Are the bones and artifacts we find in their original context?
I aim to help archaeologists, palaeoanthropologists, and palaeontologists better describe and explain the spatial, temporal, and biological relationships within and between assemblages of exhumed bones, teeth, and artifacts. As a multidisciplinary researcher, I approach this through the lenses of taphonomy and geochemistry by focusing on the sedimentary context of excavated objects, their preservation states, their geochemical characteristics, and the degree to which they have been physically and chemically altered post-mortem. My objective is to further develop the application of geochemistry for acquiring information not obtainable with traditional archaeometric analyses and osteometry, facilitating the interpretation of the source, identity, and movement of humans and their artifacts through space and time.
2018/2019 UBC Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award | UBC Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic | April 2019
EOAS Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2014-2015) | Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) | UBC | September 2015
Certificate in Advanced Teaching and Learning | Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) | UBC | December 2017
Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW) | The ISW Advisory Committee | British Columbia Institute of Technology | Vancouver, BC | May 2015
Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) | The ISW Advisory Committee | Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) | UBC | November 2014
PhD in Geological Science (Geochemistry), The University of British Columbia (2014-Present)
BA with Distinction, Anthropology/Earth Science, Vancouver Island University (2009-2013)
Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral Program (CGS D) | Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) | National Competition (May 2017)
Jerôme H. Remick Poster Award (Honourable Mention) | GAC-MAC 2017 Joint Annual Meeting (May 2017)
Four Year Doctoral Fellowship | University of British Columbia (August 2016)
Thomas and Marguerite MacKay Memorial Scholarship | University of British Columbia (2016)
Egil H Lorntzsen Scholarship | University of British Columbia (2016)
EOAS Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award | EOSC 222: Geological Time and Stratigraphy | University of British Columbia (2014-2015)
Research Affiliations and Assistantships
September 2014 - Present
Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
The University of British Columbia
October 2012 - Present
Sclayn, Andenne, Belgium
September 2015 - Present
The University of British Columbia
April 2017 – Present
Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)
The University of British Columbia
McMillan, R., Golding, M. 2019. Thermal maturity of carbonaceous material in conodonts and the Color Alteration Index: independently identifying maximum temperature with Raman spectroscopy. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.109290
McMillan, R., Snoeck, C., de Winter, N., Claeys, P., Weis, D. 2019. Evaluating the impact of acetic acid chemical pre-treatment on ‘old’ and cremated bone with the ‘Perio-spot’ technique and ‘Perios-endos’ profiles. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 530: 330-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.05.019
Raudsepp, M., Coolbaugh, M.F., McCormack, J.K., Czech, E. and McMillan, R. 2019. Andymcdonaldite, IMA 2018-141. CNMNC Newsletter No. 49, June 2019, European Journal of Mineralogy: 31.
McMillan, R., Weis, D., Amini, M., Bonjean, D. 2017. Identifying the reworking and stratigraphic provenance of bones by exploring multivariate geochemical relationships with the ‘Perio-spot’ technique. Journal of Archaeological Science 88: 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.10.003
Bonjean, D., Vanbrabant, Y., Abrams, G., Pirson, S., Burlet, C., Di Modica, K., Otte, M., Vander Auwera, J., Golitko, M., McMillan, R., Steemans, P., Goemaere, É. 2015b. Nouvelles données sur un pigment noir d’origine cambrienne, utilisé au Paléolithique moyen et découvert dans la grotte Scladina (Andenne, BE). Notae Praehistoricae 35: 121-146.
Bonjean, D., Vanbrabant, Y., Abrams, G., Pirson, S., Burlet, C., Di Modica, K., Otte, M., Vander Auwera, J., Golitko, M., McMillan, R., Groemaere, E. 2015a. A new Cambrian black pigment used during the late Middle Palaeolithic discovered at Scladina Cave (Andenne, Belgium). Journal of Archaeological Science 55: 253-265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.040
McMillan, R., Golding, M. 2019. Maximum Temperatures Using Raman Spectroscopy of Carbonaceous Material in Conodonts: A Comparison with the Color Alteration Index. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting (Phoenix, Arizona, USA), 51-5. 10.1130/abs/2019AM-334055 (Oral presentation).
