Robert Gustas

Robert Gustas

PhD candidate


Quentin Mackie
Iain McKechnie


Evolution and ecology
Space, place, knowledge and power

Research: Robert is a geospatial archaeologist focusing on creating estimates of precontact population size on the Northwest Coast. His work centers on the application of GIS-based techniques to better understanding the scale and scope of Indigenous population decline through the Contact period. Additionally, Robert looks at the distribution and availability of past marine resources on the Pacific Northwest Coast through computer modeling.

Robert completed his BA at Humboldt State University and did his MA at the University of Alberta where he was an ESRI Canada Young Scholar award winner. His thesis work looked at the application of Least Cost Path Analysis to maritime migration on the Pacific Northwest Coast during the Late Pleistocene. Specifically, this project created models which more accurately allow for the identification of very old sites on drowned and stranded shorelines. He is now working on his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Iain McKechnie and Quentin Mackie 

Interests: GIS, Population Estimation, Demography, Remote Sensing, Late Classic Maya, Landscape Archaeology, and Digital Archaeology.


Gustas, Robert and Kisha Supernant: 2019 Coastal Migration into the Americas and Least Cost Path Analysis. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 54:192–206. DOI:10/gfz2dr.

Gustas, Robert and Kisha Supernant: 2017 Least cost path analysis of early maritime movement on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Journal of Archaeological Science 78(2017):40-56. DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2016.11.006.