Staff Spotlight

Dr. Karen J. Walker

Karen Walker portraitAssistant Scientist/Collections Manager, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography
134A Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611



Ph.D. University of Florida, 1992

South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography

Environmental Archaeology


Concurrent Appointments

  • Affiliate Scientist, UF Department of Anthropology
  • Environmental Archaeologist and Chair of Research & Collections Committee, Randell Research Center at Pineland


Research Interests

  • Human-environment relationships in prehistoric, coastal southwest Florida, including the Pine Island Sound/Charlotte Harbor, Ten Thousand Islands, and Everglades regions
  • Late Holocene coastal sites as proxies for environmental change, including climate and sea level
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century Florida archaeology


Ongoing Fieldwork

Southwest Florida: Pineland Site Complex; Useppa Island; modern beds of M. campechiensis in Pine Island Sound


Outreach Projects

FLMNH/Gainesville: Hall of South Florida People and Environments. Randell Research Center at Pineland, Lee County, FL: archaeological tours (e.g., Pineland); exhibits (e.g., Calusa Heritage Trail); education (e.g., including teacher workshops); events (e.g., Calusa Fest); volunteerism (e.g., research participants); public talks; etc.


Courses Taught

Zooarchaeology Fall, 1999


Representative Publications

Walker, K. J. and W. H. Marquardt (contributors and editors) in prep. The Archaeology of Pineland: A Coastal Southwest Florida Site Complex, A.D. 50 - 1710. Institute of Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental Studies, Monograph 4. University of Florida, Gainesville.

Surge, D. and K. J. Walker in press. Geochemical variation in microstructural shell layers of the southern quahog (Mercenaria campechiensis): implications for reconstructing seasonality.Geological Society of American Special Issue.

Walker, K. J. and D. Surge in press. Late Holocene climate change and human response in the Calusa region of coastal southwest Florida: developing geochemical proxies from archaeological sources. Quaternary International.

Walker, K. J. 2003 An illustrated guide to trunk vertebrae of cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) in Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 44(1):91-100.

Walker, K. J. 2000 Historical Ecology of the Southeastern Longleaf and Slash Pine Flatwoods: A Southwest Florida Perspective. Journal of Ethnobiology 20(2):269-299.

Walker, K. J. 2000 The Material Culture of Precolumbian Fishing: Artifacts and Fish Remains from Coastal Southwest Florida.Southeastern Archaeology 19(1):24-45.

Walker, K. J. 2000 A Cooling Episode in Southwest Florida During the Sixth and Seventh Centuries A.D. In The Years Without Summer: Tracing A.D. 536 and Its Aftermath, edited by J. Gunn, pp. 119-127. Archaeopress, Oxford.

Walker, K. J., F. Stapor, and W. Marquardt 1995 Archaeological evidence for a 1750-1450 BP higher-than-present sea level along Florida's Gulf coast. Journal of Coastal Research Special Issue No. 17: Holocene Cycles: Climate, Sea Levels, and Sedimentation, pp. 205-218.

Walker, K. J., F. Stapor, and W. Marquardt 1994 Episodic Sea Levels and Human Occupation at Southwest Florida's Wightman Site. The Florida Anthropologist 47(2):161-179.

Walker, K. J. 1992 The Zooarchaeology of Charlotte Harbor's Prehistoric Maritime Adaptation: Spatial and Temporal Perspectives. In Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa, edited by W. Marquardt, pp. 265-366. Institute of Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental Studies, Monograph 1. University of Florida, Gainesville.