Paula Ugalde

PhD Student

About Paula Ugalde

I am a doctoral student in the Anthropology program. My major is in Archaeology and my minor in Geosciences. I come from Chile, where I earned my BA in Archaeology (Universidad de Chile, 2010). My research focuses on the early peopling of the Atacama Desert. Broadly, I am interested in the history of humans settling harsh and unknown territories, particularly hunter-gatherer groups. I am also interested in human-plant relatioships, and wild plant management. I enjoy outreach and educational activities - and think they are completely necessary. My most recent work in this aspect is a story for children based on the Inca period, but from the periphery perspective. 

Selected Publications

2020    Landscape evolution and the environmental context of human occupation of the southern Pampa del Tamarugal, Atacama Desert, Chile. T.R. Workman, J.A. Rech, E.M. Gayo, C.M. Santoro, P.C. Ugalde, R. De Pol-Holz, J.M. Capriles, C. Latorre. Quaternary Science Reviews 243: 106502.


2020    Processes of Paleoindian site and desert pavement formation in the Atacama Desert, Chile. P.C. Ugalde, J. Quade, C.M. Santoro, V.T. Holliday. Quaternary Research, 1-23. doi:10.1017/qua.2020.39


2020    13,000 years of sociocultural plant use in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. P.C. Ugalde, V. McRostie, E.M. Gayo, M. García, C. Latorre, and C.M. Santoro. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (2020).


2019    From the Pacific to the tropical forests: networks of social interaction in the Atacama Desert, late in the Pleistocene. M. Santoro, E.M. Gayo, J.M. Carpiles, M.M. Rivadeneira, K.A. Herrera, V.M. Mandakovic, J.A. Rech, B. Cases, L. Briones, L. Olguín, D. Valenzuela, L.A. Borrero, P.C. Ugalde, F. Rothhammer, C. Latorre, P. Szpak. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena 51: 5-25.


2017    Hunter-Gatherer mobility strategies in the high Andes of Northern Chile during the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition (ca. 11,500-9500 cal B.P.). D. Osorio, J.M. Carriles, P.C. Ugalde, K.A. Herrera, M. Sepúlveda, E.M. Gato, C. Latorre, D. Jackson, R. De Pol-Holz, C. Santoro. Journal of Field Archaeology 42:228-240.

2017    Late Pleistocene fuel management and human colonization of the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile. D. Joly, C.M. Santoro, E.M. Gayo, P.C. Ugalde, R.J. March, R. Carmona, D. Marguerie, C. Latorre. Latin American Antiquity 28: 144-160.

2017.   Continuities and discontinuities in the socio-environmental systems of the Atacama Desert during the last 13,000 years. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 46: 28-39. Santoro, J.M. Capriles, E.M. Gayo, M.E. de Porras, A. Maldonado, V.G. Standen, C. Latorre, V. Castro, D. Angelo, V. McRostie, M. Uribe, D. Valenzuela, P.C. Ugalde, P.A. Marquet.

2017.   The Dry Puna as an ecological megapatch and the peopling of South America: Technology, mobility, and the development of a late Pleistocene/early Holocene Andean hunter-gatherer tradition in northern Chile. Osorio, Daniela, James Steele, Marcela Sepúlveda, Eugenia M Gayo, José M Capriles, Katherine Herrera, Paula C. Ugalde, Ricardo De Pol-Holz, Claudio Latorre, and Calogero M Santoro. Quaternary International 461: 41–53.

2017    Consumo prehispánico de sustancias psicoactivas en el norte de Chile sugiere redes tempranas de intercambio con el Altiplano Central y la Amazonía. Interciencia 42: 459-463. J.P. Ogalde, B.T. Arriaza, C.M. Santoro, J.M. Capriles, G. Puddu, P.C. Ugalde, F. Rothhammer.

