Dr Jean Kennedy


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Southeast Asian and Pacific prehistory, management and domestication of tropical plants, ethnobotany, settlement pattern, ethnic diversity.


PhD (Hawaii), MA Hons (Otago)


Education and early research in New Zealand and Polynesia (anthropology, University of Otago, BA 1966, MA(Hons) 1969). PhD (anthropology, University of Hawaii, 1977) on mainland southeast Asia, included abortive attempt to pursue funded fieldwork in Burma, and study of Lao, Burmese and Thai languages. Subsequent ANU-funded archaeological research focused on Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. Recent library- and internet-based research concerns tropical crops, especially bananas, and the problems of producing well-founded interdisciplinary syntheses across ever more complex and specialised research fields.

Career highlights

1966-69 Tutor, Department of Anthropology, University of Otago; 1977-82 Research Fellow, Prehistory, RSPacS, ANU; 1983-90 Senior Lecturer, History of Science & Technology/Archaeology, University of Papua New Guinea; 1997-present Visiting Fellow, ANH, ANU.

Expertise Areas

  • Agricultural Land Management
  • Agroforestry
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Archaeological Science
  • Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
  • Maori Archaeology
  • History and Philosophy of Science (incl. Non-historical Philosophy of Science)


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