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Kristina G. Douglass

Joyce and Doug Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies

321 Carpenter Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-2937

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. A.B., Dartmouth College, 2007 (Classical Archaeology)
  2. M.Phil., Yale University 2012 (Anthropology)
  3. D.Phil., Yale University 2016 (Anthropology)


Kristina Douglass is an archaeologist, whose current work investigates human-environment interaction in Madagascar. She integrates archaeological, paleoecological, ethnohistorical, ethnographic and biological data to understand the dynamic relationship between communities and their environment over time. In particular, she focuses on culture change and continuity, subsistence strategies and mobility in contexts of resource scarcity, plant and animal extinctions and unpredictable climatic conditions. For the last seven years she has directed the Morombe Archaeological Project (MAP) in southwest Madagascar. The project combines regional survey and excavations with gathering oral histories in the Velondriake Marine Protected Area, a locally managed marine protected area, and the nearby Mikea National Park. Through collaborations with conservationists, biologists, geneticists and other anthropologists, the MAP has begun to reconstruct the historical ecology of Velondriake and Mikea, offering a long-term view of changing human-environment dynamics, migration, settlement and faunal extinctions. Douglass’ work aims to bridge divides between anthropology, conservation and development, while critically addressing the role of archaeological narratives of human environmental impact in conservation and policy discourse. Her work contributes to current debates over conservation, extinction and sustainability in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, with the view that archaeological data can help refine approaches to modern-day conservation issues and build more holistic understandings of human-environment dynamics.

Research Interests

Human-environment interaction, anthropology and archaeology of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean, coastal and island archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnoarchaeology, historical ecology, extinction, migration, ethnogenesis