The bio-degradation of starch by microbial communities is a complex process that leads to differential destruction or damage of the molecule. The key to understanding these processes in the archaeological record is controlled lab experimentation in which native starches are subjected to variable environmental conditions and microbial strains that can be identified through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We use various proxies for microbial activity to understand the differential consumption of carbohydrates and the impact this has on starch granule morphology and structure.

The University of Calgary Microbiology department, and especially Dr. Peter Dunfield and his research team are partners with the SDS project.



Partnership Activities
  • Hosting of a presentation by SDS researcher Tope Akeju titled ‘Biodegradation of Starch by Microbial Communities in Soil Collected from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania’
  • Support for SDS researcher Tope Akeju’s Masters program
  • Participated in ‘Biochemistry of Starch Degradation: Taphonomic Insights’ workshop at the University of Calgary