Stefani Crabtree

It may seem that the problems modern society faces — from climate change to mass migration — are intractable and also unprecedented. However, the archaeological record holds countless examples of humans responding to similar challenges, and of societies discovering solutions. Stefani Crabtree approaches archaeology with a computational and complex systems lens, using data and modern modeling techniques to study how humans have interacted with their ecosystems — as part of the food web and as environmental managers — and how they assessed and dealt with risk. She also looks for ways to detect social transitions and to describe the common ways that societies interacted with their landscapes across the globe and throughout history. “We are poised at a crossroads as a civilization, plagued by many of the same issues that our ancestors faced,” she says. “An understanding of our past will help us make informed decisions about our future.” Crabtree holds two Ph.D.s — one from Washington State University and another from the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de l’Environnement at the Université de Franche-Comté. She has worked extensively with SFI as a visiting researcher, collaborating with VP for Science Jennifer Dunne on the Archaeoecology Project, and as a panelist for the 2018 InterPlanetary Festival. She will join SFI as an ASU-SFI Fellow in June 2019.