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Photo of Vance, Ashley E.

Ashley E. Vance

PIF Fellow


Ashley E. Vance is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department at UIC. As an Andean archaeologist, Ashley specializes in the excavation, analysis, curation, and long-term conservation of malacological (or shell) taxa and artifacts. Her doctoral research involves examining the usage of the Pacific marine bivalve, Spondylus, among multiple pre-Hispanic cultures to reconstruct ancient exchange networks in the Andes. This multi-disciplinary project also employs a paleoecological lens to demonstrate how environmental constraints structured Spondylus exchange in the past.

Ashley holds a master’s degree in Anthropology and a concentration in Museum Studies from UIC. Presently, she is a Scientific Affiliate at the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, IL). Since 2018, Ashley has also been assisting colleagues at the University of Chicago with aging freshwater shell specimens from various lakes and rivers in the Midwest.