McMillan, R., Martindale, A., Metcalfe, J., Johnson, R., Simons, E., Weis, D., Wylie, A. 2019. Community-facing databases for research partnerships: Content tracking software and spatial archives. UBC Archaeology Day (March 16, 2019). (Oral presentation).
Jolley, A., Gilley, B.H., Holland, T., Sherman, S.B., Scribner, E., McMillan, R. 2018. Teaching and Learning about Teaching and Learning: UBC’s Graduate Course in Evidence-Based Pedagogy. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting (Indiana, USA), Paper No. 274-8. (Oral presentation).
McMillan, R., Martindale, A., Weis, D., Wylie, A., Metcalfe, J., Simons, E. 2018. Practicing Reconciliation: Networks of Science and Indigeneity in the Analysis of Material Culture. Resources for Future Generations Conference 2018 (Vancouver, BC). (Poster presentation).
Allan, T. E., McMillan, R. 2018. What 'works' and what doesn't: A multi-proxy approach to the sourcing of worked stone from the Hummingbird Creek Site (FaPx-1), Alberta Rocky Mountains. 2018 ASA Annual General Meeting and Conference (Edmonton, AB). (Poster presentation).
McMillan, R., Amini, M, Weis, D. 2018. Splitting Obsidians: Striking a Balance Between Precision, Accuracy, and Preservation with SS-LA-ICP-MS during Obsidian Artifact Provenance Studies. Resources for Future Generations Conference 2018 (Vancouver, BC). (Poster presentation).
McMillan, R., Snoeck, C., Claeys, P., Weis, D. 2017. Diagenetic Housekeeping: Applying the 'Perio-spot' Technique for Evaluating Pre-Treatment Methods for Old and Cremated Bone. 8th Bone Diagenesis Meeting (Oxford, UK). (Poster presentation).
McMillan, R., Weis, D., Amini, M., Bonjean, D. 2017. The Identification of Reworked Sedimentary Contexts and Stratigraphic Provenance of Bones: A Novel Method for Pleistocene Archaeological and Palaeontological Sites. GAC-MAC Joint Annual Meeting 40, Kingston (Ontario, Canada). (Poster presentation).
Snoeck, C. Schulting, R., Lee-Thorp, J., de Winter, N., Goderis, S., Mattielli, N., Pouncett, J., McMillan, R., Weis, D., Claeys, P. 2017. New developments for the study of cremated bone in archaeological contexts. UK Archaeological Science Conference 2017 (UKAS 2017). (Poster presentation).
McMillan, R., Cullon, D., Pratt, H. 2017. New Radiocarbon Dates and Methods for Elucidating the Extent and Timing of Use for Intertidal Fishing Features on the Northwest Coast. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology (Vancouver, BC). (Poster presentation).
Cullon, D., McMillan, R., Pratt, H. 2017. Archaeological Fish Traps on the Coast of British Columbia. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology (Vancouver, BC). (Poster presentation).
Cullon, D., McMillan, R. Pratt, H. 2016. Intertidal Archaeology and Obsidian Source Survey. Report Completed for the British Columbia Capacity Initiative Program Presented to First Nations Communities. (Written report).
McMillan, R., Amini, M., Weis, D. 2016. Assessing Reworking and Stratigraphic Provenance of Bones from Scladina Cave, Belgium. Goldschmidt Yokohama (Japan). Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts: 2037. (Poster presentation).
Bonjean, D., Abrams, G., Delaunois, E., Di Modica, K., McMillan, R., Pirson, S., Roy, C. A., Toussaint, M. 2014. Taphonomy of the Juvenile Neandertal Remains from Sedimentary Complex 4A, Scladina Cave. In: Toussaint, M., and Bonjean, D., editors. The Scladina 1-4A Juvenile Neandertal (Andenne, Belgium), Palaeoanthropology and Context. Études et Recherches Archéologiques de l’Université de Liège 134, 127-154. (Book chapter).