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Dennis O'Rourke

Dept. of Anthropology | University of Kansas
Ancient Genomes, Paleoenvironments, Archaeology, and the Peopling of the Americas

Dennis O’Rourke (KU – PhD in Anthropology, emphasis in genetics) - Foundation Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas, Director of the KU ancient DNA Laboratory, Associate Director of the Laboratories of Biological Anthropology, and Professor Emeritus University of Utah.

My research focuses on the use of molecular genetic methods to address long-standing questions in prehistory. My students and collaborators have conducted fieldwork and research projects in Mexico, the Caribbean, the US Southwest and California, and the North American arctic. Most recently, my group has focused attention on ancient DNA methods to investigate the colonization and dispersal of the North American arctic, and how this informs us about the earlier initial colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Utilizing genomic analyses of both human and archaeofaunal and archaeobotanical materials, my research interests and efforts increasingly are at the intersection of anthropological genetics, bioarchaeology, and paleoecology.

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