Stefani is a computational archaeologist, field archaeologist, complexity scientist and ethnographer. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Human Environmental Dynamics laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University leading trophic analyses in Western Australia and part of an NSF funded comparative food webs project. In 2016 she was awarded two PhDs, one in anthropology at Washington State University under the direction of Tim Kohler, the other at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et Environnement at the Université de Franche-Comté under the co-direction of Laure Nuninger and François Favory. Stefani’s interests lie in agent-based modeling, food web modeling, and social network analysis. Her dissertation focused on both the Ancestral Pueblo U.S. Southwest and the Bronze Age to Iron Age transition in southern France. She additionally works with Julia Clark in northern Mongolia.


Stefani grew up in the small town of Bend, Oregon, and before college had never set foot out of the continental United States. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in Paris, taking courses in Art History, Egyptology and the Archaeology of Islam at Paris Sorbonne Michelet. She was a Watson Fellow in 2004-2005, living in New Zealand, Samoa, India and Vietnam doing a multi-site ethnography on how women of indigenous cultures use traditional medicine in pregnancy and childbirth. In graduate school Stefani has been an NSF graduate research fellow and a Chateaubriand fellow.

Stefani is interested in how complexity science can help us understand the archaeological past. Follow her on twitter @StefaniCrabtree