Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name O'Connell, James F.
Location University of Utah
Primary Field Anthropology
Secondary Field Human Environmental Sciences
 Election Citation
O'Connell is an expert in ethnoarchaeology and in applying quantitative models in archaeology. He has modeled Pleistocene hunting/gathering strategies, brought Australian prehistory to prominence in human origins research, and developed evolutionary models that explain the morphology and archaeology of ancient and modern humans.
 Research Interests
My research interests fall under three headings. As an anthropologist, I have used models from evolutionary ecology in the analysis of variation in modern hunter-gatherer foraging and food sharing practices. My goal has been to identify the principal determinants of these practices and their implications for arguments about human evolution. As an ethnoarchaeologist, I have studied the relationship between modern hunter-gatherer behavior and its material consequences, focusing especially on factors that shape the composition and distribution of archaeological assemblages at various spatial scales. This line of work is essential to the application of ethnographic findings to problems in prehistory. As a prehistorian, I have employed the results of both lines of research in the study of three problems in human evolution: the Plio-Pleistocene origin of genus Homo, the Upper Pleistocene dispersal of Homo sapiens, and terminal Pleistocene development of broad spectrum diets and agriculture.

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