Scholarly and action-oriented team research          


Historical and Ethnoecological Research Lab


We study human-landscape interactions in the past and how those dynamics relate to the present. Our collective research efforts are particularly geared towards the historical ecology of the global north and the co-evolution of people and the inhabited landscape. To study these relationships, we consider methodological approaches from the fields of archaeology, ethnoecology, functional botany, ecology, and molecular biology. Ultimately the goal of the HER Lab is to understand the role of history in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems and to interrogate the role of colonialism within environmental and heritage management research and policy. 


Dr. Armstrong is currently conducting historical-ecological research in northern Ts'msyen and Gitxsan homelands with a focus on traditional resource and environmental management. Current and ongoing work includes the identification and study of ancient forest garden and orchard ecosystems, Indigenous data sovereignty, 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 and outdoor research with a purpose.

Research interests

Landscape archaeology, ethnoecology, historical ecology, environmental archaeology, ethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, phytogeography, traditional resource & environmental management, heritage management, organismal botany, dendrecology, population genetics

Funding sources

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 

Library and Archives Canada

Northern Scientific Training Program

National Geographic

Smithsonian Institution 

Tropical Leaves



Vancouver / Terrace 

HER Lab is located on the Unceded, Ancestral Territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Kwikwitlem (Coquitlam), and Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) Peoples in the south and on Unceded Gitselasu Ts'msyen Territories in the north.  Acknowledgements are nothing without action.