Mr Reno Nims

M.S. in Anthropology (Portland State University 2016); B.A. in Anthropology (University of California, Santa Cruz 2011)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Reno Nims started studying anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he received his B.A. in 2011. He wrote a senior honors thesis titled Another Look at the Faunal Remains of CA-SCR-9, which reported his archaeological analysis of the animal bone from a 3,000 year old Native Californian village site.

Following graduation, Reno spent two years working in various capacities for cultural resource management firms in Northwest North America, and for US National Parks in the American Southwest. He also spent a winter in Southern California aboard the wooden schooner Bill of Rights as a Deckhand and Educator developing a maritime archaeology camp for kids aged 9-13. In 2015, Reno returned to Canyon de Chelly National Park as an Assistant Crew Chief to conduct archaeological survey in the back country of Navajo Nation.

Reno completed his M.S. in Anthropology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon in 2016. His master's thesis, titled Sablefish Scarcity and Zooarchaeological Data Quality in Northwest Coast Archaeological Sites, showed that sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) bones are almost entirely absent from the archaeology of Northwest North America, but they are extremely common in at least one site from Washington state.

Reno moved to New Zealand from the United States in 2016 to pursue doctoral research at University of Auckland's Anthropology Department and Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence.

Research | Current

Reno's doctoral research will investigate the archaeological evidence of Māori fishing activity in northern Aotearoa New Zealand to explore how the Little Ice Age (1450-1900 C.E.) affected marine fish stocks and Māori fisheries. His results may help improve fisheries management today by documenting how local fish species have been affected by changing sea surface temperatures in the past. This research will also contribute to a multidisciplinary collaboration between archaeologists and computational mathematicians associated with Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence that seeks to understand the long-term resilience of Aotearoa New Zealand fisheries.

Areas of expertise

Anthropology; Archaeology; Zooarchaeology; Ichthyoarchaeology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Nims, R., Filimoehala, D., Allen, M. S., & Butler, V. L. (2020). When Less is More: Element Selection as Sampling Strategy in Zooarchaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science, 121.10.1016/j.jas.2020.105205
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Melinda Allen
  • Nims, R., & Butler, V. L. (2019). Increasing the Robustness of Meta-analysis Through Life History and Middle-Range Models: an Example from the Northeast Pacific. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 26 (2), 581-618. 10.1007/s10816-018-9383-1
  • Nims, R., & Butler, V. L. (2019). The sablefish ( Anoplopoma fimbria ) of Čḯx w icən: Socioenvironmental lessons from an unusually abundant species. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23, 1187-1187. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.06.028
  • Campbell, M., & Nims, R. (2019). Small Screens, Small Fish and the Diversity of Pre-European Māori Fish Catches. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 10 (2), 43-53. Related URL.
  • Plank, M. J., Allen, M. S., Nims, R., & Ladefoged, T. N. (2018). Inferring fishing intensity from contemporary and archaeological size-frequency data. Journal of Archaeological Science, 93, 42-53. 10.1016/j.jas.2018.01.011
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Melinda Allen, Thegn Ladefoged
  • Nims, R., & Butler, V. L. (2017). Assessing reproducibility in faunal analysis using blind tests: A case study from northwestern North America. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 11, 750-761. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.01.012
  • Nims, R. (2016). Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) Scarcity and Zooarchaeological Data Quality in Northwest Coast Archaeological Sites Portland State University. Department of Anthropology, Portland State University. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 8, Room 855
New Zealand

Web links