Jo Osborn

Jo Osborn is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Zooarchaeology for the LASTJOURNEY project based at the University of Exeter. She is an anthropologist archaeologist specializing in zooarchaeology, and earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. Broadly, she is interested in the ways human societies adapt and respond to changes and challenges in their environment.

Her doctoral research examined maritime specialization and economic complementarity on the Peruvian south coast, centering on excavations she directed at the Topará fishing village of Jahuay (Chincha, Peru). There, maritime adaptations and regional exchange operated as cultural adaptations for buffering against climatic uncertainty caused by El Niño South Oscillation cycles. Publications based on this research have explored the use of El Niño-resilient bivalve species as resources for buffering against climate variability, and challenged persistent chronologies to reevaluate the decline and transformation of Paracas society during the final centuries BC. Jo is also interested in the application of Bayesian approaches to archaeological questions, ranging from improving chronologies to addressing equifinality in faunal assemblages.

On the LASTJOURNEY project, Jo analyzes the faunal remains from the Serranía la Lindosa for evidence of seasonal site usage. She is also exploring how Amazonian taphonomic processes have affected the assemblage structure, rendering certain species analytically absent.