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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Kristine Bovy

Kristine Bovy


Associate Professor


Ph.D., University of Washington (Seattle)

Coastal Archaeology, Zooarchaeology

Kris Bovy is a zooarchaeologist, specializing in the analysis of animal bones from archaeological sites in North America. She earned a B.S. (with distinction) in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and went on to complete her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington (Seattle).

The focus of her research is on the history of human and animal interactions in marine settings. Kris attempts to both better understand past human behavior and generate data to address contemporary environmental and biological conservation issues. Archaeology can provide the critical long-term temporal dimension needed to understand human response to gradual and abrupt environmental changes (e.g., climate change, tectonic events, sea level rise) and also the current status of modern animal populations. Kris has conducted analysis and fieldwork in a wide variety of settings throughout North America, but specializes in the analysis of bird bones from shell midden sites in the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Kris works closely with faculty and students in the interdisciplinary Underwater Archaeology Minor and History MA (Archaeology and Anthropology Option) programs. She teaches introductory and advanced undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Archaeology, Coastal Archaeology, Archaeology of the Americas, Archaeological Method and Theory, Seminar in Cultural Heritage, and Unity of Anthropology.

News & Announcements


Donna Hughes, Carlson Professor of Gender and Women's Studies has accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Sociology. Professor Hughes is a leading international researcher on human trafficking. She has completed research on the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea and also does research and writing on women's rights.


Dr. Pravin Patkar, a Fulbright Scholar from India will be in residence in Sociology and Anthropology during the 2015-16 academic year. The founder of Prerana, a center for women and children in Kamathipura - the largest red-light district in the world -- he written extensively on the topic of human trafficking. He has worked with victims of bonded labor (modern-day slavery) and prostitution and sex trafficking, and is an advocate for laws and policy that protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Dr. Patkar will be doing research and co-teaching courses with Professor Donna Hughes.


Julie Keller Julie C. Keller has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to URI, Professor Keller was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.


Rosaria Pisa has been appointed director of the Gender and Women's Studies program. Professor Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.


URI Anthropology & History student, Morgan Breene, earns prestigious international award to continue her studies of underwater archaeological sites. For full article click here



For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award.

Associate Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,