During a degree in Classical Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, I became interested in processes such as the transition of complex chiefdoms to archaic states. While on a field trip in Greece, I realised that my Pacific home offers exciting opportunities to understand questions of hierarchy in a far less examined, and acknowledged, setting. Consequently, I completed a BA (Hons) and MA in Anthropology (Archaeology) at the University of Otago, specialising in Oceanic archaeology. I have worked on projects in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. In particular, during my MA thesis, under Professor Mark D. McCoy, I geochemically sourced the monumental architecture of Nan Madol, an ancient hub on the island Pohnpei, in Micronesia. I used the data to examine how the paramount chief’s geographic reach and ability to control labour changed over time. Micronesia has some of the largest monumental landscapes in Oceania, yet is the most understudied Pacific region. My PhD at Cambridge, under Dr Elizabeth DeMarrais and Professor Nicholas Thomas, also focuses on Micronesia. I am examining how Micronesians maintained and developed their unique material culture in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. I am delighted and honoured to be chosen as a Gates Scholar. My ambition is to work with local communities to make our Oceanic past accessible and engaging to a wide variety of people.