2015    How do surficial lithic assemblages weather in arid environments? A case study from the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile. Geoarchaeology 30: 352-368. P.C. Ugalde, C.M. Santoro, E.M. Gayo, C. Latorre, S. Maldonado, R. de Pol-Holz & D. Jackson.

2015    Análisis tecno-tipológico de instrumentos líticos del sitio arcaico temprano Ipilla 2 en los Andes de Arica, Chile. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena 47: 41-52. K.A. Herrera, P.C. Ugalde, D. Osorio, J.M. Capriles, S. Hocsman & C.M. Santoro.

2013    Late Pleistocene human occupation of the hyperarid core in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Quaternary Science Reviews 77: 19-30. C. Latorre, C.M. Santoro, P.C. Ugalde, E.M. Gayo, D.Osorio, C. Salas-Egaña, R. De Pol-Holz, D. Joly & J.A. Rech.

2011 (2013)    Ocupaciones humanas tempranas y condiciones paleoambientales en el Desierto de Atacama durante la transición Pleistoceno-Holoceno. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP 15: 1-20 / ISSN 1029-2004. C.M. Santoro, D. Osorio, V.G. Standen, P.C. Ugalde, K. Herrera, E.M. Gayo, F. Rothhammer & C. Latorre.

2011    Hakenasa cave and its relevance for the peopling of the southern Andean Altiplano. Antiquity 85: 1194-1208. D. Osorio, D. Jackson, P.C. Ugalde, C. Latorre, R. De Pol-Holz & C.M. Santoro.

2011    Ocupación humana pleistocénica en el Desierto de Atacama: Primeros resultados de la aplicación de un modelo predictivo de investigación interdisciplinaria. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena 43(2): 353-366. C.M. Santoro, P.C. Ugalde, C. Latorre, C. Salas, D. Osorio, D. Jackson & E. Gayo.

2010    Early Holocene climate change and human occupation along the semiarid coast of north-central Chile. Journal of Quaternary Science 25 (6): 958-988. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1385. A. Maldonado, C. Méndez, P. Ugalde, D. Jackson, R. Seguel & C. Latorre.

Book chapters

2017    Historia Prehispánica de la región de Arica y Parinacota. P.C. Ugalde, C.M. Santoro, D. Osorio, J.M. Capriles. In: Arica y Parinacota, Cultural Landscape of America. Fundación Altiplano Monseñor Salas Valdés, Gobierno Regional de Arica y Parinacota & Consejo Nacional de la Cultural y las Artes, Arica.

2016    Cazadores, recolectores y pescadores arcaicos del desierto de Atacama. Entre el Pacífico y los Andes, norte de Chile (ca. 10.000 – 3.700 años a.p.). C.M. Santoro, D. Osorio, P.C. Ugalde, M. Sepúlveda, I. Cartajena, V.G. Standen, E.M. Gayo, A. Maldonado, M.M. Rivadeneira, C. Latorre, B.T. Arriaza, F. Rothhammer, P. de Souza, C. Carrasco & L. Núñez. In: Culturas de Chile: Prehistoria, Nueva Edición, Fernanda Falabella y Mauricio Uribe, eds. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago.



Courses Taught


Anth 160D2: Origins of Human Diversity, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona (Online Summer Course, 2020).

Laboratory methods and techniques II: Lithics. Anthropology Undergraduate Program, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile. (2010 and 2015).

Teaching Assistantships: 

Anth 160A1: World Archaeology (Dr. Daniela Triadan, Instructor). Fall 2020.

Anth 160D2: Origins of Human Diversity (Dr. Matthew Rowe, Instructor). Spring 2018.

Anth 235: Principles of Archaeology (Dr. Robert Schon, Instructor). Fall 2017.


Areas of Study

Atacama Desert, Chile; Andes.

Research Interests

Hunter-gatherers; mobility and migration; lithic studies; taphonomy; geoarchaeology; plant-human relationships; desert environments; Atacama Desert; archaeological theory.