Ariel Taivalkoski

Louisiana Lab Director

University of Michigan, BA Anthropology

University at Buffalo, MA Anthropology

University at Buffalo, PhD Anthropology



Ariel Taivalkoski joined CRA in 2023 and serves as Laboratory Director in the Louisiana office. She has 14 years of archaeology experience in field and laboratory-based projects. She has primarily worked in Alaska, Illinois, and New York and participated in archaeological excavations and laboratory projects in Italy, Northern Ireland, and Romania. Ariel is responsible for planning and coordinating laboratory processing and analyses, coordinating with curatorial repositories, preparing collections for the final disposition of artifacts and project records, and contributing to technical reports.


She studied anthropology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, from 2008 to 2012. During that time, she worked for the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP: PS), performing faunal and flotation analysis in Ann Arbor and Pompeii, Italy. After graduating, she spent a year working for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, excavating the East St. Louis Bridge site and assisting with ceramic and human remains analysis. In 2013, Ariel enrolled in the graduate program at the University at Buffalo, where she earned her master’s in 2015 performing scanning electron microscopy analysis of avian eggshells from the PARP: PS project. In 2020, she completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University at Buffalo. Her dissertation combined oral historic, ethno-historic, and archaeological data to examine the impact of environmental and cultural changes on the relationship between the prehistoric inhabitants of Alaska’s Rat Islands and birds.


In her free time, Ariel enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her fiancé and dog.