Dr. Ford’s research focuses on the ancient Maya and the tropical forest of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Archaeological field and laboratory work has concentrated in the upper Belize River area and El Pilar, and has both basic and applied components. Working on the development of complexity and land use change, data have been collected on settlement patterns and household collections. The discovery of a major Maya center, El Pilar, has lead to studies of conservation and development of the Maya forest working towards the preservation of the cultural heritage in context of the natural environment. Community and protected area development play a role in the field projects. Results have impact on the interpretation of sustainable in the tropics today.
Our collaboration with her is through conducting Organic Residue Analysis on Mayan pottery to look for the biomarkers of cacao. Distribution of cacao reveals information on distinction.