Alice Yao is an anthropological archaeologist who received her training from the University of Chicago (B.A. Anthropology 1999) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. Anthropology 2008). Alice worked on archaeology projects in northern China before becoming drawn to ancient China's frontier with mainland Southeast Asia and the rise of indigenous Bronze Age polities during the first millennium BCE. Her dissertation work focused on the impact of Han Empire's conquest of the region and sought to explain the variable ways different communities and social classes responded to this momentous change in local history. Looking even further into the past, Alice will conduct an archaeological survey of the Lake Dian Basin that aims to recover the settlement sites of these local communities prior to Han contact.