Staff Research Associate, Department of Computer Science, UCLA

I write, edit, develop, and project manage for Eleazar Eskin's computational genomics lab in the Computer Science department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Check out our blog: http://zarlab.cs.ucla.edu/.

Mangul, Serghei, Lana S. Martin, Margaret Distler, Eleazar Eskin, and Jonathan Flint. 2017. Best practices for conducting benchmarking in the most comprehensive and reproducible way. PeerJ preprint e3149v1. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.3236v1.

Mangul, Serghei, Lana S. Martin, and Eleazar Eskin. 2017. Involving undergraduates in genomics research to narrow the education-research gap. PeerJ preprint e3149v1. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.3149v1.

Mangul, Serghei, Lana S. Martin, Alexander Hoffmann, Matteo Pellegrini, and Eleazar Eskin. 2017. Addressing the Digital Divide in Contemporary Biology: Lessons from Teaching UNIX. Trends in Biotechnology 35(10):901-903. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.007.

Mangul, Serghei, Sarah Van Driesche, Lana S. Martin, Kelsey C. Martin, and Eleazar Eskin. 2017. UMI-Reducer: Collapsing duplicate sequencing reads via Unique Molecular Identifiers. bioRxiv preprint 103267. doi: 10.1101/103267.

Martin, Lana S., and Eleazar Eskin. 2016. Review: Population Structure in Genetic Studies: Confounding Factors and Mixed Models. bioRxiv preprint 092106. doi: 10.1101/092106.


Foodways and Landscapes in
Ancient Panamá

On-going excavation, pedestrian and geophysical survey, and archaeobotanical sampling of a Late Ceramic Period village site (ca. AD 700 to 1500) located in Western Caribbean Panamá.

Doctoral dissertation:
Martin, L.S., 2015. Forests, Gardens, and Fisheries in an Ancient Chiefdom: Paleoethnobotany and Zooarchaeology at Sitio Drago, a Late Ceramic Phase Village in Bocas del Toro, Panama (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles).

Neolithic Demographic Transitions
in the New World

Analyze proxy indicators of paleodemography, including human skeletal, settlement pattern, and radiocarbon frequency data, in order to reconstruct the timing and shape of the transition to agricultural-dependent foodways in the Americas.

Lesure, R.G., Martin, L.S., Bishop, K.J., Jackson, B. and Chykerda, C.M., 2014. The Neolithic demographic transition in Mesoamerica. Current Anthropology, 55(5), pp.654-664.

Response to Prolonged Drought
in Southern California

Analyzed macrobotanical materials and sorted shell midden, microlithic materials, and shell beads. Participated in pedestrian survey of Laguna Canyon, Santa Cruz Island.

Arnold, J. and Martin, L., 2014. Botanical Evidence of Paleodietary and Environmental Change: Drought on the Channel Islands, California. American Antiquity, 79(2), pp.227-248.

Master's thesis:
Martin, L.S., 2010. Reconstructing Paleoenvironmental Instability and Plant Resource Availability on Santa Cruz Island using Macrobotanical Analysis (Master's thesis, University of California, Los Angeles).

Archaic Hunter-Gatherer Settlements
in Texas

Assisted in the excavation, mapping, and analysis of artifacts recovered from a multi-occupation Late Paleoindian to Archaic site located on the lower Guadalupe floodplain in Texas.

Senior thesis:
Martin, L.S., 2006. Variability in Hunter-gatherer Mortuary Practices: An Analysis of the Crestmont Site (41 WH39) Burial Inclusions (Senior thesis, University of Texas at Austin).


Historical Ecology of Small-Scale Societies

I am interested in human-environment interactions over hundreds or thousands of years, particularly the modifications that people in non-capitalist societies create on the landscape for improved food production.

Transitions to Agriculture

I am also interested in the wide-scale cultural, demographic, and ecological transition that many human societies experience when moving from a lifestyle of more mobile hunting and gathering to one of settlement and agriculture.


I use macrobotanical (seeds, wood) and microbotanical (microscopic structures) plant remains to explore the environmental, farming, hunting, and culinary histories of human societies in deep-time.


I combine plant data with faunal remains–animal bones that have been used by humans and discarded–to explore how people altered landscapes to improve quantity and quality of plant and animal resources.

I lecture at University of California, Los Angeles and Santa Monica College. Download my teaching statement [PDF].

Archaeology of Los Angeles

Upper-division, advanced survey of prehistoric and historic archaeology that examines the origin, development, and demographic transformation of human occupation in the Los Angeles Basin from 11,000 years ago to present. We will explore, in chronological order, case studies representing the past and present social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues surrounding, among other places, La Brea Tar Pits, Gabrielino-Tongva and coastal Chumash villages, El Pueblo de Los Ángeles, and Chinatown. Download the syllabus [PDF]

Introduction to Archaeology

If we think of the history of the earth up to present as a 24-hour clock, humans take the stage at 11:58 PM. Despite this late entrance, our species has expanded in population size and impacted the planet in ways unique from other organisms. This course explores the past 5 million years, from early human origins in Africa to the spread of people first to Asia and Europe, and later to Australia and the Americas. We go behind the scenes to discover tools used in constructing narratives such as the development of complexity, origins of agriculture, and rise of the state. Download the syllabus [PDF]

Principles of Archaeology

This course is an advanced introduction to the field of archaeology that explores how archaeologists think about the archaeological record and the methods they use to study ancient societies. Major topics include formation processes, field techniques and research design, dating methods, artifact analysis, and the archaeological study of human-environment relationships, social organization, and ideology. Toward the end of the course we will also explore archaeological careers and the place of archaeology in modern society. Download the syllabus [PDF]

what they say about me

Lana really cares about student learning, and we all felt comfortable giving her feedback on assessments, especially after the take-home midterm. This fostered a respectful atmosphere.

Student, UCLA Anthro 8

I had an interest in archaeology before this quarter, but my interest in the subject material is much greater after taking this course. Lana is organized, shows a dedication to her students, and is on top of getting grades out in a timely fashion.

Student, UCLA Anthro 8

Lana is not afraid to joke around during the class and occasionally poke fun a the idiosyncrasies of the archaeological field, but, as a biochemistry major, I found it all very fascinating.

Student, Anthro 8

Lana has good communication skills and is very approachable. She expands on the lectures and puts material in a timeline accordance that allows students to have a better understanding of the course material.

Student, Anthro 110P


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, March 2017

All content © 2017 Lana Martin. All rights reserved.