I am an Associate Professor of Anthropology at San Diego State University. I study the long-term effects of human land-use decisions and the bidirectional feedbacks between humans and environments. I am particularly interest in early farming and pastoralism and how these first food producing socio-natural systems evolved over time. I am a computational archaeologist, and use a combination of traditional archaeological and geoarchaeological approaches in connection with GIS, computational modeling, and computer simulation to investigate the dynamics of these systems. My work is largely based in a complex adaptive systems theory perspective.

In addition to these large human-environment interaction studies, I also study households, and how people arrange and use their domestic spaces. I analyze the spatial patterning of very small artifacts (“micro-refuse”) recovered from ancient house floors as a way to get at long-term patterns in domesticity.

I am also affiliated with the Center for Climate and Sustainability Studies at SDSU and the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity at Arizona State University. Additional affiliations include the CMSDS, COMSeS/Open-ABM, CHANS-net, and the Society for American Archaeology.

In my spare time, I like taking photographs.


Isaac Ullah, CV (PDF)


Please visit the following links for information about several actively ongoing field and research projects that I am involved with.


I currently teach ANTH 349 “Roots of Civilization,” ANTH 302 “Principles of Archaeology,” ANTH 562 “Computational Archaeology,” ANTH 583 “Anthropogenic Landscapes,” and ANTH 602 “Graduate Seminar in Archaeology.” I also have lead undergraduate internships (ANTH 495) in historic preservation in coalition with the La Mesa Historical Society and the City of La Mesa, and have mentored several special topics courses for undergraduates (ANTH 499), and graduate students (ANTH 798).


Please see my Google Scholar Citation Index page and/or my Scopus profile for a complete list of my publications, their citation indices, and lists of works that cite them, and links to downloadable PDF’s where available.

Web Presence

You can find me at the following places: