical Challenges in the Practice of Remote Sensing and Geophysical Archaeology. Archaeological Prospection.

Davis, D. S., Caspari, G., Sanger, M. C., & Lipo, C. P. (in press). Using Deep Learning to detect rare archaeological features: A case from coastal South Carolina, USA. Society of Exploration Geophysicists Extended Technical Abstracts.

Davis, D. S., Caspari, G., Lipo, C. P., & Sanger, M. C. (2021). Deep Learning Reveals Extent of Archaic Native American Shell-Ring Building Practices. Journal of Archaeological Science. 133:105433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2021.105433

Davis, D. S. (2021). Theoretical repositioning of automated remote sensing archaeology: Shifting from features to ephemeral landscapes. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology. 4(1): 94-109. https://doi.org/10.5334/jcaa.72

Davis, D. S., Buffa, D., Rasolondrainy, T., Creswell, E., Anyanwu, C., Ibirogba, A., Randolph, C., Ouarghidi, A., Phelps, L. N., Lahiniriko, F., Chrisostome, Z. M., Manahira, G., & Douglass, K. (2021). The aerial panopticon and the ethics of archaeological remote sensing sacred cultural spaces. Archaeological Prospection. In Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/arp.1819. Free Access available here

Davis, D. S., K. E. Seeber, and M. C. Sanger. (2020). Addressing the problem of disappearing cultural landscapes in archaeological research using multi-scalar survey. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. In Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2020.1803457

Davis, D. S., R. J. DiNapoli, and K. Douglass. (2020). Integrating point process models, evolutionary ecology, and traditional knowledge improves landscape archaeology: A case from Southwest Madagascar. Geosciences. 10(8): 267.  https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080287

Davis, D. S. (2020). Defining what we study: The contribution of machine automation in archaeological research. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage. 18: e00152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.daach.2020.e00152.

Davis, D. S., DiNapoli, R. J., Sanger, M. C., & Lipo, C. P. (2020). The integration of lidar and legacy datasets provides improved explanations for the spatial patterning of shell rings in the American Southeast. Advances in Archaeological Practice. 8(4): 361-375https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2020.18

Davis, D. S., Buffa, D. C., & Wrobleski, A. C. (2020). Assessing the utility of open-access bathymetric data for shipwreck detection in the United States. Heritage. 3(2): 364-383. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage3020022

Davis, D. S. (2020). Geographic disparity in machine intelligence approaches for archaeological remote sensing research. Remote Sensing. 12(6): 921. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12060921. 

Davis, D. S., Andriankaja, V., Carina, T. L., Chrisostome, Z. M., Colombe, C., Fenomanana, F., Hubertine, L., Justome, R., Lahiniriko, F., Léonce, H., Manahira, G., Pierre, B. V., Roi, R., Soafiavy, P., Victorian, F., Voahirana, V., Manjakahery, B., & Douglass, K. (2020). Satellite-based remote sensing rapidly reveals extensive record of Holocene coastal settlement on Madagascar. Journal of Archaeological Science. 115: 105097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2020.105097.

Davis, D. S., & Douglass, K. (2020). Aerial and Spaceborne Remote Sensing in African Archaeology: A Review of Current Research and Potential Future Avenues. African Archaeological Review. 37(1): 9-24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-020-09373-y

Davis, D. S. (2020). Studying human responses to environmental change: Trends and trajectories of archaeological research. Environmental Archaeology. 25(4):367-380. https://doi.org/10.1080/14614103.2019.1639338

Davis, D. S. (2019). Object-based image analysis: a review of developments and future directions of automated feature detection in landscape archaeology. Archaeological Prospection. 26(2):155-163. https://doi.org/10.1002/arp.1730

Davis, D. S., Lipo, C. P., & Sanger, M. C. (2019). A comparison of automated object extraction methods for earthwork feature identification in South Carolina. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 23:166-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.10.035.

Davis, D. S., Sanger, M. C., & Lipo, C. P. (2019). Automated mound detection using LiDAR and object-based image analysis in Beaufort County, SC. Southeastern Archaeology38(1):23-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/0734578X.2018.1482186.

Courses Taught:

ANTH 1: Understanding Humans, Teaching Assistant (SP-2020), Instructor (SU-2021)

ANTH 9: Rise of Civilization in the Old World, Teaching Assistant (FA-2018, FA-2019)

ANTH 140: Anthropology of Alcohol, Teaching Assistant (FA-2020, SP-2021)

ANTH 426W: Archaeological Laboratory Analysis, Teaching Assistant (SP-2019)

Media Coverage/Public Impact

 

Dissertation

Living with change: An archaeological study of human settlement patterns as environmental adaptations in Late Holocene Madagascar

Dissertation Chair(s)

Kristina Douglass

Research Interests

Human-environmental interaction, settlement patterns, GIS, remote sensing, human behavioral ecology, evolutionary theory, spatial analysis, coastal & island archaeology, climate change