Charlotte Pearson gained her Masters degree in Geoarchaeology (2000) and Ph.D. in Archaeological Science (2003) from the University of Reading, UK. Her thesis 'Volcanic Eruptions, Tree rings and Multi-Elemental Chemistry, an Investigation of Dendrochemical Potential for the Absolute Dating of Past Volcanism' began her research career in Mediterranean dendroarchaeology and the use of multi-proxy records to reconstruct past human environmental interactions. At UA she is a professor of Dendrochronology and associate Director of the Center for Mediterranean Archaeology and the Environment which aims to further interdisciplinary collaboration between leading scholars in anthropology, dendrochronology, radiocarbon analysis and geosciences at the University of Arizona.
Research interests include developing new methodologies for the improvement of archaeological chronology and the synchronization of interdisciplinary evidence. Most recently this includes the interdisciplinary chronology of civilizations project (ICCP) which combines tree-ring chronologies and annual resolution radiocarbon analysis to accelerate chronological research in the wider Aegean region through an archaeologically informed, multi-proxy approach. A primary objective of this project is the creation of a new annually-resolved radiocarbon calibration curve from c. 2500-1000 BC which will be used address key chronological issues for Aegean and Near Eastern archaeology. This work will represent the first stage of what she hopes will be a longer duration project contributing to global efforts to enhance the precision and accuracy of radiocarbon analysis for a wide range of users. She is also involved with a number of archaeological science projects including 'Enhancing Shared Facilities for Archaeological Science at the University of Arizona' . This is an NSF-funded project with collaborators in Anthropology, Arizona State Museum and LTRR which centers on the purchase of new XRF instrumentation and the development of new cross-disciplinary applications in archaeological and conservation science, tree-ring research and outreach.
Charlotte teaches on a range of human and environmental interactions, archaeological and dendrochronological topics, with a focus on catastrophic events and how they have impacted past societies. This includes 'Culture, Climate and Catastrophe' ANTH 204 a Tier 2 – Individuals and Societies (INDIV) class in the Fall semester.