Archaeologist Morgan Schmidt works at the intersection of landscapes, anthrosols and historical ecology in Amazonia. Recently, he has been investigating the formation processes of archaeological sites with anthropic soils known as terra preta or 'black earth' in Amazonia. Amazon anthrosols have been used in the development of the historical ecology theoretical perspective as a prime example of the creation of cultural landscapes where environmental transformations by humans can increase diversity and improve soils. They exemplify how short-term, small-scale interactions between humans and the environment may result in profound transformations of that environment over time. He has been looking at specific activities and processes that produced them, whether they were intentionally created, and how they may have been used.
Morgan received degrees in Geography from the University of North Dakota (B.S.) and from the University of Florida (M.S. and Ph.D.). His doctoral dissertation was titled “Reconstructing Tropical Nature: Prehistoric and Modern Anthrosols (Terra Preta) in the Amazon Rainforest, Upper Xingu River, Brazil.”