Prof Atholl Anderson


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Masters research In New Zealand, Doctoral research in subpolar Scandinavia, subsequently focused on New Zealand and the Pacific, and later the Indian Ocean islands. Field projects in Philippines, Palau, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Tuvalu and Line groups, French Polynesia, Juan Fernandez, Galapagos, southern Chile, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe, New Zealand and Subantarctic, Christmas Island, Seychelles, Chagos Islands and Madagascar.

Career highlights

1991 FRSNZ, 1997 FAHA, Visiting Fellow 1986 Clare Hall (Life member), 1996 Corpus Christi College, 1986 Research Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1990 Percy Smith Medal, 1994 Elsdon Best Medal, 1991 Personal Chair at Otago University, 1993 Establishment Chair in Prehistory RSPAS, 1993 Fulbright Scholar, 1997 James Cook Fellow, Royal Society of New Zealand; 2001 Federation Medal of Australia, for services to Archaeology; 2003 Doctorate of Science, Cambridge, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London); 2005 Leverhulme Visiting Professor, University of York; 2005 Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to Archaeology and Anthropology; 2007 Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, Durham University; 2010 Slater Fellow, University College, Durham University; 2010-2011 Guest Professor of Archaeology, University of Gotland (Uppsala)


Research interests

Oceanic (Pacific) prehistory, Indian Ocean prehistory, island colonisation, palaeoenvironments, zooarchaeology, chronometry, maritime adaptations, evolution of seafaring, traditional history and ethnohistory.


BA, MA (Hons) (Cant), MA (Hons) (Otago), PhD, Sc.D (Cantab)

Expertise Areas

  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Biogeography and Phylogeography
  • Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
  • Archaeological Science
  • Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
  • Maori Archaeology
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori)


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