Katelyn McDonough

Postdoctoral Scholar
Katelyn McDonough
Ph.D., RPA


Katelyn McDonough’s research investigates the relationships between people, foodways and environment in western North America with an emphasis on plant use and landscape change during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. She uses micro and macro-botanical techniques and approaches from evolutionary ecology to explore these issues.

In addition to human paleoecological research, Katelyn has worked in cultural research management positions for the University of Oregon and Bureau of Land Management. She is actively involved with fieldwork and collections-based research throughout the northwestern Great Basin and is co-director (with Dennis Jenkins) of the Archaeology Field School at the Connley Caves site in central Oregon.

As a postdoc with the Great Basin Paleoindian Research Unit, Katelyn’s research will use paleoethnobotanical, palynological and parasitological data to develop a better understanding of human nutrition, health and seasonal mobility during the Paleoindian period. Her research will also investigate past ecosystem dynamics with the goal of providing better context for understanding cultural change and human adaptations.

Research interests

  • Human paleoecology
  • Great Basin archaeology
  • Peopling of the Americas
  • Paleoethnobotany
  • Palynology

Selected publications

  • Rosencrance, Richard L. and Katelyn McDonough. Ten Thousand Years in the High Rock Country: New Radiocarbon Dates from Hanging Rockshelter (25WA1502), Nevada. Nevada Archaeologist. 2021.
  • McDonough, Katelyn, and Richard Rosencrance. Gifts from the Pueblo Valley: Analysis of a Donated Collection from Far Southwestern Oregon. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. 39(2):205-221.
  • McDonough, Katelyn. Middle Holocene Menus: Dietary Reconstruction from Coprolites at the Connley Caves, Oregon, USA. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11: 5963-5982. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-019-00828-1.
  • Beck, Chase, Vaughn Bryant, and Katelyn McDonough. Evidence for Non-Random Distribution of Pollen in Human Coprolites. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11: 5983-5998. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-019-00839-y.
  • Shillito, Lisa-Marie, John C. Blong, Dennis L. Jenkins, Tom W. Stafford, Helen Whelton, Katelyn McDonough, and Ian Bull. New Research at Paisley Caves: Applying New Integrated Analytical Approaches to Understanding Stratigraphy, Taphonomy, and Site Formation Processes. PaleoAmerica. 4(1):82-86.
  • Jenkins, Dennis L., Justin A. Holcomb, and Katelyn McDonough. Current Research at the Connley Caves (35LK50): Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Western Stemmed Tradition Occupations in the Fort Rock Basin, Oregon. PaleoAmerica. 3(2):188-192.
  • Jenkins, Dennis L., Loren G. Davis, Thomas W. Stafford, Jr., Thomas J. Connolly, Michael Rondeau, Linda Scott Cummings, Bryan Hockett, Katelyn McDonough, Ian Luthe, Patrick W. O'Grady, Karl J. Reinhard, Mark E. Swisher, Frances White, Robert M. Yohe II, Chad Yost, Eske Willerslev. Younger Dryas Archaeology and Human Experience at the Paisley Caves in the Northern Great Basin. Stones, Bones, and Profiles: Exploring Archaeological Context, Early American Hunter-Gatherers, and Bison. Edited by Marcel Kornfeld and Bruce B. Huckell, University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Curriculum Vitae