We study human-landscape interactions in the past and how those dynamics relate to the present — particularly towards Indigenous sovereignty and socially informed environmental reclamation. We are interested in the historical ecology of the global north and in exploring the co-evolution of people and the inhabited landscape. To study these relationships we consider methodological approaches from ethnoecology, functional botany, archaeology, ecology, and molecular biology. Ultimately the goal of the HER Lab is understand the role of history in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems and to interrogate the role of colonialism and white supremacy within environmental management research and policy.
Dr. Armstrong is currently conducting research on the historical ecology of northern Ts'msyen and Gitxsan homelands in so-called Canada with a focus on resource extraction history and traditional resource and environmental management. Current and ongoing work includes the identification and study of ancient forest garden ecosystems, impacts of logging and mining on ethnobotanically important plants and Indigenous lifeways, and the evolution of the Malus genus. The HER Lab in Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University is currently accepting exceptional graduate students with a desire to undertake exploratory outdoor research with a purpose.
Ethnoecology, historical ecology, phytogeography, environmental archaeology, traditional resource & environmental management, heritage management, Indigenous Rights and Title, participatory action research, extractive industries, ethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, organismal botany, dendrology, population genetics
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Library and Archives Canada
Northern Scientific Training Program